Before you decide to enroll in a nursing leadership program, you should know what careers you can get with a nurse administration degree. While a master’s degree in nurse administration or nurse leadership can be excellent preparation for career advancement, it’s not a one-size-fits-all degree path. A career in nurse administration is different from one in advanced practice nursing or nurse education, and it requires a good deal of skills in business and management.
Job Titles in Nurse Administration
Precise job titles for nursing administrators can vary, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the careers you can get with a nurse administration degree include president of nursing, chief nursing officer, director of nursing and nurse executive, the BLS reported. Assistant directors and vice presidents of nursing also fall under the nurse administration category, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Typical Job Responsibilities for Nurse Administrators
Though the various job titles for nurses in leadership roles may be different, the careers you can get with a nurse administration degree require many of the same tasks and skills. Nurse administrators are primarily responsible for managing the business and organizational aspects of nursing services. They supervise the nursing staff, from recruiting and training new employees to scheduling work shifts. Nurse administrators don’t just oversee people – they also oversee their employer’s nursing program as a whole. This means managing the finances, setting and sticking to operating budgets and assessing performance in patient care.
Although nurse administrator is a management position, it’s a different career path than nurse manager. A nurse manager typically performs management duties in a smaller scope, perhaps overseeing just a single nursing service or department, while a nurse administrator is responsible for numerous nursing departments and services. Nurse administrators are more senior-level than nurse managers, who often report to them.
Work Environments for Nurse Administrators
Unsurprisingly, the careers you can get with a nurse administration degree are most often a part of the healthcare industry. Though nurse administrators rarely work with patients directly, their workplaces are most often clinical settings. Hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care facilities, acute care centers, home-based nursing care services, clinics and chronic care facilities all have a need for skilled nurses to manage the administrative and organizational tasks of keeping nursing services running. Some nurses may find administrative roles outside of direct healthcare facilities, including working for pharmaceutical manufacturers and health insurance companies, according to the BLS.
If any of the leadership roles available in the field of nursing administration appeal to you, then pursuing a degree is an important first step. Regardless of exact job title or work setting, the careers you can get with a nurse administration degree can be rewarding and lucrative, and the job responsibilities can provide an appealing challenge for candidates who are as business-savvy as they are skilled at providing nursing care.