Nursing administrators work in a critical healthcare role. They often craft the policies that govern the nursing staff and manage the budget for the nursing department. They oversee nursing schedules and ensure that the nursing staff has the latest available equipment and technology support.

In short, nursing administrators ensure that patients receive the highest level of care from the nursing staff. Taking on this responsibility requires a specific set of skills and knowledge that combines both the clinical and business sides of healthcare.

Nurses can prepare themselves for management positions by earning an online Master of Nursing Science – Nursing Administration (MSN NA). Marian University offers an MSN NA designed for nurses seeking nursing administration jobs in Wisconsin and other states.

Kimberly A. Udlis, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP, the Associate Dean and Chief Nurse Administrator, said the program is designed for working nurses.

“A nurse administrator has a background in the nursing profession and is a registered nurse, which allows them to truly know the frontline experience of nurses (the clinical side of patient care),” Udlis said. “They also have a nursing background in patient care that brings a real-life perspective to the administrator role.  An MSN with NA will build on the BSN education while expanding into hospital administrator knowledge and skills acquisition.  It’s the best of both worlds.”

Why Pursue Nursing Administration Jobs?

Nurses following the nursing administration track learn the latest strategies in healthcare management and how to apply them in the workplace. Having an MSN NA opens the door to higher positions and better salaries and decision-making roles.

At Marian University, nurses in the MSN NA program learn the business, communication, and management skills needed for successful leadership. Nurses also learn the latest in healthcare policy, economics, and organizational effectiveness.

Some of the nursing administration jobs available for program graduates include:

  • Chief Nursing Officer / CNO
  • Chief Nursing Executive
  • Vice President of Nursing
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Director of Nursing
  • Nurse Manager
  • Clinic Manager
  • Unit Manager
  • Director of Quality Improvement
  • Clinical Quality Manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), considered the leading source of job information in the United States, does not track each of these professions individually. However, the BLS projects a 32 percent increase in medical and health manager jobs by 2030. The annual salary for these positions averages about $119,000.

Nursing administrators work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, acute care centers, and home healthcare. Because the work performed by nurses is specialized, the best person to supervise them is another nurse with specialized training in leadership and management.

Getting into a Nursing Administration Program

While similar in some respects, the MSN NA is distinctive from the Master of Healthcare Administration degree. While both prepare healthcare leaders, the MSN NA program concludes with a 225-hour practicum where students work directly with nurse leaders. Also, students must hold a license as registered nurses to enter the MSN NA program.

Some of the courses taken in both majors include the following.

  • Emotional Intelligence for Leadership
  • Managerial Accounting and Control
  • Business Analytics
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Health Care Management
  • Health Care Policy
  • Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration

Marian University offers the 35-credit curriculum in the MSN NA program in 15-week fall and spring courses, 7-week summer courses, and four-week leadership and management courses. Nursing administration students have the chance to collaborate with other graduate nursing students and graduate business and health care administration students.

Students can complete the coursework in eight semesters. The program requires no time on campus.

Nursing administrators are key to success in a medical operation, enhancing the quality of care offered by the nursing staff. For those who want to play a larger role in healthcare delivery, earning an MSN NA can open the door to achieving their career goals.