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Unlocking the Potential: How to Become a Nurse Administrator



Unlocking the Potential How to Become a Nurse Administrator

Image by Chokniti Khongchum from Pixabay

Nursing administrators are essential to a positive workplace environment for nurses and other healthcare employees. They are responsible for managing a nursing team and often have to make difficult decisions.

They also manage budgets and provide leadership and education to the next generation of nurse leaders. This role is highly respected and is one of the top jobs in health care.


An MSN nurse administrator is a high-level executive in nursing leadership roles at hospitals and healthcare systems. Their responsibilities include managing the nursing department and creating the organization’s clinical programs. They also handle administrative duties such as staffing, budgeting, and quality management.

Prospective nursing administrators must first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Depending on their preferred path, they can choose an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). A BSN program features advanced pharmacology and healthcare economics courses and practicum courses exploring dynamic nursing leadership and transforming care across healthcare systems.

After graduating with a BSN, prospective nurses can seek management mentorships and apply to an MSN program in nursing administration at Lamar University. An MSN program includes classes in subjects like nursing theory and nursing leadership, as well as graduate-level coursework in healthcare administration. Applicants must also hold an active RN license and complete continuing education requirements to maintain their professional certifications.

Work Experience

Nurses need extensive clinic experience to qualify for nurse administration roles regardless of their education level. This enables them to be familiar with all aspects of the job and ensures they have what it takes to succeed.

Nursing administrators manage all nursing operations in a hospital or healthcare facility, such as physician’s offices and residential care facilities. The administrative side of this role means they don’t treat patients directly; however, it requires them to manage minute details of staffing and budgets while also maintaining larger strategic goals.

Some nurse administrators earn professional credentials like the CNML (certified nursing manager and leader) or the NE-BC (nurse executive, board certified), which can improve their earning potential.

Leadership Skills

Nurse administrators lead nursing teams that ensure healthcare organizations operate effectively and efficiently. They take on diverse responsibilities, from developing reports identifying how well nurses performed to addressing conflicts between patients or other medical staff members.

Nurses pursuing this career path trade hands-on patient care for administrative duties and meetings but still draw from their clinical experience to evaluate hospital policies and staffing decisions.

Nursing administration requires a unique blend of skills, including management, human resources, facilities management, accounting, mediation, compliance, and communication. Those interested in becoming nurse administrators should consider taking on leadership-related tasks within their current nursing roles to demonstrate their aptitude for the role. They also should pursue a graduate degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MHA) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership Focus.


When people hear the term nurse, they may think of a healthcare professional administering IVs and monitoring vital signs at the hospital bedside. But there is so much more to this career, and becoming a nurse administrator can be a rewarding opportunity for anyone who loves the medical field and wants to take on a leadership role.

Nursing administrators are high-level managers who oversee the operations of a hospital or healthcare system and act as leaders of the nursing staff. They work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to organize medical information and manage the healthcare team.

Nurses can prepare for this position by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an RN-to-MSN leadership and management program. They can also pursue a Master of Health Administration (MHA), teaching them the industry’s business side, including government regulations, healthcare ethics, and management strategies. This degree can give them a competitive edge over others pursuing the same role.

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