Hello reader, Welcome to this amazing read about how to become a Nurse Administrator! 

This article will teach you the steps you need to follow to become one, including all the required qualifications and skills.  

Here are the topics we will focus on in this article:

  • Steps To Becoming A Nurse Administrator 
  • Nurse Administrators Certification Options And Requirements
  • Top Nurse Administrator Jobs To Consider
  • Valuable Resources For Upcoming Nurse Administrators

Here we go!


introduction on Nurse Administrator

Nurse Administrators are Registered Nurses who take management roles in a healthcare facility.

They take on duties like employee supervision, training, employee representation, policy creation, and implementation, addressing nursing staff concerns, managing budgets, overseeing report generation, making decisions, and ensuring high-quality patient care.  

Most healthcare centers have Administrators who must take on this important management role to ensure smooth operations.

Nurse Administrators will also take on positions with titles such as Chief Executive of Nursing, Head Nurse, Nurse Manager, Director of Nursing, and Patient Services Director among others.

To take on these roles, these professionals must exhibit a combination of skills such as interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills.

Most Nurse Administrators will also work in hospitals, private practices, clinics, academia, and government health facilities.  

The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) hasn’t specifically reported on Nurse Administrators regarding future market demand.

However, the BLS has predicted that the demand for Medical and Health Services Managers (Nurse Administrators included) will increase by 32%.

This is a 4%  faster growth rate than all the other professions.

Thousands of healthcare management job opportunities will be available over the next ten years, making pursuing a career as an Administrative Nurse a positive thing for you because of the evident job security.  

As an aspiring Nurse Administrator, you must meet all the education requirements and undergo serious on-the-job training.

Most Nurse Administrators have a Master’s Degree, which could be in Healthcare Administration or a Master’s in Nursing.

They must also be a Registered Nurse, which requires passing the NCLEX-RN.

Taking on leadership roles as a Registered Nurse will further boost your chances.

You could also consider pursuing certifications like Nurse Executive Certification via the American Nurses Credential Center (ANCC)  to equip yourself with important skills to become an effective Nurse Administrator.  

Steps on How To Become A Nurse Administrator

Steps To Becoming A Nurse Administrator 

As stated above, education, training, and experience are the key things required for you to become a Nurse Administrator.

Steps To Becoming A Nurse Administrator 

Here are the steps  to becoming a competent Nurse Administrator:

Step 1: Take On A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Degree 

If you are an aspiring Nurse you can join this administration field with an Associate Degree.

But the Associate degree will not qualify you because the Nursing Administration career requires more education.

You will need to complete a Bachelor’s Degree to qualify for this field.

Take on one of the various Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs in recognized learning institutions countrywide.

As you pursue your BSN, you can take on leadership roles by joining the student government or  Student  Nursing Association chapters.

Just make sure you meet all the nursing administration degree requirements in the first place.

Step 2: Become A Registered Nurse

You can’t be a Nursing Administrator without getting a Registered Nurse License first.

Becoming a Registered Nurse is a prerequisite before enrolling in a Master’s program.

Every state has different requirements when it comes to becoming a Registered Nurse, so you must check with your local board to ensure that you can meet all the requirements.  

Most states require people to hold an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), and pass a background check.

Step 3: Accumulate The Necessary Work  Experience

A couple of years of experience is required for a Nurse Manager position, and a minimum of one year is required.  

It is important that you consider embracing opportunities that enable you to experience leadership roles like being Charge Nurse, heading work committees, and shadowing supervisors.

With such opportunities, you will not only gain some rich experience, but you will also gain the additional skills required to thrive in this career.

Step 4: Complete A Graduate Degree In Nursing Administration

This degree will take 2-4 years, and it is a major requirement for you to become a Nurse Administrator.

You can take on and complete a Master of Science In Nursing (MSN), A Master in Health Administration, or A Master of Business  Administration degree program.  

These degree programs can be pursued online, which will be very convenient for students to keep building their work experience through clinical practice in a healthcare setting even as they study.

Step 5: Acquire The Necessary Certifications

The certifications are not major requirements for becoming a Nurse Administrator, but they are very important, especially when making you stand out among other candidates when applying for a position.  

Nursing Administration Certifications will influence your salary which is why most employers will be willing to pay higher rates to  Nursing professionals with additional certifications.  

The most recognized certifications are gained through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).

Consider pursuing certifications to equip yourself with more skills.

Nurse Administrators Certification Options And Requirements

Nurse Administrators Certification Options And Requirements

Earning certification as a Nurse Administrator is an important career move and an effective way to equip yourself with other relevant skills that will be impressive to the employers.

Certifications enable you to showcase a certain level of education and experience to these prospective employers and tell them that you are a dedicated professional who is pro-career advancement.

Here are some of the major certifications obtained through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) that a Nurse Administrator should consider earning as a way of boosting their career:

Nurse Executive Certification

To gain this certification, Nurses must have the following:

  • A current RN license
  • Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree or higher education in Nursing
  • Have administrative work experience of at least 24 months or be in a faculty position as a nurse educator for 24 months
  • Have a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration or 30 hours of nursing administration continuing education within the past three years

Nurse Executive Advanced Certification

For this certification, candidates must possess the following:

  • An up-to-date Registered Nurse license
  • A Master’s Degree or higher in nursing
  • 24 months of work experience in the past five years of administrative work experience or as a Nurse Educator in a faculty position
  • 30 hours of continuing education in nursing education within the last three years

Top Nurse Administrator Jobs To Consider

Top Nurse Administrator Jobs To Consider

Here are the top Nurse Administrator roles to consider as you join this healthcare industry along with their job outlook reports according to Nurse Journal research:

Nurse Administrator

For this role, you can work in residential care facilities such as a nursing home overseeing the nursing staff and ensuring compliance when it comes to laws and regulations, and improving patient care.

Expect to earn an average annual Nurse Administrator salary of $88,000.

Nurse Administrator

This position has a positive job outlook with an expected increase in job demand by 32% between 2019-2029.

Chief Nursing Officer

For this position you will work in hospital settings managing and directing nursing activities, creating and implementing patient care policies, working closely with the Nursing leadership, and working on budgeting plans.

They earn an annual average salary of $132,000, and their expected job outlook as one of the top nursing executives is expected to increase by 4% between 2019-2029.

Nurse Manager

Nurse Managers supervise nursing staff in hospitals or physician’s offices.

They will be involved in scheduling, hiring, and training, developing patient care policies and resolving conflicts.

The average annual salary is $84,000, and the job outlook is also positive, with an expected 32% increase by 2029.

Nursing Director 

You will find Nursing Directors in healthcare facilities carrying out nursing staff supervision, budget monitoring, collaborating with physicians and other staff, and ensuring adequate patient care.

The average annual salary is $84,000, with a positive job outlook of an expected increase of 32% by 2030.

Valuable Resources For Upcoming Nurse Administrators

Valuable Resources For Upcoming Nurse Administrators

As you pursue administrative nursing, there are various professional organizations and organizations that will provide networking opportunities access to valuable professional information on continuing education, leadership, administration, and management.

Most of these organizations run thriving communities of Nurse Leaders who benefit from the job listings, informative podcasts, job listings, informative podcasts, free webinars, and countless other resources that will be helpful to any Nurse Practitioner intending to join the administrative field.

Valuable Resources For Upcoming Nurse Administrators

Some of such organizations that you should consider joining are as follows:

  • The American Association for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
  • American Hospital Association (AHA)
  • American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC)
  • National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA)
  • Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD)
  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • The National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers (NFSWC)
  • Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)
  • Nursing Ethics Network (NEN)
Conclusion on nursing exams

Becoming a Nurse Administrator is a journey that becomes rewarding in the end.

We have looked at the steps to becoming a Nurse Administrator and the various degree nursing programs you must enroll in to meet the education qualification.

We have also looked at the other Nurse Administrator requirements, such as years of experience and other Nurse Manager qualifications, along with various Nurse administrator job descriptions of top administrator roles.

We have also listed the various organizations and associations that will help your budding career as a Nurse Administrator.

As for the Nurse Administrator salary data, Nurse Admins earn a median salary of $104,280 or an average annual salary of $118,800.

With such a promising job outlook that depicts an increasing demand for this career, working towards completing the nurse administration education requirements to become a Certified Nurse Administrator will be worth every resource and time spent.



What is Nursing Administration?

This is a leadership role within a healthcare setting that requires the management of staff and patients and the implementation of policies created by the top executives in the healthcare setting. Nursing Administration requires general overseeing of all operations within a healthcare organization.

Can Nurses go into Administration?

Registered Nurses can enter a Nursing Administration career by enrolling in an RN-to-MSN bridge program. It takes 2-3 years and not 7 years, comprising 4 years of BSN and another 3 years of MSN. There are programs offering a Nursing Administration focus that RNs can take advantage of.

How long does it take to become a Nurse Administrator?

BSN programs take four years, and bridge programs take the same time frame plus a few years of clinical practice. An MSN degree will need an additional 2-3 years of education. 7 years is enough to meet all the Nurse Manager education requirements plus clinical work.

Is Nurse Administrator hard?

Being a Nurse Administrator has its challenges and demands, just like most professions. You will need strong leadership, multi-tasking, decision-making, communication, and policy implementation skills. You might also need to offer mentorship to the Nurses you are managing. Consider other career options if this happens to be too much for you.

Can a Healthcare Administrator become a Nurse?

Yes, with the appropriate experience, certification, and additional education. Already Healthcare Administrators is a Registered Nurses, meaning they will have to specialize by acquiring the necessary training for the nursing field they choose. Your vast experience and credentials will qualify you as a Nurse in the end.

Can an RN get a job in Healthcare Administration with zero experience?

As an RN, you can enroll in a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), which doesn’t require a healthcare management background. With the MHA, which focuses on healthcare, government regulations, health informatics, healthcare ethics, leadership, and planning, you can snag a healthcare administration job and build your experience from there.

What can you do with an MSN/MBA?

With the dual MSN/MBA degree, you can get an opportunity to pursue a Nursing Administration and leadership career pathway. You can also qualify for Nursing Administration jobs such as Nurse Manager, Departmental Director, and Chief Nursing Officer, among others.


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