Nurse Administration Certification | Nurse Executive Certification

The transition from nursing to executive nursing can be an exciting change. As nurses embark on the journey of advanced education and certification, they not only have an opportunity sharpen their existing skills, but also potentially develop new skills that may help prepare them to be leaders and activists in their industry. Working as a nurse administrator proves for many nurses to be an incredibly rewarding career choice—one that deepens and broadens their careers and allows them to make a significant difference in their field.

Certification Options for Nurse Administrators

Some nurses who want to pursue a career in nursing administration, management, or leadership might choose to earn a master’s degree in the field and then seek additional certification through an industry organization.  Here are two of them: the American Nurses Credentialing Center[i] or the American Organization of Nurse Executives[ii]. Each organization provides guidance and support to nurses who wish to enhance their careers. Through the ANCC and the AONE, nurses gain access to critical information about nurse administration core competencies, nursing leadership programs, nurse executive certifications, and other leading-edge resources within the field.

Following is a brief outline of each of the organizations with an emphasis on their certification options and eligibility requirements.

Nurse Administrator Certification through the ANCC[i]

The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association its mission is to promote “excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs” by certifying nurses in specialty practice areas including advanced, executive, and administrative nursing. Its extended role in these areas is threefold: it recognizes and promotes organizations that provide high quality work environments and service; it “accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education;” and it “offers educational materials to support nurses and organizations as they work toward their credentials.” For all nurses, especially those seeking advanced certification, the ANCC may be a valuable resource during and after graduate school.

Nurse Administration Certification Options: Through the ANCC, nurses may pursue a career as Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) nurses.

Nurse Administration Certification Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to test for and earn certification, applicants must:

  • Hold a current, active RN license within the United States or a territory of the United States (or a legally recognized equivalent from another country)
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing
  • Have held a mid-level or higher administrative position, a faculty position teaching graduate-level nursing administration, or a nursing management or executive consulting position full-time for 24 months or more within the last five years
  • Have completed at least 30 hours of continuing education in nursing administration within the last three years or hold a master’s degree in nursing administration  

Nurse Administrator Certification through the AONE[ii]

The AONE is a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association. It provides “leadership, professional development, advocacy and research;” promotes “nursing leadership excellence,” and shapes “public policy for health care nationwide” to advance nursing practice and patient care. Its mission is to “shape health care through innovative and expert nursing leadership”. The AONE is a professional resource to nurse administrators and healthcare managers.

Nurse Administration Certification Options through the AONE:

  • Through the AONE, nurses may pursue becoming Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP); or
  • Nurses may pursue becoming a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML)

Nurse Administration Certification Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to test for and earn certification, applicants must:

  • Hold a valid and unrestricted license as a registered nurse
  • Hold either a master’s-level degree or higher in a pertinent discipline (typically nursing, from an accredited institution) and have two years’ experience in an executive nursing role; or
  • Hold a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) and have four years’ experience in an executive nursing role

For more information about what it takes to pursue a career as an executive nurse or to pursue engagement in a nursing leadership program that may lead to certification, please visit the American Nurses Credentialing Center[iii] and the American Organization of Nurse Executives[iv] to determine which organization may best suits your needs.

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Sources: [i] nursecredentialing.org/FunctionalCategory/AboutANCC | [ii] aone.org/membership/about/welcome.shtml | [iii] nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing/Tools-You-Need/RNsAPNs.html | [iv] aha.org

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