District of Columbia Masters in Nursing Administration Degrees | Nursing Administration Masters Programs

Registered nurses who want to potentially expand their career options by taking a greater role in leadership and management within the field of nursing, might consider enrolling in a Masters in Nursing Administration program.   If you are interested in a leadership position in healthcare and medicine, and have worked your way to becoming an RN, earning a Nursing Administration masters degree may be the next valuable step in your professional life.

masters in nursing administration degree info

Nursing Administration Masters Programs prepare nursing students for potential positions such as nurse managers or nursing directors in modern healthcare settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries that employed the most medical and health services managers in 2012 included hospitals, ambulatory health care services, nursing and residential care facilities and government.

Broadly, Masters in Nursing Administration graduate programs teach nurses how to manage high quality healthcare organizations that meet compliance and regulatory standards, create infrastructures that support quality patient care and integrate nursing leadership theory and management skills to cultivate and promote ethical and legal health care delivery systems.

How To Search For a Nursing Administration Masters Program

One of the important considerations when approaching your search for a Masters in Nursing Administration is the type of program format you require. Would you prefer to look into accredited campus programs which may offer the most face-to-face interactions with classmates and faculty or are you a busy working RN who wants to go back to school for new credentials but needs a flexible study format? If so, you might look into hybrid programs that combine online and on campus coursework, or online masters in nursing administration that typically allow you to log into your courses when it is convenient to your schedule.

If location is a concern, review Masters in Nursing Administration programs using the city, state or country tabs on GradSchools.com. If program format is a concern you are able to review options using this criteria. Some of the listings might include Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader, Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Executive Leader, Master of Science in Nursing – Health Care Systems Management, Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Administrator, and MBA & MS in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems.

Make sure to request info from each school to determine and compare the degree prerequisites, curriculum, tuition, faculty, and school admission procedures. These may vary.

What is a Certified Nursing Administrator?

Nursing administration and management involves providing patient care while leading and overseeing assigned staff members, or other nursing professionals. Some of the duties of a Nursing Administrator, or Nurse Leader might involve:

  • Providing patient care
  • Leading and overseeing staff, including other nurses
  • Coordinating with upper management, doctors, surgeons, insurance companies
  • Scheduling staff
  • Ensuring that healthcare workers comply with all state regulations and facility policies
  • Hiring and firing of healthcare personnel
  • Training other nurses
  • Completing important paperwork, such as charts and patient documentation
  • Marketing, finances

How Do I Become a Nurse Leader or Nurse Administrator[i]?

Students aspiring to be certified nursing administrators typically need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Become a licensed RN. All states, including the District of Columbia, require an RN to be licensed in order to practice. In addition, an RN must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

If you are hoping to work in nursing administration, experience in the field is one of the requirements. Employers typically prefer candidates with at least five years of experience. Most RNs start out as a staff nurse in a hospital, doctor's office or a community health organization, then, with experience, they may move into administrative positions like assistant unit manager, head nurse or assistant director.

To become a certified nurse executive, applicants must have a current RN license, at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and meet experience requirements. In addition, 30 hours of continuing education that is specific to nursing administration must be completed within the past three years; although this requirement may be waived for applicants with a Master’s in Nursing Administration degree.

Why Earn A Masters Degree in Nursing Administration?

In order to earn their graduate degree in nursing administration, RNs might earn a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Master’s of Business Administration in conjunction with an MSN, a Master’s in Nursing Administration, a Master’s in Nursing Leadership, or a master’s in another related field.

A Master of Science in Nursing Administration program prepares nursing professionals to take on leadership roles by teaching advanced business management concepts as it relates to healthcare delivery. This degree offers increased opportunity for career advancement, as many employers prefer to hire administrators with a master's degree in nursing, which is in part because of the training delivered via coursework.

Potential Curriculum In Nursing Administration Masters Programs

In general, the curriculum in a Masters In Nursing Administration program draws from the disciplines of nursing, management and business to prepare students to be leaders in the development of nursing practice, or to take on a management role with staff or within the broader healthcare organization that they are involved in. This may be within a hospital, a private facility, a medical practice or other environment.

Some of the coursework that Masters in Nursing Administration students might explore may include topics such as:

  • Healthcare quality
  • Safety management
  • Advanced finance and operations management
  • Disease management and prevention
  • Budgeting and finance for health professionals
  • Patient Care
  • Leadership and management skills

Potential Careers For Masters in Nursing Administration Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers is extremely favorable, with an anticipated growth in employment rate of 23% between 2012 and 2022. This category includes[i]:

  • Nursing Home Administrators who manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as care of the residents in nursing homes.
  • Clinical Managers: are responsible for overseeing a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty.
  • Health Information Managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of patient records
  • Assistant Administrators: might direct activities in clinical areas, such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information.

FUN FACT:  Some of the job titles for Nursing Administration roles might include: Clinical Director, Director of Nursing, Health and Social Service Manager, Medical Records Manager, Mental Health Program Manager, Nurse Manager, Nutrition Services Manager, Office Manager, Practice Administrator, Program Manager

Potential salary for nurse managers

In May 2012, the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $88,580 in May 2012, with the lowest 10 percent earned less than $53,940, and the top 10 percent earned more than $150,560[ii]. In comparison, the May 2012 median pay for Registered Nurses was $65,470, with the lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,040 and the top 10 percent earned more than $94,720[i]. Clearly, masters in nursing administration programs mean that RNs have an opportunity to increase their earning potential.

Ready To Pursue a Nursing Administration Masters Degree?

With your Master in Nursing Administration, you will refine your leadership and management skills, as well as open the door to a variety of supervisory positions in nursing and health care that may lead to a higher earning potential. Why not start a search on GradSchools.com for the leadership and management in nursing master’s degree that matches your career goals today!


Sources: bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm | bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00

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