There are many different career paths for people who have earned a master’s degree in nursing administration. These job opportunities extend beyond the hospital floor into the field, including physician offices, schools, and even the legal and government sector.
Some of the most popular job titles for nurses with an MSN in nursing administration, management or leadership include:
1. Chief Nursing Officer
A chief nursing officer (CNO), alternatively titled chief nursing executive (CNE), is typically the highest level of nursing management within a healthcare organization. CNOs help guide both the nursing and business perspective of hospital systems, helping to plan, direct and organize the overall nursing and patient care operations. In addition, CNOs strive to strictly adhere to established healthcare delivery standards to help ensure the best possible patient outcomes.
Chief nursing officers are often required to have several years of nursing and leadership experience.
2. Nurse Administrator
A nurse administrator’s role may overlap somewhat with the CNO’s role. Both must have advanced skills in nursing, healthcare, and leadership. They must be able to interact with executives within the organization, managers and nursing staff, patients, patients’ families, and the general public.
Both CNOs and nurse administrators must be comfortable on the nursing floor; however, on average, both roles are office-based.
3. Director of Nursing
Directors of Nursing are nurses who are responsible for administrative tasks such as hiring and training nursing staff, creating work schedules, and managing department budgets. Nursing Directors also act as a resource within the healthcare community, advising medical staff and administrators on nursing policies and procedures.
4. Nurse Manager
A nurse manager’s role can be similar to a nursing director’s role. This role will typically require a BSN and in some instances an MSN degree, strong clinical nursing experience, and demonstrated leadership abilities. Nurse managers may also act as educators, providing instruction to both experienced and entry-level professionals.
5. Quality Improvement
Healthcare quality improvement jobs are also available to nurses with a master’s degree in nursing administration.
These positions, such as Director of Quality Improvement and Clinical Quality Manager, help ensure stringent patient care standards and policies are established and followed.
6. Nurse Informatics
Nursing informatics is a specialty that can also be found in the quality spectrum. Nurses who use informatics evaluate and use electronic healthcare data to help ensure a quality medical environment and support patient care. This integrates nursing with information management and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate medical data to improve health and patient outcomes.
7. Clinical Nurse Researcher
Nurse researchers play an important role in pharmaceutical and medical research. They review large amounts of information, evaluate data, and use these learnings to advance patient care. Armed with their clinical expertise, nurse researchers help design scientific studies and medical trials to help improve healthcare operations and patient outcomes. Nurse researchers may also write grant proposals, to help secure funding for healthcare systems and trials.
8. Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant helps legal and government professionals gather, synthesize, and understand medical information. This can be crucial for long processes, such as lobbying for healthcare reform, navigating through government healthcare regulations, and assisting with malpractice cases.
How much can nurses in administration make?
According to 2019 data from the BLS, the average salary for medical and health services managers, including the roles in nursing leadership and administration listed above, was $115,160 per year ($55.37 per hour).* The job outlook is positive, with employment opportunities for medical and health services managers are projected to grow 18% from 2018-2028, due largely in part to a population that is staying more active later in life. Discover the average salary in nursing administration by state.
Become a nurse leader and make a lasting impact.
There are a variety of career paths available for nurses both in and out of hospital settings after they graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The choice depends on what specialization and focus you wish to pursue.
The Herzing University Master's in Nursing Leadership and Administration program is designed for students looking to forge their own unique career path as a leader in nursing and make a substantial impact in patient care and outcomes. We offer several degree pathways for current RNs seeking a pathway to leadership opportunities in nursing:
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