Ready to advance your nursing career? If your talents lie in management and leadership, consider becoming a nurse administrator. Demand for nurse administrators is growing along with the rest of the healthcare sector, and salary prospects for management roles in the field are strong.
Nursing administrators fall under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) medical and health services manager category. According to 2020 data from the BLS, the average salary for medical health and service managers is $118,800 per year ($57.12 per hour).*
Bear in mind that nursing administration salaries will vary depending on the employer, the local job market, and the candidate’s qualifications and experience. While many factors can determine an individual’s wage, nurse administrators who hold a master’s degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration as well as a certification may be more likely to qualify for higher paying roles.
Demand for nurse administrators
The BLS reports that over the 2020-2030 period, the healthcare industry is projected to add jobs at a faster rate than any other sector of the economy. While overall job openings should grow by 8%, healthcare jobs are expected to grow by 16%, or 2.6 million new job openings. This demand is driven by general population growth and the baby boom generation, who will require more care as they reach retirement age and beyond.
Growth for the medical and health services managers category, which includes nurse administrators along with other medical and health leaders, is expected to be 32% over the 2020-2030 period, adding 139,600 new jobs nationwide.
What does a nurse administrator do?
Nurse administrators work in large hospitals, nursing homes, and in an increasing number of medium-sized care facilities such as outpatient clinics. They direct the activities of other nurses and make leadership decisions for the nursing department on issues including:
Finances, budgets and purchasing
Clinical operations, including patient care, research, and more
Hiring, training and retaining staff
Nursing administrators may also represent their departments at board meetings, collaborate with other clinical managers and develop strategic plans for nursing care. They may also represent a population group or a “cause” in the community by serving on a board of directors. Learn more about what you can do with a master's degree in nursing administration.
How to become a nurse administrator
Nurse administrators generally have several years of practice as a registered nurse (RN) under their belts, along with both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Some smaller facilities may consider highly experienced candidates without a master’s degree, but MSN graduates can have a considerable competitive edge.
If you are interested in earning an MSN to become a nurse administrator or manager, choose a Nursing Administration-focused program. Herzing University’s online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration offers the blend of advanced clinical knowledge and management capabilities employers need in their nursing leaders, all in a convenient online format. We offer an MSN-NLA program for BSN holders and an accelerated RN to MSN-NLA program for RNs with an associate degree or RN diploma.
After completing your MSN program, you also have the option to pursue certification as a nurse administrator. There are multiple certification options available, including:
Nurse Executive board certification (NE-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) or Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) certification from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.