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Level up Your Nursing Career With These Healthcare Administration Roles

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 32% growth in medical and health service managers from 2020 to 2030. This presents an excellent opportunity for nurses to move into various administrative positions.

While executive roles don’t involve as much direct patient interaction, these positions are highly influential in improving patient care and nursing conditions on a broader scale. How can you prepare for such a responsibility?

With a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Administration, you can avail yourself of desirable opportunities in healthcare leadership. Consider a future in one of these four executive roles:

  1. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

Also known as Director of Nursing, Vice President of Nursing or Head Nurse, the CNO’s focus is making sure the nursing unit operates like a well-oiled machine. These professionals don’t work directly with patients but oversee patient treatment. The work is mainly administrative, perfect for those who want a leadership position that shapes healthcare within the organization. These executives advocate for nurses, making sure their voices are heard in the boardroom — and for the best possible patient care. Budgeting, human resources, coordination and department improvements fall under their purview.

As with any executive position, the work of a CNO isn’t patient-focused. However, the business side of healthcare doesn’t mean all the work takes place at a desk. There’s plenty of activity to stay up to date on the latest technologies and procedures, manage staff and solve problems at an administrative level.

Salary alone shouldn’t push you to become a CNO, but it is an appealing benefit. reports the median salary for the role as $241,380, which is quite a bit higher than PayScale‘s report of $135,463 and Glassdoor‘s average of $142,012. Hospital size may play a role in the widescale difference in salaries for this position.

  1. Director of Case Management

The Director of Case Management or Case Manager Director is still involved with patient care, overseeing a team of case managers. The case manager’s goal is to help patients reach optimal function and wellness, which means the Director of Case Management supervises case administration.

Problem-solving, resourcefulness and patient advocacy are essential in this role. For the nurse who wishes they could do more to help patients, Director of Case Management is a good fit. These professionals find and provide resources to help each case manager best serve their clients; they must be mindful of cost-effectiveness outcomes and patient safety.

The Director of Case Management is in charge of training personnel, budgeting and all cases in a supervisory role. Executive nursing roles handle a fair share of paperwork. Goal setting, policy development and fiduciary allocation are all part of the job. The Director of Case Management is called on to help case managers with patient care challenges. lists the median salary for this role as $151,373. ZipRecruiter notes the average salary as $114,149. Education, location and specific duties may affect salary in your area.

  1. Hospice Administrator

If you’d like an executive role with a better balance of administrative duties and direct contact with patients, consider becoming a hospice administrator. These professionals oversee the facilities and care for terminally ill patients. They oversee personnel, budget, equipment and management so that patients may complete their affairs and pass with dignity.

Detail-oriented and well-organized leaders will do well in this role. Hospice administrators need strong communication skills to interface with patients, families and healthcare providers.

Hospice administrators may work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities or as part of homecare-based agencies. These professionals should be passionate about end-of-life care, as they provide comfort and reassurance for the dying and their families while overseeing the best possible care for their terminal conditions. lists the average salary for the job as $74,848. indicates the median salary nationwide is $92,232. As with any position, compensation may vary by region and organization.

  1. Nurse Administrator

Nurses will always fill supervisory or managerial roles. That’s where the nurse administrator steps in. These executives coordinate between departments, manage personnel and departmental operations. Their work isn’t typically patient-facing, but they do have the power to affect change, advocate for nurses and patients and improve patient care in their organization.

Larger organizations like hospitals require nurse administrators to help keep things on track. This administrative position is primarily office-based, but some nurse administrators travel from location to location within a health system. reports this role’s average salary as $95,700. PayScale lists the median salary as $88,621.

Is It Your Time to Shine?

If you’re looking for upper-level career opportunities, it’s time to take charge of your future with an advanced nursing degree. Administration is an attractive career path, and you can increase executive job opportunities and advance your career growth almost immediately by earning your Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Administration.

Learn more about The University of Texas Arlington’s Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Administration online program.

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