The role of the nurse administrator blends business and healthcare expertise to lead, guide and motivate nurses. The unique ability to understand the challenges nurses face on a day-to-day basis provides the nurse administrator with the opportunity to become a role model, mentor and a positive change agent within their healthcare environment.
Many nurses who pursue a role in nursing administration are not yet equipped for the challenges that accompany the position. An understanding of the business side of nursing can provide essential elements to help ensure success.
Online accredited programs, such as the Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration (MSN) from Lamar University, offer courses specific to the needs of nurse leaders. These courses enable nurses to gain expertise and confidence needed to be successful nurse administrators. And the flexibility of online courses allows nurses to fit school into their busy schedules.
About the Nursing Administrator Role
An MSN in Nursing Administration can expand nurses’ career opportunities as well as increase their earning potential. This degree is versatile and can help nurses develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to pursue roles in business, technology and leadership in varied healthcare settings, overseeing processes like:
- Staff management
- Case management
- Nursing informatics
- Technology integration
- Training and professional development
- Quality improvement
- Financial management
- Risk management
Beyond performing these typical nurse administration job duties, the modern nurse administrator can be an important catalyst for innovation in the healthcare sector. A Nursing Administration Quarterly journal article on innovation and disruption in the field outlined evolving nurse leader roles as influencers, validators and strategic advisors. In such roles, nurse administrators are integral to ushering in organizational change such as deconstructing siloed systems to improve interdepartmental collaboration, selecting and implementing new technologies, embracing data-informed decision-making and reshaping policy.
Courses That Can Help You Succeed as You Lead
The rapidly changing healthcare environment has resulted in increasing costs and limited resources for nurse administrators to balance while making sure quality patient care is provided. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic can exacerbate these financial challenges in dramatic ways. For instance, the American Hospital Association estimates America’s hospitals and health systems were hit with $202.6 billion in losses over four months during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In navigating both everyday circumstances and disruptions like the pandemic, nurse administrators rely on skills in budgeting, information technology and human resources to help ensure that patients receive care in an efficient and effective manner. The online courses in Lamar University’s MSN in Nursing Administration program can be beneficial in providing skill-development in these areas and helping prepare nurses for advanced leadership roles and executive positions. Strong leadership skills as well as knowledge of the business side of nursing can help every nurse administrator excel amidst challenging times.
A Closer Look at a Few of Lamar University’s MSN in Nursing Administration Courses
Business Principles for Nurse Leaders: Knowledge of financial and strategic management principles allows nurse administrators to assess and improve the quality of care while making it more cost-effective. This course also covers professional ethics and leadership skills like communication and interprofessional collaboration.
Health Information Systems: Technology is vital for success in healthcare. Nurse administrators often need to explore different aspects of information technology than staff nurses do. Nurse administrators may utilize information systems that aid in gauging staffing needs, improving safety and quality of patient care and maintaining productivity, all the while focusing on achieving positive patient outcomes.
Role Development for Nurse Administrators: A staff nurse may move into the role of nurse administrator without an understanding of the accompanying responsibilities. This course explores the role and the development of skills needed to effectively lead in a healthcare organization.
Directing and Controlling Healthcare Delivery: This course covers aspects of human resources, budgeting and quality improvement models. These areas of knowledge are essential for nurse administrators, who are often responsible for creating policies and managing or supervising other nurses as well as recruiting, hiring and training.
Administration Practicum I and II: The opportunity to gain hands-on experience can provide confidence in this new role. In these two practicum courses, MSN students work with a preceptor in areas of human resources and the planning and organization of healthcare delivery.
Build a Solid Foundation in Nursing Administration
The required job duties, opportunities available and essential skills needed for nurse administrators vary by organization and specific role or position. In addition to the courses listed above, Lamar University offers various other core and concentration area courses that can help prepare nurses for success in any leadership role with an MSN in Nursing Administration.
Learn more about Lamar University’s MSN in Nursing Administration online program.