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What Can I Do with an MSN in Nursing Administration?

Nursing leaders are in high demand due to the challenges facing the healthcare system today. Issues such as an aging population, evolving regulations and staffing challenges are creating an influx of opportunities for nurses to take on management and leadership roles.

The role of a nursing leader is pivotal within healthcare organizations as these individuals are responsible for making critical decisions that help organizations and units deliver superior care to patients. Nursing leaders also ensure the satisfaction of staff and help organizations achieve their strategic business goals. This unique combination of responsibilities requires advanced nursing training and strong business acumen.

If you’re interested in this field, but aren’t sure if an M.S. in Nursing with a focus in administration is right for you, this article will help clarify how this degree applies to the responsibilities and careers within nursing administration.

What Does a Nurse Administrator Do?

Professionals who work in nursing administration have multifaceted responsibilities. Nurse administrators serve as the connection point between patients, nursing and support staff and organizational leadership. 

Let’s look at the typical job duties of a nurse administrator:

  • Oversee patient care to ensure nursing staff are adhering to best practices
  • Manage staff hiring, onboarding and scheduling to ensure proper unit coverage
  • Oversee training and development of nursing staff
  • Develop and maintain unit budgets and allocation
  • Create internal policies that align with state and federal regulations
  • Report to leadership and advocate for resources that will improve patient care
  • Align day-to-day operations with larger organizational vision, goals and objectives

What is an MSN in Nursing Administration?

An MSN in nursing administration is designed to help you manage this multitude of responsibilities and thrive within diverse healthcare settings. While MSN programs typically offer multiple specializations or focus areas, an MSN in nursing administration combines principles of advanced nursing and evidence-based practice with advanced management and leadership training.

A typical MSN in nursing administration requires the successful completion of 35-45 credit hours and degree completion typically ranges between 15-24 months. Franklin University’s 33-credit-hour program can be completed in as few as 16 months, making it one of the fastest MSN in nursing administration programs you can complete. 

Upon completing an MSN in nursing administration, you will be prepared to: 

  • Undertake the ethical, legal and clinical roles and responsibilities of advanced nursing 
  • Provide population-focused care that meets the needs of diverse communities
  • Promote evidence-based care and develop systems for quality improvement
  • Adhere to health policies and regulations
  • Understand the various healthcare delivery systems and how they are managed, financed and organized

Why Should You Earn an MSN in Nursing Administration?

An MSN in nursing administration takes time, dedication and financial resources. Nurses who are interested in this path want to ensure that they will get a solid return on their investment. Let’s look at the outcomes of earning an MSN in nursing administration and how they can shape the future of your career.

  • Qualify for promotions within your organization or new opportunities with top employers
  • Find opportunities in new industries, such as consulting, pharmaceuticals or insurance
  • Earn credibility within the healthcare industry and open the door to influential roles in health policy and administration
  • Increase your salary expectations both in the short and long term
  • Be a leader and mentor for the next generation of nurses 
  • Become a sought-after consultant and advisor for executive-level leadership teams

15 Careers You Can Pursue with an MSN in Nursing Administration

An MSN in nursing administration can prepare you for a wide variety of management and leadership positions that will meet the increasing demand for medical and health services managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions for medical and health services managers will increase by 32% by 2030. This creates a wealth of opportunities for master’s-prepared nurses to rise through the ranks of healthcare organizations.

Let’s look at 15 of the most popular careers for nurses with an MSN in nursing administration, as well as each position’s median advertised salary based on Lightcast™ aggregated job posting data.

1. Charge Nurse | $75K: Charge nurses are responsible for seamless and efficient patient flow in an office, clinic or hospital unit. They provide supervision for support staff who manage patient intake and work closely with physicians to ensure quality of care.

2. Unit Manager | $78.7K: Unit managers oversee day-to-day operations within their assigned unit, hospital wing or floor. This includes supervising and directing nurses and staff, as well as interfacing with patients and their families.

3. Clinical Quality Manager | $80.3K: Clinical quality managers make sure that the quality of care being provided is consistent, meets government and industry regulations and aligns with patient expectations.

4. Nurse Consultant | $81.2K: Nurse consultants act as impartial third parties who evaluate patient cases or general practices from both a legal and medical standpoint. These professionals may work as part of a larger consulting firm or independently. 

5. Nurse Case Manager | $82.7K: Nurse case managers create, implement and evaluate healthcare plans for patients that require ongoing medical care, including patients who are elderly, recovering from serious injuries or managing chronic illnesses.

6. Clinical Leader | $83.7K: Clinical leaders promote high standards of patient care by utilizing evidence-based practice, efficient healthcare delivery models and the latest healthcare innovations.

7. Nurse Manager | $86.4K: Nurse managers are responsible for personnel and administrative tasks with a unit or organization, which includes making management and budgetary decisions, setting work schedules, coordinating meetings and hiring new staff.

8. Nurse Educator | $88.4K: Nurse educators work in college classrooms, clinical environments and community centers teaching student nurses using an approved curriculum, as well as their own expertise and current developments in the field of nursing.

9. Nurse Administrator | $91.6K: Nurse administrators lead teams of nurses, as well as oversee operational aspects for departments including budgeting, staffing and ensuring that regulatory requirements are met.

10. Director of Nursing | $97.5K: Directors of nursing work at hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities supervising the nursing staff and overseeing patient care as well as administrative functions such as record keeping and budgeting.

11. Public Health Director | $103.8K: Public health directors interpret, communicate and enact health policies, laws and regulations based on state and federal mandates regarding medical and public health issues.

12. Vice President of Nursing | $108.5K: Vice presidents of nursing lead planning, administration and implementation of standards and policies concerning patient care and nursing philosophy. Their responsibilities include oversight for nursing staff assignments, healthcare IT, patient management and policy compliance.

13. Director of Clinical Quality | $113.9K: Directors of clinical quality develop, implement and support the vision and strategic plan for producing top-quality clinical outcomes. They often collaborate with leadership and across disciplines to ensure standards are being met or exceeded.

14. Director of Patient Care Services | $114.9K: Directors of patient care services ensure that patients are receiving the proper care—from admission through discharge. They are also responsible for overseeing patient complaints and maintaining compliance with relevant internal policies and external regulations. 

15. Chief Nursing Officer | $143.1K: Chief nursing officers ensure all daily nursing operations for a health facility or system run smoothly while developing a nursing environment that values excellence in clinical care and research.

Find the Right MSN in Nursing Administration Program to Advance Your Career

There is distinct value in earning your MSN in nursing administration—but all programs are not created equally. As a busy, working nurse you need to find a program that will support your unique needs, while providing the high-quality education that will help you succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Franklin University offers an online M.S. in Nursing - Nurse Administrator program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This designation showcases Franklin’s commitment to meeting the highest standard for nursing education and developing curriculum that meets today’s industry needs. Franklin’s MSN in nursing administration is taught by seasoned industry professionals, which combined with in-field practicum experience will give you the expertise to reach the next level in your career.

Explore the M.S. in Nursing - Nurse Administrator degree to see if this program is the right fit for your career goals.

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