A nurse executive is an administrative professional within the field of nursing who serves as a role model for the organization and who also helps design patient care systems for the best outcomes. If you are currently a nurse or you are studying to work in the growing healthcare field, it is important to consider all of the different paths that you can travel down. From research and patient-facing positions to education and administrative roles, there is a lot more to nursing than the average person knows. Here is what life would look like if you chose to be a nursing executive:
What Does a Nurse Executive Do?
Every healthcare organization has a mission whether it is a state-funded hospital or for-profit skilled care facility. It is the nurse executive’s job to help carry out the organization’s mission by helping shape healthcare policy and helping the staff within the nursing department deliver the best care possible.
The actual duties of a nursing executive will depend on the size of the organization and the type of facility, according to Discover Nursing. In most settings, executives are administrators who communicate between departments, coordinate continuing education for nursing team members, and design patient care plans. It is also the executive’s role to oversee patient care delivery, create budgets, and develop new procedures to identify issues affecting the quality of the care delivered.
Where Do Nurse Executives Work?
Nurse executives work in a variety of different healthcare settings. If you become a qualified nurse executive you could find job opportunities with hospitals, home health agencies, healthcare clinics, rehabilitation centers, schools of nursing, and other healthcare organizations. Some executives also serve as consultants for several different facilities in health systems.
How Much Do Nursing Executives Make?
Since an executive in nursing is a manager who specializes in administration they are compensated very well. If money is a major motivator for you, it is helpful to know what the average salary is for nurse executives in your area. Since salaries are dependent on your geographical location and your range of disciplines, there is not a single figure that can help you pinpoint how much you might make. The range is between $77,600 and $140,000 per year, according to Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow.
How Can You Get Qualified to Work as a Nursing Executive?
The best executives are strong leaders who possess excellent communication skills. You also need to be a good decision-maker with the ability to problem solve. If you possess these inherent skills, you need to study for a minimum of a master’s degree. While a master’s degree might be suitable for some smaller facilities, most prefer executives with a doctorate-level degree majoring in nursing administration.
Since nurse executives have more responsibilities now than they once did, the career outlook for professionals in this occupation now looks more positive. This means that more positions are opening up in the upcoming years. If you want to fill a leadership role and you possess advanced nursing skills, you could be the perfect fit.
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Start by enrolling in the appropriate advanced degree program and then consider seeking positions in upper-level positions like public health strategy or nursing consulting. With experience in theses similar positions, you will be ready to compete for some of the top-level nurse executive positions available through highly respected health care facilities.