Nurse Administrator – All You Need to Know in 2023


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    Hello reader, welcome to this informative article about the Nurse Administrator. 

    By the time you are done reading this article, you will understand who a Nurse Administrator is, their duties, Administration Nursing opportunities, and how to become one. 

    In this article, we will cover the following: 

    Who Is A Nurse Administrator?
    How To Become a Nurse Administrator
    The Administrative Jobs For Nurses 
    The Nurse Administrator Salary 

    Let’s get started!

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      Who Is A Nurse Administrator? 

      Nurse Administrators are mainly Nurse Supervisors who oversee the activities of the healthcare team members. 

      They are known to recruit, hire and train nurses on proper nursing care. 

      In some instances, they even create work schedules and conduct performance reviews. 

      Nurse Administrators are often referred to as Nurse Managers, Nurse Directors, or Chief Nursing Officers. 

      However, they do not get involved in direct patient care because the Nurse Administrator job description dictates otherwise. 

      But, their job duties play an important role in patient experiences and outcomes. 

      The Administrators make sure the staff’s motivation levels are on the upside. 

      They ensure that their patients’ experiences and outcomes are positive. 

      They keep their staff motivated and offer the required training.

      Thanks to their managerial roles, most Nurse Administrators possess a strong business sense, great communication skills, amazing time management skills, and great leadership skills. 

      They not only have these administrative skills, but they must have an extensive medical background and training. 

      This is even though they will not interact directly with patients. 

       However, they will often work out of an office and travel and keep more traditional hours than the RN. 

      The Nurse Administrator’s Key Duties


      The Nurse Administrator carries out the following:

      •  Ensuring the budget is well maintained and creating financial reports
      • They also serve as liaisons between the nurses who work under them and the rest of the hospital workers, including the executive team.
      • They work towards establishing policies and procedures to ensure that the staff complies.
      • They create a strategic vision for the healthcare establishment
      • Working with committees and boards to set performance goals 
      • Creating policies and procedures 
      • Overseeing professional development activities 
      • Recruitment and hiring of nurses 
      • Nursing shifts scheduling 

      Work Environment For Nurse Administrators 

      Nurse Administrators work in various healthcare settings with different healthcare systems. 

      Here are some of the common healthcare environments where Nurse Administrators work.

      • Hospitals
      •  Skilled  Nursing and Long-term care facilities 
      • Rehabilitation centers 
      • Mental health facilities 
      • Outpatient clinics
      • Physicians and specialists’ offices.
      • Community health organizations
      • Healthcare systems
      • Government facilities

      How To Become a Nurse Administrator

      Becoming a Nurse Administrator is not any less rigorous than becoming a Registered Nurse

      Most Nurse Administrator requirements are similar to the RNs, but the Nurse Administrator must take it further with more skills and additional education requirements as per the guidelines by the public health authorities. 

      Nurse Education Requirements 

      You must meet certain Nursing Administration education requirements to become a Nurse Administrator.

      To qualify as a Nursing Admin, most Nurse Administrators begin their careers as Registered Nurses, which means they must have earned their bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN), which takes four years to complete. 

      They must undertake an accredited degree program and pass all the relevant areas, including certifications that require them to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and meet all the other licensure requirements to become a qualified Nurse Practitioner first before taking on an administrative position. 

      Every Nurse Administrator must also hold a post-graduate nursing degree such as a Master of Science In Nursing (Master’s degree) or a Doctoral degree along with a great belt of experience in that industry to join this kind of nursing practice.

      That ensures that they have met the Nurse Administrator degree requirements fully. 

      Other Skills Requirements 

      Apart from the education requirements, which are considered the basics, the Nurse Administrator must also have nursing leadership skills that will come in handy in their daily work routine.  

      An RN Administrator needs to develop other skills such as: 

      • Critical thinking 
      • Problem-solving 
      • Emotional Intelligence
      • Interpersonal
      • Analytical
      • Eye for detail
      • Communicative
      • Technical skills

      These skills are very important, especially when it comes to supervising nurses who are professionals who spend their days in highly stressful environments. 

      From time to time, you might not only supervise but also offer support to these nurses and enable them to maintain a positive attitude, remain calm during emergencies, and expand their capabilities without straining when required. 

      These soft skills will not only come in handy when supervising and supporting the nurses under you. 

      They will also come in handy when you have to meet the expectations and current needs of the stakeholders, whether you oversee a single healthcare facility or a network of those healthcare facilities. 

      The Administrative Jobs For Nurses 

      Various roles fall under the Nursing Administration umbrella, and each of them comes with different tasks and different levels of responsibility. 

      We will look at the types of Nurse Administrators and their roles in healthcare settings.  

      Here are the main Administrative Nurse jobs further highlighted: 

      Nurse Shift Supervisor, Charge Nurse, And Nurse Shift Leader 

      All the nurses who act as the direct supervisors or managers of the nursing staff in a unit go by the above titles of Charge Nurse, Nurse Shift Supervisor, and Nurse Shift Leader. 

      Their responsibilities are: 

      • Creating work schedules 
      • Dealing with staffing matters such as call-offs (which occur when nurses are required to go home because of decreased patient load)
      • Make sure all the policies are followed
      • Overseeing patient discharges and admissions
      • Training of new staff 
      • Treatment plans reviewing 

      As you check out the above responsibilities, note that these kinds of nurses hardly give direct patient care, but there are instances where they might have to be involved during an emergency.

      Most Charge Nurses work at hospitals, nursing facilities, and other healthcare facilities that employ nursing units. 

      Nurse Manager 

      There are certified Nurse Managers across various healthcare settings. 

      A Nurse Manager has several duties like the Charge Nurse, but they have additional roles.

      Besides supervision and staffing, the Nurse Managers will be responsible for staff evaluations, hiring, and more personnel responsibilities.  

      Besides, Nurse Managers are not just at the helm during their shifts like Nurse Charges are, but they are always responsible for their units. 

      They have the following  roles: 

      • Ensuring the improvement of patient care quality
      • Staff training 
      • Addressing patient complaints and concerns 
      • Budgeting and ordering supplies 
      • Scheduling and management of leave requests
      • Crisis responses 
      • Working closely with a team working on complicated patient cases

      Hardly do Nurse Managers offer direct patient care. 

      But, they might interact with patients, especially in cases where there are complaints and concerns. 

      Director of Nursing

      The Director of Nursing is a leadership nurse administrating position that oversees various nursing units. 

      This role requires you to be accountable for the care offered by the nursing staff that works under you. 

      The roles of this position are as follows: 

      • Staff needs assessments
      • The creation of job descriptions 
      • Department budget planning 
      • Dealing with staffing issues such as terminations
      • Quality-control and assurance program implementation
      • Creating department policies 
      • Participating in the frequent facility leaders’ meetings

      Generally, from the above roles, we see that the Director of Nursing is actively involved in implementing changes to ensure quality patient care and safety. 

      In most healthcare facilities, the Director of Nursing could also serve as the face of the nursing department and provide communication to other facility leaders, families of patients, patients, and even the public.

      Chief Nursing Officer 

      The Chief Nursing Officer usually takes on the executive role in most healthcare organizations. 

      Most of them will use their nursing knowledge to ensure that operations within the healthcare facility they work in are efficient and meet the expected quality of patient care, budgetary allocations, and other critical concerns. 

      Chief Nursing Officers will often meet with other facility leaders to offer a nursing perspective on any proposed changes. 

      This ensures that any changes proposed and implemented are exactly in line with the nursing best practices.  

      This type of Nursing Administrator handles the following  administrative nursing roles: 

      • New patient programs management 
      • Profit  margins improvement 
      • Creating new policies while working closely with other healthcare executives
      • Conducting quality assessments 
      • Serving as a liaison between other healthcare facility leaders and departments 

      As per the above roles, it is evident that there is no direct patient care.  

      The truth is that the Chief Nursing Officer will spend a good chunk of their time not in inpatient care units but office settings. 

      Still, they are always informed of the goings-on within all the units in their organization. 

      The Nurse Administrator Salary 

      According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Nurse Administrator is an executive employee, and they can earn more than $120,000 annually. 

      The same BLS states that the Nurse Administrator’s senior salary is around $81,000. 

      The Nurse Administrators who work for the government earn a median salary of $112,000, followed closely by hospital nurse leaders who earn around $110,000. 

      Those Nurse Administrators working at outpatient care centers earn a median salary of  $95000, while the ones in physicians’ offices get  $92000. 

      The ones working in nursing and residential care establishments earn a median salary of $97000. 

      With the increasing demand for Registered Nurses over decades, it is evident that the need for these Nurse Administrators in all healthcare facilities countrywide will not wane soon. 

      The Top Paying States For Nurse Administrators 

      Some states pay the Nurse Administrators the highest average salaries and the highest number of medical and health services managers. 

      These key states are as follows: 

      • District of Columbia -$150,040 
      • New York -$147,000 
      • Hawaii – $133,320 
      • California – $ 133,040 
      • Massachusetts- $132,960 

      Top Paying Industries For Nurse Administrators


      Some industries pay the highest salary for a Nurse Administrator job, and they are as follows: 

      • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing – $204,300 
      • Scientific research and development services- $169,240 
      • Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers- $162,880 
      • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing- $159,910
      • Chemical manufacturing -$155,180 


      Nurse Administrators remain one of the most relevant nursing careers in the healthcare industry.  

      We have looked at becoming a Nurse Administrator and the nursing programs that an RN must undergo because healthcare administration requires someone already part of that industry and will apply a nurse perspective in most roles they will undertake to achieve quality patient care. 

      We have also looked at how leadership roles require more than just professional training.

      A Nurse Administrator role requires other additional soft skills for the professional to thrive in the field. 

      With the demand for Nurse Administrators increasing, there is no doubt that the job outlook for this career is bright and worth pursuing. 





      Nurse Journal



      Nurse Beth

      Nurse Beth, Registered nurse (RN). Has more than 10 years of experience helping people get started in their nursing careers. She is an expert and helping people pass their CNA, NCLEX RN, NCLEX PN, HESI A2, and TEAS exams.

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