Nurse Administrator


A nurse administrator (often called a nurse executive) generally completes a Master’s program, either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on administration, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or Master of Health Administration (MHA) or a combination of these through dual-degree programs. Administration degrees result in an increase in rank at place of employment. Nurse administration programs train you on management principles, employee relations, organization development, and policy planning.

Job Duties and Career Opportunities for Administration Graduates

Master’s level nurses manage healthcare facility staff and nursing personnel. Other job duties include payroll management, budgeting, proposal writing, policy and procedure manual maintenance, and education and training course development. Nurse administrators have more prestigious career options than staff RNs. Some of the roles of a nursing administration professional include:

  • Nurse Administrator – A management professional who supervises a group of nurses and allocates resources to personnel.
  • Vice President of Nursing – Nurses who work in this career are often referred to as the chief nursing executive. These professionals manage healthcare workers and administrative personnel.
  • Postsecondary Nursing Educator – Nurses who work in this position focus on the research and study of nursing, as well as educating other professionals. They design course, develop syllabi, evaluate performance of staff, and enforce learning.

Nurse Administrator Educational Requirements

A MSN in administration and a MHA prepares nurses to effectively manage nursing staff and healthcare services. Some schools offer a dual-degree option providing both MSN and MHA during the same program. Other online colleges and universities offer a dual-degree option that provides both a MSN and MBN during the same course of study.

A student can obtain degrees in several Master’s-level programs. The ANCC offers credentialing for nurses in this area of practice. These include:

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Nursing and Healthcare Education

Courses of Study of a Nurse Administrator Program

The MSN/MHA or MSN/MBA dual-programs offer nurses with a blend of healthcare business skills and advanced nursing training. Most MSN programs address advanced practice concepts, nursing theory, and diagnosis and treatment. Many MHA programs focus on economics, finance, quality improvement, strategic planning, marketing, and policy. Most MSN programs that have a specialty focus in administration also provide courses in these areas.

Administration Healthcare Professional Salaries

According to most web sources, nurse administrators earn an annual salary from $70,000 to $100,000 per year. This pay depends on many factors, including years of experience, degree level, location of worksite, and type of employment facility.


ANA (2013):
BLS (2013):
Nurse.Org (2013):

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