In many career fields, one’s training isn’t confined to a box. A carpenter might get into industrial construction or use their foundational education to progress towards more decorative woodworking. An attorney can choose between a prosecution role and a defense one. Those interested in the culinary arts might choose cooking over baking.
In the nursing field, there are many opportunities for nursing professionals to diversify. For example, various job opportunities exist within the sector of administration. Nurses can also expand beyond the traditional roles of Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) or a “general” nursing administrator.
The following represents five unique healthcare administration jobs nurses can achieve with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Administration. The accompanying salary information is not set in stone but gives nurses an idea of their earning potential.
1. Clinical Manager
Clinical managers supervise the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility or specialty department. They oversee staffing, compliance with regulations, implementing policies and budget management. A key element of their role is ensuring that the clinical services are of the highest quality. With a solid background in informatics, financial management and legal issues obtained from an MSN in Nursing Administration program, graduates are well-prepared for this position.
According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a clinical manager in the U.S. is approximately $77,000.
2. Nurse Manager
Nurse managers, much like clinical managers, oversee nursing units with a more specific focus on nursing care. They are responsible for recruitment, training, scheduling and evaluating nursing staff, as well as ensuring that patient care adheres to quality standards. The advanced nursing leadership skills gained from an MSN in Nursing Administration program are invaluable for nurse managers.
Per Indeed.com, the average annual salary for a nurse manager in the U.S. is approximately $100,227.
3. Nurse Leader
Nurse leaders are innovative thinkers and drivers of change in healthcare organizations. They may not have direct management responsibilities but instead focus on long-term strategic planning, mentoring and advocating for policy changes that improve patient care and nursing practices. The legal and financial aspects of an MSN in Nursing Administration curriculum, such as that offered by Radford University, equip nurse leaders to advocate for policies.
Salary.com reports the average annual salary for a nurse leader varies widely depending on the specific role and organization, but it often ranges from approximately $85,000 to $105,000.
4. Director of Nursing
Directors of nursing have the monumental task of overseeing all nursing operations within a healthcare facility. Their responsibilities encompass staffing, budgeting, establishing policies and ensuring compliance with regulations. Their role is critical in setting the tone and culture for nursing care. The comprehensive education provided by MSN programs, particularly in nursing leadership, makes graduates ideal candidates for this position.
As of 2023, the average annual salary for a director of nursing in the U.S. is approximately $98,000, per Indeed.com.
5. Nurse Consultant
Nurse consultants offer expert advice to healthcare organizations, legal firms, insurance companies and others. They analyze healthcare data, assess clinical practices and provide recommendations for improving patient care and compliance. The well-rounded elements of the MSN program, especially in informatics and legal issues, are particularly beneficial for this role.
According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for a nurse consultant is approximately $91,000.
Build Your Nursing Administration Foundation With an MSN Degree
An MSN degree can open doors to an array of unique and diverse career opportunities. These roles are vital in shaping the healthcare landscape, ensuring quality patient care and advocating for positive change within the industry.
Specifically, Radford University’s online MSN in Nursing Administration program offers courses dedicated to up-leveling nurses’ knowledge and skill sets. For example, nursing administrators must be familiar with financial literacy. The Financial Management in Healthcare course discusses the “terminology, tools, and methods of financial management in healthcare organizations.” This is important, as the healthcare economic climate is ever-changing.
Another key course is Quality & Safety in Healthcare. When quality and safety suffer, nurse administrators are often the go-to resource for researching solutions. And the Healthcare Systems & Policy course explores how nurses in administration roles can influence policy implementation and effect change should policies be ineffective.
This online program can be completed in as few as 12 months, so nurses can start pursuing upper-level careers sooner rather than later. This accelerated pace gives them an edge over other nurses in the field.
Learn more about Radford University’s online MSN in Nursing Administration program.