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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Nursing Administration

Majors Overview August 27, 2014

Receive information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Nursing Administration and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification information.

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Program in Nursing Administration

Schools do not typically offer nursing administration degree programs as Bachelor of Science. Rather, those keen on earning a nursing administration degree should consider pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Nursing Administration program. Professional certification as nurse executives can enhance career prospects of graduates; certification norms require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, in addition to a valid nursing license. Candidates may also need to have nursing experience.

Organizational management skills, integrating leadership and the management aspect of nursing are the primary focus areas of the Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree program. Students learn about analyzing data to make practical and clinically sound decisions within healthcare settings and obtain practical work experience within a healthcare facility. Schools may offer specializations in business or medical informatics. Students complete the majority of these master’s programs by attending about 36-45 credit hours of classes. Some schools offer the courses in part-time, online formats to allow attendance by nurses who choose to continue to work while attending the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a nursing bachelor’s degree, in addition to a 3.0 GPA, professional nursing experience, and current registered nursing (RN) licensure. Some schools may also conduct a criminal history check. Additionally, those seeking admission may have to complete a statistics course apart from having to submit a statement of purpose, a resume accompanied by some letters of reference, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The admissions process may include a personal interview.

Coursework

A nursing administration degree program typically incorporates a significant thesis paper or project. Students may also be required to participate in administrative field experiences and complete core coursework that includes topic areas such as:

•Policies and legalities affecting health care systems
•Health care program analysis
•Information science and technology for nurse administrators
•Nursing research methods
•Fiscal breakdown and budgeting for nurse administrators

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek careers in numerous managerial positions.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, job growth rates of 22% have been predicted for medical and health services managers, including nurse managers or administrators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The projection is attributed to expected growth in the healthcare industry and an aging population. In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $88,580 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Nursing administration graduates can seek continued education by earning a PhD in Nursing that would enable them to pursue careers in academia or research. The American Nurses Credentialing Center and other similar organizations offer certification options for these professionals. Through passage of an exam, and satisfaction of work experience and education requirements, students can obtain Nurse Executive Advanced (NEA-BC) and Nurse Executive (NE-BC) designations. Continuing education can maintain certification, which requires renewal every five years.

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