For nurses and aspiring nurses alike, assuming a management role is an amazing goal to strive for. From having the ability to make a significant impact on the way medical care is provided to patients to being able to command a lucrative salary, there are many perks in healthcare management roles.
However, those just starting out and those working as nurses may be confused as to how one can become qualified to step into these roles. Fortunately, the process becomes significantly easier when being exposed to some key strategies for becoming qualified for healthcare management roles.
Here are essential degrees and ideal education paths for nurses eyeing management roles.
Starting with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree
While some registered nurses only attend educational programs through the associate level, many registered nurses have gone through BSN programs. The reason for this is that BSN holders are more attractive candidates for nursing roles than their associate-level nurse counterparts because of the thorough educational background they have.
For nurses planning to eventually step into a healthcare management role, obtaining a BSN is vital. Fortunately, there are more BSN program options today than there ever have been before.
Some programs cater directly to full-time professionals. Often, these classes will have flexible schedules and sometimes even some asynchronous courses. In other cases, many BSN programs allow students to complete significant portions of the program online. Flexible and online degree options for nurses make this educational path extremely accessible in the modern world.
However, it must be noted that currently, all nurse clinical training must be conducted in person. Though many are hopeful that technology such as AI, VR, and augmented reality will soon change this, the time hasn’t come yet.
Gaining Nursing Experience
To be qualified to step into healthcare management roles, it’s more than likely that one will need a significant amount of healthcare experience. This being the case, after obtaining a BSN, one must become licensed and start working as a nurse.
The experience one gains as a nurse in the field will help one gain key leadership skills and a deeper understanding of medical processes and healthcare team dynamics. Beyond this, working as a nurse provides ample opportunities for one to make connections with other professionals who can be helpful in the process of stepping into a healthcare management role.
Furthering One’s Education
While a BSN and nursing experience are admirable and impressive feats, to truly qualify oneself for a healthcare management role, one will likely have to further one’s education. However, there are many advanced degree paths that can help one become qualified for advanced management roles.
Firstly, there are a variety of master’s level degree programs that can imbue one with special professional skills. For example, one can pursue an MBA with a focus on healthcare management or a Master’s degree in healthcare administration.
However, given that many working nurses like their field, following a nursing educational path can sometimes be more fulfilling. In these cases, it’s helpful for working nurses to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree or DNP.
What’s amazing about this educational career path is that it qualifies nurses for a variety of advanced roles. Beyond healthcare management, this also includes roles such as nurse practitioner and other advanced nursing roles.
Given the room becoming a DNP offers one to explore new roles, it’s an amazing educational path that can help any nurse achieve their career goals.
Making Connections in Healthcare
Though it’s not always ideal for everyone, the truth is that in many career fields connections can play a huge role in one’s ability to step into exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative careers. Sadly, this fact also exists in healthcare.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to land amazing healthcare management roles. Rather, it means that while one is becoming qualified for these roles in educational and work settings, one should also be mindful of making connections.
In particular, it’s incredibly helpful to cultivate relationships with others who work in advanced management positions. This is because these individuals have the power to help one land their first management role and climb the career ladder.
Nurses Make Amazing Healthcare Managers
Whether one is working toward becoming a nurse or is a veteran nurse, stepping into a healthcare management role is well within the realm of possibility. The process involves furthering one’s education, putting time into growing as a professional and leader, and making ripe connections. As such, any nurse willing to put in the time and effort is capable of stepping into a healthcare management role.