How To Become a Nurse Administrator in Washington, D.C.

Becoming a nurse administrator is a step that many nurses who are registered to work in Washington, D.C. take to advance their careers. Nurses who display a knack for leadership in addition to their typical responsibilities are often well-suited to the role of nurse administrator. If you’re a registered nurse in Washington, D.C. who’s interested in going further in their career, it’s a good idea first to understand the process of becoming a Nurse Administrator.

Whereas registered nurses are responsible for directly caring for their patients, nurse administrators assume a more managerial role. Specifically, nurse administrators oversee the registered nurses who report to them and must track their nurses’ daily activities. Nurse administrators also collaborate with their healthcare setting’s internal stakeholders, such as hospital board members, policymakers and providers.

Being considered for the role of nurse administrator begins with licensing. Registered nurses in Washington, D.C. become eligible for a nurse administrator position once they pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and receive an advanced degree such as a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science (BSN). Depending on their potential employer, registered nurses may also need additional degrees such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to be considered for a nurse administrator position.

These days, registered nurses can thankfully pursue their advanced degree programs partially or completely online. Hybrid and online advanced degree programs allow registered nurses to continue working while pursuing their continued education partially or completely remotely. Registered nurses who are interested in becoming nurse administrators should verify that their university or college of choice is an institution accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Although registered nurses may receive advanced degrees from institutions that lack accreditation from one or both aforementioned accrediting entities, they run the risk of being deemed ineligible by potential employers for the position of nursing administrator.

What Additional Experience Do You Need to Become a Nurse Administrator?

Once a registered nurse has obtained a BSN or MSN degree, they must also ensure they have real-life nursing experience. Employers seeking to fill nurse administrator positions typically look for candidates who can demonstrate at least five years of experience working as a registered nurse.

Registered nurses who want to become nurse administrators should also consider volunteer work alongside a current nurse administrator and leadership roles that demonstrate to potential employers a willingness to pursue additional experience.

Reasons To Pursue a Master’s Degree in Nursing

To become a registered nurse, one must first obtain a two-year associate degree and become licensed by the state where they want to work. And while many registered nurses are satisfied with the responsibilities and salaries that come with their position, additional benefits come with obtaining a BSN and MSN degree.

Registered nurses who hold a BSN degree can make, on average, as much as $30,000 more annually than registered nurses who hold two-year associate degrees; nurses who pursue further education to obtain a master’s degree in nursing may earn as much as $50,000 more annually than registered nurses with BSN degrees. They become eligible to assume positions with greater responsibilities.

Notably, nurses who obtain an MSN degree become eligible to become nurse administrators. Their graduate programs prepare them for the leadership-oriented responsibilities that nurse administrators must undertake, such as adhering to healthcare policies, onboarding and training new nurses, and overseeing hospital budgets.

Washington, D.C. Schools With Nursing Programs

The list below covers accredited schools in Washington, D.C. that offer BSN and MSN programs for nurses interested in advancing their careers. Keep in mind that Washington, D.C.’s geographical area is small compared to many other states, so its number of nursing schools and available nursing programs is relatively limited.

1. University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) offers an R.N. to BSN nursing program that is entirely online, and each course can be undertaken virtually. UDC has been delivering its R.N. to BSN program in a hybrid capacity for more than a decade. It recently reworked the program to accommodate 11 courses that may be finished in fewer than 16 months.

Those interested in taking UDC’s R.N. to BSN nursing program may apply after paying a $55 non-refundable application fee. Students accepted into the program must pay a $134 non-refundable fee to meet with a student advising specialist who conducts a background audit, drug screening, and shot record verification. Undergraduate residents of Washington, D.C. must pay $320 per credit hour; undergraduate metro residents (Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Arlington County, Alexandria County, and Fairfax County) must pay $374 per credit hour. Undergraduate non-residents must pay $680 per credit hour.

Students enrolled in UDC’s R.N. to BSN program must complete 11 nursing courses, each delivered virtually over six weeks. Students may take classes one at a time, and the ACEN has approved UDC’s curriculum knowledge requirements. To complete UDC’s R.N. to BSN program, one hundred twenty credit hours must be earned.

2. Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University, founded as a women’s college in 1904, allows students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in two years in a fully online capacity via its RN-to-MSN program. Nurses registered to work in Washington, D.C. and with an associate degree or hospital diploma may pursue a BSN degree, and Trinity Washington University allows these students to apply nine credits earned toward their MSN degree.

Students who earn their BSN degree from Trinity Washington University may advance toward the school’s MSN program and concentrate in either nurse administration or nurse education. The BSN program helps registered nurses broaden their knowledge of patient management and clinical application, while the MSN program expands students’ understanding of management and leadership within the role of a director or hospital unit manager.

Trinity Washington University’s tuition for its RN-to-MSN program is $840 per credit hour earned. However, employees who work for certain D.C.-area employers may be eligible for discounts.

3. George Washington University

George Washington University (GWU) has long held a national reputation for excellence in nursing education. This is due in no small part to the university’s three-track nursing education: GWU students may earn a BSN and MSN degree as well as a doctorate.

Unique to this school is a prominent level of program diversification which emphasizes engagement with cutting-edge technology and familiarity with the nursing industry’s expectations of its workforce. GWU has a competitive acceptance rate of 41%, offers students multiple programs for certificates and continued education post-graduation, and boasts a graduation rate of 79%. Students must pay $18,819 per semester.

4. Georgetown University

Ivy League member school Georgetown University (G.U.) established its School of Nursing and Health Studies in 1903 and offers students programs to obtain BSN and MSN degrees and doctoral degrees. Bachelor’s programs at G.U. emphasize education in areas including health policy and management, clinical nursing, and public health.

Students enrolled in G.U.’s bachelor’s programs may major in global health, healthcare policy and management, nursing, and human science. For those enrolled in G.U.’s Master’s programs, studies cater toward students whose academic backgrounds demonstrate an interest in MSN degrees. Programs for M.S. degrees available at G.U. focus on clinical nurse leadership, adult gerontology acute care nursing, and family nursing. G.U. offers doctoral programs for students interested in nurse anesthesia, philosophy in nursing, and nursing practice. G.U. has indicated that it plans to establish a School of Nursing and a School of Health by July 1, 2022, which will continue to offer the university’s current nursing programs.

Considering its status as an Ivy League school, it is no surprise that G.U. is a world-class institution whose acceptance rate is very low: only 16% of applications are admitted to the school, although G.U.’s graduation rate is an impressive 95%. Students must pay a per-semester cost of $26,150 to attend G.U. and may pursue degree types including B.S./BSNs and MSNs as well as Accelerated BSNs and MSNs.

5. The Catholic University of America

The Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America oversees the nursing programs that the university offers. Students may earn certification in post-graduate areas of focus and pursue further education that concentrates on management roles and specialized differentiation in professional nursing.

The Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America currently has a general acceptance rate of 83%. Its nursing programs are designed to introduce students to areas of study necessary to take and complete advanced licensure in nursing and certification exams. The university’s graduation rate is 67% and has a tuition cost of $21,650 per semester. Students enrolled in the Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America may pursue degree types that include B.S./BSNs, Accelerated BSNs, MSNs, RN-to-MSNs, and PhDs.