How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Delaware

Have you ever considered a career in healthcare but are not sure which route to take? If you are organized, personable, and like to lead others, nurse administration might be the path for you.

Nurse administration encompasses many job titles, such as clinic managers, human resource managers, facility managers, and more. Instead of dealing with patients directly, nurse administrators focus on the logistics of healthcare institutions. They are, however, required to have some hands-on experience in the nursing field.

After working for a few years as a nurse, you may want to move into an administrative position. The specifics of each role vary depending on your exact job title, but you can expect to perform duties such as:

  • Hiring, training, and supervising nursing staff
  • Scheduling shifts
  • Handling patient complaints
  • Planning and running staff meetings
  • Creating and adhering to a departmental budget
  • Ensuring staff and facilities are compliant with policies and regulations

While nurse administrators are expected to have a wide variety of skills, they can also expect a high salary. In Delaware, the average nurse administrator makes $86,815 a year, with the highest salaries reaching over $130,031. Nurse administration is a lucrative career with many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those in your community.

First Steps in Becoming a Nurse Administrator in Delaware

The first step to becoming a nurse administrator is gaining professional experience as a traditional nurse. It would be best if you saw first-hand what nursing entails to lead your own group of nurses. Thankfully, Delaware has many great options for nursing degrees.

Most job positions prefer applicants to have a master’s or doctorate in nursing, but your very first step should be to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). This will create a solid base from which you can continue your studies if you choose to pursue a more advanced degree. Before applying to schools, consider your goals, budget, and current situation.

Nursing Leadership Programs in Delaware

Here is a list of some of the top-rated nursing schools in Delaware:

1. University of Delaware

The University of Delaware is a historic university that offers a breadth of valuable courses for future nurse administrators. As a student, you can choose from the traditional undergraduate degree program, accelerated degree program, or RN to BSN program. The accelerated degree program is available for people who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a different field and wish to earn a BSN. Therefore, even if you have already completed your undergraduate studies, you still have to opportunity to go into the nurse administration field. Additionally, their NCLEX pass rate of 96% is one of the best in the state.

2. Delaware Technical Community College

Community college is a great option for those who want a more affordable and flexible option for their schooling. Though the college does not offer a BSN, you will be able to enroll in an online RN-BSN program with the skills you are taught here. Earning an Associate Degree in nursing at Delaware Technical Community College only takes five semesters and is markedly cheaper than other options. Consider this opportunity if you want to minimize your student loans after graduation. And, with an 83.33% pass rate for the NCLEX, this community college offers cheaper tuition without compromising the quality of your education.

3. Wilmington University

Wilmington University (WilmU) has a diverse offering of courses and degree programs. Though it does not offer the traditional BSN program, WilmU has the standard RN to BSN course as well as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Additionally, many of their programs feature online or hybrid learning systems, which offers students even more flexibility with their learning. This hybrid learning system allows students to take advantage of both online and in-person instruction.

4. Delaware State University

Although Delaware State University is a historically Black university, anyone of any race is welcome to attend. The university offers both BSN and MSN programs. By completing clinical trials in the Dover area, students gain hands-on experience and can create a network of local professionals. Those who wish to pursue an MSN degree will be able to concentrate in either nursing education or global leadership, which would set them up nicely for a future career in nurse administration.

Online Schooling

While completing your degree in person has its advantages, there are also benefits to completing your degree online. Online classes give you greater flexibility and usually have a cheaper price tag. If you are interested in non-traditional learning, consider Aspen University for your nursing degree. They have bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees available. The Master of Science in Nursing – Administration and Management course would be the most relevant for aspiring nurse administrators.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)

In order to become a registered nurse (RN) in the state of Delaware, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). It is recommended that you apply for your RN license at least six to eight weeks before you graduate. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that all RNs are capable of performing their duties. This computer-based test is administered by Pearson VUE and has between 75 and 145 multiple-choice questions. The test is pass/fail and is taken for five hours.

Registration for the exam can be done on the Delaware government website after creating a DELPROS account. You must upload several documents to the website, such as a criminal background check, a copy of your driver’s license or official identification card, and a transcript from your current nursing school. After your documents have been approved, you can then register for the test on the Pearson VUE website.

After the NCLEX-RN Exam

Passing the NCLEX-RN is one of many steps in becoming a nurse administrator. After successfully passing the exam, you must gain experience as an RN before moving on to an administration role. You are expected to work as an RN for at least a few years to understand what the position is like so you can better lead people in the future. Each job has unique requirements, so it’s recommended that you first search for the kind of job you want and then try to obtain the skills they are looking for. With this strategy, you’ll be able to prove your competence for the job position you want.

Some of the best places to look for jobs are websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter. These websites frequently update their postings and will allow you to gauge what the current market is like. Check these sites often to find the job that you are looking for.

Continuing Education

After finding a job, you must maintain your skills in Continuing Education (CE) courses. The state of Delaware requires 30 hours of CE courses every two years in order to renew your license. You can pick which courses are most relevant to your specialty or interests, but at least three hours of training must be related to substance abuse. Keep this in mind as you select your coursework.

Luckily, you have many options for accredited courses online. You can even get credit for coursework from your workplace if it has been approved by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Make sure you stay on top of your CE responsibilities in order to keep your nursing position.

More Resources

Networking with your fellow healthcare professionals is an integral part of being a nurse administrator. There are many resources for you to be able to meet, connect with, and exchange ideas with people in your field.

An excellent place to start is the American Nurses Association (ANA). The ANA helps nurses with their professional growth by offering free CE programs, a career center, a regularly updated newsletter, and various events to help you hone your nursing skills and meet like-minded individuals. The ANA also advocates for the rights of nurses on a national level. Getting involved with this organization can give you a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie with your fellow nurses.

Delaware also has its own association for nurses that has been in existence since 1911. The Delaware Nurses Association (DNA) is a great resource for nurses in Delaware who want to advance their career, advocate for their rights, volunteer for the community, or even receive discounts on education, insurance, and student loan refinancing. You can even combine your DNA membership with your ANA membership for as low as $15 per month.

In closing

Though the road to becoming a nurse administrator is long and difficult, it offers myriad benefits upon completion. Nurse administration is a wonderful field to get into if you are looking for a high-paying salary and a career that will make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to this article, make sure to do your own research on which path is best for you to take on your journey to becoming a nurse administrator.