Take Your Nursing Career to the Next Level with a Graduate Certificate in Nursing Administration

A career in nursing offers the chance to really make a difference in the world and the lives of the patients you treat. It’s likely this is why you chose to pursue a career in this field in the first place.

However, you may feel like you can contribute even more, and your leadership skills are itching to surface. This is likely how you stumbled across getting a certificate in nursing administration.

But what exactly will this certificate do for you, and how do you get one? This article will cover everything you need to know about nursing administration and how to take your nursing career to the next level.

What is Nursing Administration?

Nursing administration involves taking your knowledge as a nurse to the next level and using it to lead and manage nursing and healthcare organizations. A nurse administrator could look after the following in a healthcare organization:

  • Overseeing daily operations of healthcare facilities and nursing practice
  • Managing staff and resources
  • Implementing and overseeing safety and quality control measures
  • Budgeting and fiscal planning

A career in nursing administration is a chance to shape the future of healthcare services. It’s a career suited to people with exceptional organizational, leadership, and communication skills.

What You Can Do With A Nurse Administrator Certificate Program

A nurse administration graduate certificate program will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a nurse administrator. After completing the course, you could even pursue other management roles in healthcare organizations.

With a graduate certificate, you’ll be able to have a bigger impact on the processes and overall organizational structure of a facility you work in. Instead of tending to individual patients, you could be in charge of managing and leading the nursing sector in that facility.

There are a number of different positions you could set your sights on if you complete a graduate certificate in nurse administration, which include:

  • Nurse leader
  • Patient care director
  • Head nurse
  • Nurse manager
  • Director of nursing
  • Charge nurse
  • Chief nursing officer

Besides gaining the opportunity to try out for these varying positions, you can get some other great benefits from the program.

5 Benefits of a Nurse Administrator Program

With a nursing administration graduate certificate in hand, you’ll be able to make a real difference in the nursing and healthcare industry. Here are some other benefits:

1. Fast-track your career

If you already know you want to be in a leadership position, completing many more years of study can seem like a long way to get there.

With a nursing administration certificate program, you can learn the important skills you need to fast-track your career to a leadership position without all the extra years of study. You’ll gain the skills you need to get into the market fast.

2. Gain advanced leadership skills

To be a part of the nursing leadership in a healthcare organization, you need a specific skill set to set you apart. But without being taught this specific skill set, it’s hard to get started. Nursing administration courses will give you all the leadership tools you need to succeed in your career.

3. Increase your earning potential

If you’re starting to feel like your nursing career has an earning potential ceiling, getting a certificate in nursing administration is a great way to overcome this.

With a nursing administration certificate in your back pocket, you open yourself up to leadership and management opportunities. In general, these types of specialized managerial positions increase your earning potential.

4. Gain advanced knowledge

Graduate certificate programs focusing on nursing administration will equip you with advanced, streamlined knowledge. Instead of wading through a sea of information with further nursing degree studies, these graduate certificate programs are focused on the knowledge you need to pursue a nursing administration role.

5. Have a real impact on the industry

When you’re a nurse, you have a direct impact on your patients’ lives day to day. But it’s difficult to impact and change things on a bigger scale. With a nurse administrator course, you’ll be able to make changes and steer the future of the healthcare industry as a whole.

Nurse Administrator Certificate Program Requirements

Requirements to get into a nursing management certificate program vary between educational institutions. But at the very least, you need a bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN degree), and you need to be a registered nurse (RN). Some institutions will even need you to have a master’s (Master of Science in Nursing or MSN degree).

Besides these qualifications for nursing management, some other educational institutions may ask you to:

  • Have 2-3 years of nursing experience before you can enter the program
  • Take and pass an entrance exam to qualify
  • Provide letters of recommendation from previous programs or employers
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0

Each program is different, so you’ll need to do your research based on your qualifications. This way, you’ll be able to determine the best place for you to apply for graduate studies in nursing management.

There is a possibility of doing online programs, whereafter you can seek credentials from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Organization of Nuse Executives.

Job Outlook in Nursing Administration

The job outlook for a career in nursing administration is positive. The employment of medical and health service managers is expected to increase by 28% between 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This increase is linked to two important factors.

Firstly, it’s linked to employees leaving the industry, either for other career opportunities or to retire. Secondly, it’s linked to the fact that between 2021 and 2031, many baby boomers will reach old age. This is generally when more health issues arise. As such, there will likely be greater demand for healthcare because of this.

Top Nurse Administrator Certificate Programs

When deciding which graduate certificate program is best for you, you’ll need to consider various factors.

What requirements does the nursing administration certificate program stipulate, and do you meet them? Will the program be an online graduate certificate or in-person, and would online learning or in-person learning would suit you best? How expensive is the program, and what can you realistically afford? How long will the program take, and will you have the capacity for it? Do you need to first complete an MSN degree, or is a BSN degree enough?

Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, dive into the top nurse administrator certificate programs below:


Is a graduate certificate different from a master’s degree in nurse administration?

Yes. A graduate certificate program is a shorter career-boosting course, while a master’s course is a full academic program with many years of study. With the former, you’ll come out with a certificate, while with the latter, you’ll come out with a master’s degree. When deciding which kind of course to choose, consider your career goals and what you’re trying to achieve with a course.

How long does it take to complete a graduate certificate nursing administration course?

It depends on the institution you’re enrolled with. These courses generally last from a few months up to a year. The time it takes to complete it will also likely be influenced by whether you’re doing an online program or an in-person program and whether you’re doing it part-time or full-time. Online nursing programs are often completed at different rates than in-person programs.

Are there any skills or competencies I should already have before applying to a graduate certificate nursing administration course?

Besides the requirements outlined in this article, you don’t need any specific skills or competencies. The program will teach you these skills. But you should feel like you would be interested in a managerial position and should feel comfortable being a leader. In other words, you probably shouldn’t take the course if you hate taking the reigns and being in charge of people and processes.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a registered nurse with a knack for leadership, management, and communication, getting a graduate certificate in nurse administration is a great career-boosting option to consider. Whether you’re looking for an online graduate certificate or an in-person course, this program will help you reach your professional goals.

When choosing a graduate certificate program, ensure you know how much tuition you can afford, how much time you can commit to, and what program structure would best suit your current lifestyle.

Overall, getting this kind of accreditation can boost your leadership skills, help you increase your earning potential, and allow you to make a real and tangible positive impact on the healthcare industry and the people who benefit from it.


Explore more information on graduate nursing administration and management graduate certificate programs.

Find out more about post-master’s nursing administration programs.

Learn more about the nursing world in the U.S.