How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Massachusetts

Nurse Administrators are leaders within their communities from both a care and business perspective. Their skills run the gamut from interpersonal to clinical, and they’re often counted on to bring a sense of connection and business acumen to their place of work.

A Nurse Administrator supervises nurses and certain healthcare team members in everything from hospital departments to physician’s offices to long-term care facilities and more. They’re often responsible for hiring and reviewing nurses as well as overseeing work schedules, budgets and continued training. Nurse Administrators may also write and enforce policy while ensuring everything runs smoothly for patients and staff alike.

How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Massachusetts

In order to be a Nurse Administrator, you’ll want to start by becoming an RN. This typically requires a four-year baccalaureate degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but there are programs that are a bit more flexible if you’re working on a longer timeline. Once you’ve earned your BSN and become a nurse, you’ll want to give yourself at least one to two years to practice as an RN before pursuing a graduate degree in nursing administration. Graduate degrees aren’t required to become a Nurse Administrator, but you’re often a more competitive candidate the more education and leadership experience you have under your belt.

Graduate degrees will also help prepare you to take national exams like the Nursing Executive certification (NE-BC), which is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). While you could still attain a position as a Nurse Administrator if you’re a seasoned leader and RN, working toward these additional certifications could give you an edge on the market. The projected growth rate for the Nurse Administrator profession is 32%, which means there will be ample opportunities for jobs now and in the future. Leadership is a complex and evolving field in the medical world and stepping up to fill those higher-level roles requires a particular set of skills. If you’re in a place where you want to work full-time while going to school, you’ll want to check out some of the online and hybrid programs below. Choosing the right fit will set you up for success and allow you to make the most of your continuing education.

Best Nursing Leadership and Administration Programs in Massachusetts

1. American International College

American International College (AIC) is a private college in the center of Springfield that sits on 72 acres of land and enrolls around 1,531 graduate students. While the school has a robust graduate program, class sizes remain small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. The school was founded in 1885 to offer education to immigrants coming to America through New York.

AIC offers an MSN with a Nursing Administrator concentration that can be completed online. The program was designed to be accessible to working RNs and features courses like leadership, policy, pathophysiology, pharmacology and more. Students will also be expected to take two practicums in which they’ll be mentored by a Nurse Administrator in the field and present a project.

In order to be admitted into the program, students must hold a baccalaureate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and an active RN license. Additionally, you’ll need to pay a $50 application fee and submit official transcripts, a copy of your RN license, two letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Because the program is online, it’s only approved to be delivered in certain states. For those who live outside of Massachusetts or Connecticut, they’re encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Office for more information.

2. Endicott College

Endicott College (EC) is a private college located in Beverly with a 235-acre oceanfront campus about 20 miles north of Boston. EC boasts small class sizes emphasizing hands-on instruction with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 and graduate class sizes averaging around seven people.

The college offers an MSN with a concentration in Nursing Administration with coursework focusing on legal and ethical issues, economics, finances, administration and management. Students will also have the opportunity to do an internship with a nursing leader in order to get hands-on experience. Courses are offered in a hybrid learning model so that students can adjust their schedules to accommodate both work life and school.

To be accepted, prospective students must first complete an application and submit a $50 fee. Then, you’ll need to send in your official transcripts demonstrating a GPA of at least 3.3 as well as two letters of recommendation, an essay about your career goals, a copy of your RN license and a CV. Additionally, students will need to have completed an introductory statics course as well as an interview.

3. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) is a public research university that’s part of the University of Massachusetts system located in Dartmouth. The school enrolls around 1,884 graduate students and offers 42 master’s degree programs with a student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. The nursing program is among those highly ranked in the US and has the added benefit of a global perspective, which can give graduates an edge in the job market.

UMassD has an online MSN with a Global Public Health concentration that could appeal to those looking to work in the US and in an international setting. Students in the program complete core courses in statistical analysis, nursing theory, biostatistics and epidemiology, informatics, leadership and more. The degree also requires students to take a practicum in a global public health nursing practice that is at least 112 hours.

Prospective students will need to submit a statement of purpose, resume, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts that show evidence of a BSN with at least a 3.0 GPA and an active RN license. Suppose you have a BS or a BA degree in a field outside of nursing. In that case, UMassD also offers a pathway through the Graduate Admissions Program (GAP) in which students can take a transition course that will allow them to create a portfolio documenting how they achieved undergraduate nursing outcome objectives. By taking this path, students can demonstrate their eligibility for enrollment in the MSN program.

4. Boston College

Boston College (BC) is a private Jesuit research university located in Chestnut Hill, which is about 6 miles west of downtown Boston. The school enrolls around 5,000 graduate students while still maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. BC was the first institution of higher education open in the city of Boston and is among the nation’s top universities.

BC offers an Advanced Generalist Master of Science in Nursing (AGM) that centers on social justice and building up evidence-based leadership skills. The coursework featured in this program includes classes on diversity in nursing, ethics, quality management, information technology, healthcare policy, epidemiology and more. Students will also be asked to complete a clinical rotation to round out their experience. Graduates of the program are typically highly successful, with 98% of the class of 2020 finding employment within one year of completing their course of study.

To apply, students will need evidence of 112 course credits with at least 70 credits in specialty knowledge related to nurses, a GPA of a “B” or better, a copy of their current RN license and have completed a course in statistics. Additionally, prospective students will need to submit a CV, goal statement following the parameters set out on the application, two letters of recommendation and official transcripts.

5. Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University (FSU) is a public university located in Fitchburg with about 1,434 graduate students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. The campus is compact, sitting on 60 acres, giving it that small community feel. The university was founded in 1894 and has grown to include more than 30 undergraduate programs along with 22 master’s degrees that can be completed in both full and part-time capacities.

FSU offers a unique online MSN in Forensic Nursing, which prepares students to take on leadership roles in careers like Death Investigator, Legal Nurse Consultant, Medicolegal Investigator, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and more. The program includes a total of 420 clinical hours and features courses on nursing theory, pathopharmacology, epigenetics, foundations for forensic nursing interventions, caring for victims and perpetrators, criminal law and more.

In order to get into the program, prospective students will need to apply to the graduate school and pay the application fee of $50. Additionally, students will need to send in an official transcript with proof of a BSN, three letters of recommendation showing at least one year of clinical practice, a CV, a copy of their current RN license and a written essay covering the prompts outlined on the application. Students may also be required to pass a background check. Alternatively, if you have an RN license but a non-nursing BA/BS, there are portfolio entry pathways available to you.