How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Nevada

Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are vital parts of the healthcare whole. They are some of the first people patients encounter as they are tasked with taking and recording vital signs, relaying symptoms and questions to doctors, and they help to implement care plans. It’s no wonder there are so many nursing jobs out there. Nurses looking to advance their careers, and increase their salary significantly, are looking for less hands-on and more leadership responsibilities and may want to become a nurse administrator.

Other titles for a nurse administrator could include the director of nursing, clinical nurse manager, nurse executive, charge nurse or others. Whatever the title is, the job is relatively the same. Nurse administrators step back from direct patient care and will often not interact with patients much at all. Instead, they will end up overseeing the nursing staff, hiring staff, conducting performance reviews, formulating and managing the budget, ensuring all medical staff comply with hospital regulations, and representing the nursing staff in executive meetings. Nurse administrators who work in more extensive healthcare facilities may be tasked to manage an entire department or specialty such as orthopedics.

These new responsibilities require specialized education. Employers searching for nurse administrator candidates want to see applicants with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and experience in nursing leadership roles. Nurses who have experience as a head nurse or who volunteer for other administrative tasks will get preference over those that don’t have this experience. While working, you might want to volunteer to help your administrator when you can or apply for leadership positions with your current employer.

While there have been and still can be RNs who have ascended through the ranks and achieved the role of a nurse administrator with a two-year associate’s degree, those jobs are becoming rarer as time passes. Most nurses are able to attain a BSN in a year or two. It is a heavy time commitment, but the rewards far outweigh the time lost.

While there are certainly plenty of nurse administrator jobs available right now, over the next decade, these jobs are only expected to increase by over 30%. Nurses with a BSN degree will be able to find work. Even so, if you can manage it, you might consider continuing your education to advance to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Some employers will give preference to candidates with a higher degree of education. In areas of increased competition, the added degree could give you an edge, plus nurses with a master’s degree make much more per year out of the gate compared to those with a BSN. While you may not want to spend the extra time, effort, or stress to get your MSN, it has far-reaching potential and will help you achieve whatever fiscal goals you have. Nurses who hold an MSN make an average of $30,000 to $40,000 more per year than nurses who have stopped at BSN. Also, most master’s degrees can be obtained online part-time, while still working. It’s definitely worth the effort if you can manage it.

Nurses looking for administrator roles could work for hospitals, nursing or long-term care facilities, academia, or private doctor’s offices.

Top-Rated Nursing Schools For Aspiring Nurse Leaders in Nevada

In Nevada, you have plenty of options for advanced nursing degrees. There are several “brick and mortar” campuses and online options. This article will offer a few options for physical, accredited campuses only. While you are free to choose any school you prefer, make sure the school you are contemplating has the proper accreditations. For nursing programs, you want to see either the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation or ACEN, which stands for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Schools that do not have the proper accreditation can affect financial aid packages, prevent you from transferring credits, or the employer you’re hoping to get hired by may not recognize your degree.

The schools that have made this list are accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Accreditation can affect financial aid, credit transfer, or employment—online options and brick and mortar campuses.

1. University of Nevada, Reno

There are several options depending on your education level starting out at the University of Nevada. They have a traditional BSN, which will take about 16 months to finish the program if you already have all your prerequisites completed. The University of Nevada also has an RN to BSN program for nurses with an associate’s degree, which can be completed in three to five semesters, as well as an accelerated BSN program. The accelerated BSN is for students with a BS in another field who want to get their nursing degree. This only takes about 12 months to complete.

The University of Nevada offers an MSN program with seven different tracks to choose from for nurses wanting to continue to a graduate degree. If you’re looking for a nurse administrator position, you should apply to the MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader program. This program will prepare you for the rigors of a nurse administrator career.

The University of Nevada is accredited through the CCNE as well as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tuition here will cost you about $7,400 annually.

2. Chamberlain University, Las Vegas

There are 23 Chamberlain University campuses nationwide, so wherever you go, you could probably find one near you. Currently, the university in Las Vegas only offers an accelerated three-year BSN degree for nurses. Because there are so many campuses, you won’t have to be stuck on a waitlist or worry about your acceptance odds.

Chamberlain offers an online RN to BSN program for nurses who already hold an associate’s degree. If you are able to commit to a full-time schedule, you can complete this degree in just three semesters.

Chamberlain University is accredited by CCNE. Tuition for this school is approximately $21,000 per year, but that price changes for online classes.

3. Roseman University

Roseman University has locations in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. They offer on-campus BSN options as well as a hybrid BSN and MSN. Hybrid means you will do the majority of the class online but will have to attend campus a few times. This may be for an orientation, to take tests, for labs and/or for clinical hours.

Roseman has an RN to BSN program that only takes nine months to complete. It is a fully online education that supports working nurses so you can keep earning while you learn. Roseman University utilizes a block curriculum in their online classes. This means you will only take one course at a time so that you can focus deeply on the content. You are able to master the course before moving on to the next. This program includes eight blocks which are all taught online. Students enrolled in Roseman’s RN to BSN program will get assigned to a group of other students to help cultivate a sense of leadership and team-building skills.

This university has an option for veterans interested in getting their BSN as they will allow former military with a general or honorable discharge to use their experiential military experience toward prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The tuition for Roseman University is $51,000 per year. It’s a bit on the higher side for tuition among the contenders here. They’re a small, private, non-profit college that has no in or out-of-state tuition difference.

4. Touro University Nevada

Touro University is a university that is focused on healthcare education. They have a few nursing options for those who already hold at least an associate’s degree as they lean more toward graduate-level degrees.

Their RN to BSN degree program is an online plan that can be completed in a year while students are still able to work. Students won’t have to travel anywhere or attend clinical hours as they get their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

From there, students can continue on and get their MSN degree as well. This program focuses on family nurse practitioners, so part of the program will be online, but near the end, students will be required to attend clinical hours so they can get hands-on experience.

Tuition at Touro University is an affordable $10,000 a year. They also go by trimesters instead of semesters, so if you apply here, you will have a choice between three possible start dates.

Expected Salary for Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators in Nevada can expect to earn between $100,000 to $185,000 per year. The reason for such a wide pay gap is because of variations such as education, location, certificates, and experience.

A nurse administrator straight out of school with little leadership experience with a BSN will make an annual rate on the lower end of the spectrum. Alternatively, a nurse who went on to graduate with a master’s degree and has at least five years of head nurse experience will make significantly more.