How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Utah

Nurse administrators have specialized skills and training to help them manage a team of nurses. Their specific skill set allows them to perform various tasks, such as putting together meetings and training materials for nursing staff. They often work in hospitals or other medical offices.

Most nurse practitioners operate as managers in an office setting and work with hospital administration, such as the CEO. They usually do not interact with patients, but most have worked as nurses in the past before receiving their education as nurse administrators. Learn more about the role of a nurse administrator and discover how to become a nurse administrator in Utah.

Responsibilities of a Nurse Administrator

Along with soft skills of leadership and communication, nurse administrators perform specific tasks for the hospital or medical facility where they work. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Managing and coming up with budgets
  • Knowing and enforcing compliance with Utah laws
  • Overseeing hiring for nurses
  • Working with other managers and boards to set goals
  • Handling performance reviews
  • Establishing and adjusting policies
  • Putting together a schedule for nursing teams
  • Learning and implementing new medical technologies

The exact responsibilities vary from job to job, but nursing administrators learn similar skills that make them hirable.

What Educational Requirements Do Nursing Administrators Have to Meet?

Nurse administrators often have a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN). These MSN programs exist at many universities and online institutions in Utah. Before securing the MSN, individuals need to finish an undergraduate nursing program. Many nurse administrators get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then become Registered Nurses (RN) after completing the test. Finally, they pursue the MSN at an accredited institution.

Some nurse administrators go straight from undergraduate programs to the MSN, while others work as an RN for a time first.

It’s also possible to get further education in this field with a DNP or doctoral degree in nursing.

Benefits of Becoming a Nurse Administrator

Individuals looking for a career in healthcare or nursing may find that nursing administration is the right career track. It’s also helpful to learn a few of the positives of this job to determine if it could be right for you.

There are many benefits to this career, including:

  • A higher salary: Healthcare administration jobs pay well, and the salary is higher for a nurse administrator than someone working as an RN.
  • Positive job growth: The overall career outlook shows that medical and health managers and administrators are in high demand. So, the chances of getting a job are relatively high.
  • Flexible options: There are many ways to use an MSN. Some people work as a manager of nurses at a hospital, while others direct entire departments. There are many medical offices and facilities that need nurses in administrator roles.
  • An office setting: While those who prefer interacting directly with patients may not want to be a nurse administrator, this role is less demanding physically as most of the work is done at desks or in meetings. This makes it more feasible for people who can’t be on their feet all day.

Nursing Administrator Jobs And Requirements In Utah

In Utah, having an MSN isn’t required for some nursing management jobs. These managerial positions only require an RN license and some experience working as a nurse. However, having an MSN increases your chances of getting a job in the field, making you a more competitive candidate. To be hired as a nurse administrator with the specific title and responsibilities, these steps are required:

  1. Complete a BSN.
    These undergraduate programs take most people around four years to finish. While getting a nursing degree in an associate program is possible, a BSN is a foundation to move to the next step in the nursing administration process. There are many BSN programs that allow students to quickly finish a BSN if they already have an associate degree in vocational nursing (AVSN).
  2. Become a certified nurse.
    After finishing the BSN, all nurses must complete and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses(NCLEX-RN). You won’t be hired as a nurse in Utah without passing this exam.
    When you become a licensed nurse, you’ll then be able to move on to a master’s program. There are two main options to do so: a Master of Science in Nursing or a Master of Nursing Administration degree. While both options work, an MSN administration degree offers more specific training for a potential nurse administrator.
  3. Work as a nurse.
    Either before or after finishing an MSN program, candidates need to work as an RN. While getting a nurse administrator job after completing the program is possible, most healthcare facilities and hospitals prefer candidates with experience working with patients.
    Individuals also need to stay updated with certification and licensing requirements for nursing from the Utah Department of Commerce.

Top-Rated Masters of Nursing Programs In Utah for Aspiring Nurse Administrators

There are many online and in-person programs for nursing in Utah. For Master’s of Nursing programs, there are a handful of highly-rated options accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

1. Utah Valley University, Orem

Utah Valley University offers an MSN program with a 90% employment rate for graduates within a year after completing the program. Although the campus is in Orem, Utah, the entire degree takes place online, and students can choose either part- or full-time credits. This flexible program allows people who are currently working as nurses to pursue further education and become Nurse Administrators.

Their Master of Science in Nursing program focuses on training students to become “nurse educators in academic settings and/or as clinical nurse educators in healthcare institutions.”

2. Weber State University, Ogden

Weber State University offers a Master of Science in Nursing at their Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing. They provide two tracks for students to choose from: Nurse Educators and Nurse Executives.

Their degree program seeks to provide leadership opportunities and chances to work with the community and get hands-on experience. The entire program is online. The Nurse Educator emphasis is 33 credits, while the Nurse Executive emphasis is 30 credits.

Their three leadership tenets are “developing and retaining a competent workforce, budgeting, staffing, and performance measurement.”

3. University of Utah, Salt Lake City

The University of Utah has a good reputation for healthcare programs and is home to the University of Utah Hospital. This university offers two graduate-level nursing programs: Master of Science in Nursing Education and Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. Both programs are online, and the nursing informatics degree is available on campus.

The nurse educator degree prepares graduates to lead teams while providing patient care. They train their graduate students to work in academic and clinical positions to supervise nursing staff, teach at colleges, and choose nursing specialties.

The nursing informatics degree is an interdisciplinary program combining patient care knowledge and technology in the nursing field. This degree seeks to help students be able to make decisions in leadership positions to use medical technology to improve health outcomes.

4. Eagle Gate College, Murray

Eagle Gate College has an online MSN program with three possible specialties. The curriculum offers both virtual teaching as well as clinical, hands-on experience.

Their mission statement promises to instil leadership skills, patient care information, healthcare technology understanding, and informatics.

Their three specialty tracks are:

  • Administration and Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Quality Management
    Administration and leadership track: This specialty helps graduates prepare especially for administrative jobs. They focus on research and working with a team in various healthcare settings.
    Nursing education track: The nursing education specialty at Eagle Gate college helps nurses with a BSN pursue other roles such as Clinical Nurse Educator.
    Nursing quality management track: The final track helps graduate nurses find careers in a variety of settings. The curriculum focuses on patient care and risk management, and graduates may find jobs as managers or supervisors of departments.

Job Outlook For Nurse Administrators In Utah

Nursing jobs are plentiful in Utah, and while there are fewer nursing administrator jobs in general, there are fewer people competing for those jobs. As with all healthcare positions, it’s easier to get a job if you have experience and an impressive resume. You also need a degree from a reputable college or university.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers make a median salary of $101,340. This statistic includes a wide range of managerial and administrative roles but is the most authoritative date. Other statistics place Nurse Administrator salaries in Utah between $75k and $110k.

With a high salary and positive career outlook, now is the ideal time to pursue a career as a nursing administrator. These jobs are in high demand in Utah and many other states in the country.