How to Become a Nurse Administrator in West Virginia
Nurse administrators perform a vital function in the healthcare field. Nurse administrators oversee the day-to-day duties of nurses and other medical staff. Because the nurse administrator is in such high demand due to the increasing age of the U.S. population, this career will continue to remain a high-demand employment choice.
You can embark on a new career as a nurse administrator with the appropriate classroom and practical instruction. As a nurse administrator, you could work in one of the following settings: schools, clinics, hospitals or long-term care facilities.
Job Outlook for Nurse Administrators in West Virginia
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse administrators working in West Virginia receive an average salary of $108,762 annually. However, the compensation can range from $96,719 to $121,032 annually. Salaries will vary contingent on your level of experience, degree achieved and certifications obtained. Your employer’s location, the type of business, and the job functions required can all affect compensation.
What a Job as a Nurse Administrator Involves
Your primary objective as a nurse administrator is to establish and maintain the routine procedures the nursing staff must follow to sustain the maximum level of patient satisfaction and care. You must ensure that all nurses are adequately trained and retain the appropriate certifications to continue delivering quality treatment. You might also establish guidelines, observe budget constraints and personally attend to patients, if necessary.
How to Become a Nurse Administrator in West Virginia
- Traditional Bachelor of Arts in Nursing (BSN)
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated BSN)
- Bachelor of Science to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BA/BS to BSN)
- Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN/MSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Most potential employers will also evaluate your prior work history to determine whether you are a suitable candidate with adequate experience working in the nursing field that suits their requirements. While you can pursue a position as a nurse administrator immediately upon obtaining your registered nurse license, most employers also require experience in the field.
Currently, there are about ten schools in West Virginia that offer a BSN degree. Tuition will depend on several factors like the school you choose, the level of education you elect to complete, and whether you take classes in person, online or a mixture of the two methods. The cost can total as little as $7,800 annually at an in-state public university to as much as $34,000 annually at a private institution. You will also need to consider the cost of school supplies, class materials, books and room and board, all of which may add extra cost. Out-of-state students also pay considerably more tuition than those living in West Virginia at public universities, while those attending private universities usually pay the same as state residents.
West Virginia has a high National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses
(NCLEX-RN) passing rate. Nursing students completing their degree at a West Virginia college average a 90.2% passing rate, putting this state’s nursing programs in the top 20 nationally for a quality BSN education.
With such a high success rate, one of the schools below will stand out on your resume when applying for a future nurse administrator job.
Top Ranking Nursing Programs for Future Nurse Administrators in West Virginia
1. Davis & Elkins College (DEWV)
Annual In-State Tuition: $29,960
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.24%
DEWV is a private, accredited college on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest in Elkins, WV. Their nursing school offers a traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and R.N. to BSN degree. The coursework is founded in the arts and sciences as applied to patient-centric care. Compassion, ethics, patient dignity and acceptance of cultural differences are a cornerstone of their classroom instruction.
2. Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU)
Annual In-State Tuition: $29,290
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.64%
This private Catholic college is located in Wheeling, WV, on the banks of the Ohio River. The traditional BSN, R.N. to BSN/MSN, accelerated BSN, and MSN programs offer students a choice of paths to becoming registered nurses. Their curriculum prepares students for success in any nursing environment.
3. West Virginia University (WVU)
Annual In-State Tuition: $8,976
NCLEX Pass Rate: 99%
WVU is a large public university located in Morgantown. In addition to course offerings on the main campus, students can attend lectures at one of their satellite campuses in Beckley, Potomac State or WVU Tech. Their nursing school offers many choices for those who wish to pursue a career as a nurse administrator. In addition to the traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and an online RN-BSN program, they also offer post-graduate degrees such as the MSN, DNP and Ph.D. in nursing.
4. Shepherd University (S.U.)
Annual In-State Tuition: $15,568
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.96%
S.U. is located in Shepherdstown within driving distance of Baltimore and Washington D.C. The location of this university makes it ideal for students in West Virginia and nearby Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania to attend within reach of home. This school offers a BSN and an RN-BSN program for anyone wanting to obtain a license as a registered nurse. They also have BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs for those who wish to continue their education beyond an undergraduate degree.
5. The University of Charleston (U.C.)
Annual Tuition: $27,614
NCLEX Pass Rate: 95.45%
U.C. is a small private university located in Charleston along the Kanawha River and with a lovely view of the West Virginia state capitol building. Students of their nursing program can pursue either a traditional BSN or an online R.N. to BSN degree. Their program prepares students to enter the field of healthcare as registered nurses with the appropriate classroom instruction and clinical practice skills required to be a success. If you are looking to pursue a career as a nurse administrator, the practical and administrative skills taught here will serve you well in achieving your goal.
To become a nurse administrator in West Virginia, you are not required to attend an in-state college, but you will need to acquire a license in the state upon completing your degree. If location, costs or other considerations affect where you attend school, be sure to see what you will need to obtain licensure in West Virginia rather than the state where you receive your degree.
There are many more quality nursing programs where you can obtain the education you need to be successful as a nurse administrator. Research the ones you are interested in attending and select the one that best meets your needs and satisfies the requirements of your goal to become a nurse administrator.
Additional Requirements to Become a Nurse Administrator in West Virginia
Once you’ve achieved your BSN degree at an accredited university, you must meet the West Virginia RN Board (WVRNB) criteria to become a registered nurse. The WVBN requires that you provide proof of successful completion of the applicable degree program, documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal residence and pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check. These items must be submitted to the board and approved before final testing can be requested.
Next, you must pass the NCLEX-RN administered by Pearson VUE. Proctors require current government identification on the day of the exam.
Applying to Become a Nurse Administrator
Once you have been issued a license as a registered nurse, you can start applying for open positions as a nurse administrator. Your primary hurdle at this juncture will likely be little or no experience. You might overcome this if you have previously worked as a licensed practical nurse, an RN, or some other healthcare-related occupation that might be considered enough experience for certain employers. You might also find someone in a hiring position willing to forego experience based on your education level or academic exception.
However, you will usually need to immediately gain employment as a registered nurse to acquire the experience, skills and expertise employers desire in a nurse administrator. You will want to maintain all continuing education credits and your license during employment as a licensed nurse.
Securing a position as a nurse administrator can be pretty challenging unless you have significant experience in the field. To stand out from the competition, you will want to attend the best nursing school available, build your reputation as a leader and prove your skills as a registered nurse. Your determination to succeed will put you on the right path toward your goal of becoming a nurse administrator.