For nurses with years of experience in the healthcare industry, the next best career step may be in health administration. Many of today's leaders in the field have a background in nursing. The firsthand experience and knowledge that comes from years of hospital work gives nurses a unique leg up over the competition.
If you're interested in transitioning to health administration, keep reading to see if this career path is right for you.
What is health administration?
The role of health administrator varies from one organization to the next. At a smaller facility, an administrator may be responsible for the entire hospital. At a larger organization, an administrator may lead one department or ward.
"Senior health administrators can make over $200,000 annually."
According to EveryNurse, health administrators often act as a form of quality control. It's their job to ensure that every patient at a facility receives the best care possible during his or her stay. Unlike nurses, administrators have far less face-to-face interaction with patients. Instead, administrators interact with other medical personnel to review cases and determine where to improve care.
Health administrators may also act as a conduit between physicians, nurses and hospital board members. Having a background in nursing can help an administrator make important decisions that directly impact treatment protocols at the organization.
The position is also highly regarded because it has excellent earning potential. According to the Richard M. Fairbanks College of Public Health at Indiana University, senior health administrators can earn more than $200,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median salary for health administrators is $94,500.
What are the responsibilities of a health administrator?
Aside from maintaining established levels of quality of care within an organization, health administrators have several other key responsibilities. In general, administrators aid in the hiring of new employees and the supervising of staff members.
Administrative positions are varied. Utica College noted a few different types of health administration roles:
- Nursing administrator: Oversees the daily work of nursing staff.
- Hospice administrator: Manages staff and is responsible for legal compliance efforts.
- Director of fundraising and development: In a non-profit organization, this position builds relationships with charities, donors and the local community.
- Public health department coordinator: Focuses on health issues related to the general public, such as government regulated vaccination requirements.
Nurses looking to move to the next step of their careers should consider the world of hospital administration. There are many unique and rewarding opportunities that can benefit from experienced nursing professionals.