Health Career Center

Nurse Executive/Administrator

Nurse executives and administrators are guided by the following values and guidelines as the basis for their practice:
  • Ensure the integrity and effectiveness of healthcare delivery systems at hospitals, medical clinics and healthcare facilities
  • Engender collaboration between medical specialists to ensure the highest level of healthcare possible
  • Ensure healthcare professionals and medical staff take responsibility for their actions
  • Help the poor, needy and less fortunate to acquire health and medical services
Nurse executives may hold various positions and levels of responsibility depending on the administration setting where they're employed. A few of the responsibilities of nurse executives include:
  • Develop and manage healthcare delivery systems
  • Supervise and manage nursing employees and staff
  • Work with health insurance companies and managed care organization
  • Lobby elected representatives to support healthcare reform
Roles of the Nurse Executive and Administrator

The role of nurse executives and administrators has evolved to encompass the entire realm of patient care and healthcare delivery administration, and is no longer restricted to the oversight of nursing activities. Consequently, nurse executives and administrators are now involved at the highest levels of senior leadership in the organizations they represent. Their responsibilities now include teaching procedure to other staff members, supervising management of patient care, and interfacing with physicians and medical specialists.

The main role of the nursing executive is to design and manage healthcare delivery systems, promote effective nursing practices and ethics, and ensure all departments run smoothly. As their name denotes, nurse executives are also leaders. They serve as leaders by:
  • Teaching by example the importants of adhering to nursing standards and an organization's mission statement
  • Promoting diversity
  • Fostering communication between staff members
  • Demonstrating creativity
  • Educating and teaching staff members
  • Putting together and sponsoring professional development workshops and seminars
  • Continuing to learn and take advantage of continuing education opportunities
  • Being accountable for their own actions and decisions

Nurse exeuctives and administrators usually specialize in nursing administration or management.


Nurse exeuctives and administrators usually have a background in nursing or healthcare and/or have several years of work experience as a registered nurse. Today, most hospitals and clinics are only looking for nurse executives that have a master's degree in nursing administration or master's of business administration (MBA) degree from a reputable school. However, if you have enough relevant work experience a graduate degree is not as necessary. Nursing executives and administrators must be licensed in the state where they practice.

Practice Settings

Nurse executives and administrators work in major hospitals, doctors' offices, specialty healthcare clinics, medical clinics, managed care organizations, insurance companies, healthcare consulting firms, and nursing schools.

Salary Range

Next to certified nurse anesthetists, very few nursing professional earn more than nurse executives. Nurse executives and administrators typically earn between $80,000 and $140,000 a year.

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