In those early days of nursing, when you had an RN certificate and no more, you had continuing educational requirements. The nursing administration continuing education requirements are even more extensive. You might remember them as an RN, based on the state in which you worked: 20 to 30 contact hours a year were required of you, and that time was spent honing your skills, attending group sessions and generally feeling that painful cognitive dissonance that showed you were learning something new about the nursing profession.
As a leader, your responsibility has doubled. It is now doubly true that you must stay on top of the game, in terms of innovations not only in health care and education but also in management and team coordination. That is why your continuing education is vital for you, your hospital team and your facility.
There are several reasons for this.
Why Nursing Administration Continuing Education is Necessary
Specializing nurses, such as Trauma or Neonatal, go through yearly training sessions to bone up on skills, discover innovations and refine techniques to care for their patients.
Your focus is double that:
-As a leader, you’ve had extensive practical, clinical and educational experience; that learning does not simply rest inside you, but needs cognitive resonance to continue. In other words, to be effective, we MUST learn new things continually.
-You not only have health and patient issues to deal with every day, but also a staff of nurses who require business and administration skills, in scheduling, ideas, resolutions and problem adjudication.
-As a management leader, you have a third concern besides administration and nursing: morale and the emotional side of medicine. You must understand the behavioral, mental and spiritual underpinnings of those in your charge, as surely as you need to understand the emotive natures of patients in order to be an effective nurse.
Now, what are some of the educational paradigms you need to continue effectively?
Kinds of Nursing Administration Continuing Education
Nursing administration continuing education needs are seldom answered by simple seminars; it is necessary to align yourself to a management philosophy that is itself aligned to the medical facility you serve. In other words, your continuing education allows you to actualize the philosophies of management and nursing, and realize them with your team.
This means that your continuing education will follow several lines:
-Organizational structure and how to improve it
-Management principles and cooperative participation
-Methods of open and effective communication
-Allowing empowerment and decision making at every level
-Knowing the research and publication paradigm, and its necessity to successful nursing
-Team building and collaboration in multiple disciplines.
As they probably said to you when you first saw the nursing program syllabus, “That ought to keep you busy.”
Some Nursing Administration Continuing Education Options
Here are two suggested content areas for a nursing administrator to explore in seeking continuing education.
-The Master’s Degree for Nursing Executives: chances are you already have an MSN program behind you, which gave you a Master’s in Nursing. Now it’s time to travel to the next educational level in expertise and new thought.
-The Doctoral Degree for Nursing Executives: Not all doctors wear lab coats; a doctoral degree not only administrates but also teaches other fledging administrators, and a Doctorate in this field allows you to innovate for yourself in researching and developing new and vital paradigms and methodologies in the nursing field.
Job Outlook and Salary for the Nursing Administrator
The job outlook for Nurse Executive and Nursing Administrator is noted on the website for the Bureau of Labor/Statistics as being close to the same as a Registered Nurse (a 9% to 26% projected growth from 2008 to 2018).
In salary, however, there are enormous gains (most of the reported salaries are lower than final expectations, since most Nursing Administrators are new to the job). The listed average national salary for a Nurse Leader and Administrator is ranged at $82-89,000 but this is certain to increase as seniority and training are factored in.
Someone once said, “Leadership is for life.” Hopefully you now realize that Nursing Administration Continuing Education is a lifelong task as well.