Nursing Administration Certification and License

Nursing administrators work on the the administrative side of health care. Read on to find out how you can advance your nursing career through these certification and licensing paths. Schools offering Nursing Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Become Licensed?

For nursing jobs that involve direct patient care, you'll be required to have an active registered nurse (RN) license. Licensure laws for RNs vary from state to state, but all require you to have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). You will need to consult your state's nursing board for additional requirements to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Additional licensure is required if you plan to work in a nursing care facility. Qualifications vary, but all states require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and passage of an exam. You also might need licensure to work in an administrative capacity in an assisted-living facility.

LicensingVaries by state, requires bachelor's degree and passing score on NCLEX-RN
Certification OptionsNurse Executive, Nurse Executive - Advanced, Certified in Executive Nursing Practice, Certified Nurse Manager and Leader
Programs for StudyNursing master's degree with an administration concentration, graduate certificate in nursing administration
Common CoursesFinancial management, organizational theory, strategic planning

What Certification Options Are Available?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Nurse Executive (NE-BC) and Nurse Executive - Advanced (NEA-BC) certification exams. For either credential, you'll need a current RN license and at least two years of administrative experience within the last five years. For the NE-BC credential, you'll need a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing, while the NEA-BC requires you to have either a master's degree in nursing or a bachelor's in nursing with a master's in another field. Other requirements include 30 continuing education units (CEUs) within the last three years, though this may be waived if you have a master's in nursing administration, and passage of an exam.

You also can pursue certification through the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), which offers the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) exams for RNs. The CENP requires a master's degree and two years of experience in nursing administration or a bachelor's degree and four years' experience. The CNML requires two years' experience with a bachelor's degree, three with a non-nursing degree or five with a diploma or associate's degree.

What Programs Can Prepare Me For a Nursing Administration Career?

You can study nursing administration through a master's degree program, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in nursing administration. You also can train through a graduate certificate program in nursing administration if you have an MSN in another nursing area. Completing these programs can train you for a leadership role through courses in organizational theory, strategic planning and financial management.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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