I am a final year nursing student. I would like to pursue a career in hospital administration. Can you please advise me as to which steps I should take toward pursuing this field?
Has Sights Set on Administration
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Has Sights Set on Administration,
That is a noble goal. There is a great need for more nurses to move into high level administrative positions. Who better to run a hospital or any care facility/agency than a nurse?
A great first step would be to gain solid experience as a staff nurse to learn the workings of a hospital, the art of nursing care, and how to deliver first-rate customer service. A staff nurse background will make you a great administrator.
Once you start to feel comfortable in your new role (it can take a year or more), you can take steps outlined in the article Gearing Up For Management (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Management). These include furthering your formal education, accumulating related experiences, creating a positive, professional image from day one and networking with others doing the thing you wish to someday do.
Two such organizations you can join, even now, and are the Association of Nurse Executives (www.aone.org) and the Association of Healthcare Executives (www.ache.org). Both offer student memberships as well as education, publications and mentoring. Even if you dont join, you can access information on their websites and attend local chapter meetings as a guest. When there’s something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.
You also can start reading up on leadership topics through Nurse.com Continuing Education offerings: (http://ce.nurse.com/Management-and-Leadership).