I have just graduated with a masters in health systems administration. I am an RN, but looking to get into the administrative side of healthcare. I have seen positions I would like, but I do not have supervisory experience. I do not want to be a nurse leader or a manager. I am wondering what experience I need to meet my goal.
Wants To Get Into Administration
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wants To Get Into Administration,
There are many different settings and roles you would be able to move into as a nurse with a degree and interest in administration. But at this level, you need to go about things in a different way than you may be accustomed.
For starters, have a business card made for yourself for professional networking. Include your name, credentials, phone number and email. Then start attending local chapter meetings of the American College of Healthcare Executives (www.ache.org) and the Association of Nurse Executives (www.aone.org) as a guest if not a member. Consider joining one or both. Here you will find role models and mentors, and learn of opportunities to gain experience. Most positions at this level are filled through word of mouth. When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those successfully dong it. Read In search of the right mentor (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Right-mentor).
If you have any interest in the long-term care arena (LTC, sub-acute and assisted living for example), there are a growing number of opportunities for nurses to move into administrative roles, with individual facilities, larger healthcare systems and privately owned long-term care companies. You might consider becoming a licensed or certified nursing home or assisted living administrator. Most states have their own Nursing Home Administrator Licensing Board so find yours and inquire if this interests you. Look for local chapter meetings or events of the National Association of Directors of Nursing in Long-Term Care (www.nadona.org) for networking.
I’d also suggest you consider working with a professional recruiter, often referred to as a head hunter. These individuals specialize, and many work specifically with nursing/healthcare management positions that are not advertised. Find this type of recruiter listed on some of the above- referenced association websites or by asking other members of these same associations.