California Nursing Administration Careers

Nurse administrators are leaders in the field of nursing. They are responsible for managing teams of nurses, multiple shifts, or specific nursing units. They have an advanced skill set that includes a firm grasp of nursing procedure and protocol as well as the promotion and development of nursing staff, budgeting, scheduling and supervising nurse staff, making diagnosis decisions and analyzing nursing treatment, maintaining practice and standard guidelines, and employee counseling.

While nurse administrators are strong communicators, their role is more about managing and leadership and less about direct interaction with patients.

Nurse administrators work in many settings including hospitals, offices of physicians, skilled nursing facilities, home health care services,  outpatient care centers, medical and diagnostic labs and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. Some may work in computer systems design and related services, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, and drugs wholesale. In fact, these are among the top paying industries for nurse administrators.

Nurse administrators also work in all areas across the U.S., but the largest populations can be found in California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Nursing Administration Education and Training Programs

The minimum requirement to become a nurse administrator is typically a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. However, most employers prefer to hire registered nurses (RN) that hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), an MSN in Nursing Administration, a MS in Nursing Administration, a Master of Health Administration, or other similar advanced degree. In addition to advanced education and training, aspiring nurse administrators must have previous nursing experience.

Program curriculums may vary slightly as well as course titles, but a typical nursing administration curriculum may include the following:

Biostatistics for Evidence Based Practice
Finance and Economics of Health Care
Health Care Policy
Human Resource Management in Health Care Organizations
Leadership in Healthcare Organizations
Nursing Administration Practicum I, II & III
Nursing Administration Seminar
Organizing and Managing Health Care Organizations
Research and Best Evidence for Clinical Reasoning
Strategic Leadership and Management in Nursing Administration
Theoretical Basis for Clinical Reasoning

A typical nursing administration program takes 2-3 years to complete, depending on course load. The curriculum above takes six semesters to complete.
Nursing Administration Schools and Training Programs in California

California is home to a number of top colleges and universities that offer competitive nursing administration programs. They include:

Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
California College-San Diego, San Diego, CAS
California State University-Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA
California State University-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
California State University-Stanislaus, Turlock, CA
Holy Names University, Oakland, CA
Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Some schools, such as California State University-Dominguez Hills, offer nursing programs online through extended and continuing education.

Employment and Earnings Outlook for California Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators earn one of the highest salaries in the nursing industry. These medical and health service managers average $88,580 per year (median), up from a median average salary of $80,240 in 2008. The top 10 percent average more than $150,560 per year.

In addition to rising salaries, the number of nurse administration jobs is growing. The U.S. is home to 315,500 medical and health service managers, up from 258,130 in 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 23% increase in employment (or 73,300 jobs) for the 2012-2022 decade. This 23% increase is much faster than average for all occupations.

In the State of California, nurse administrators fare even better than the rest of the nation. With a population of 26,690 medical and health service managers, the State has the highest employment level in this occupation and it’s growing. In 2008, California was home to 25,470 medical and health service managers, averaging $101,870 per year.  Today, California-based managers average $113,810 per year—the nation’s 2nd highest salary for this occupation. New York offers the highest average salary at $114,550.

Within the State of California, the Los-Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metropolitan Area offers the 3rd highest employment level among metro areas across the U.S. This metro area is home to 7,160 medical and health service managers. In addition, 3 California metro areas made the list of the nation’s Top 10 Metro Areas for Medical and Health Service Managers. They include:

#1: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, average $133,390 per year
#4: Santa Cruz-Watsonville, $125,590 per year
#8: Vallejo-Fairfield, $123,340 per year

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