201 Careers in NursingIn this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!


Nurse administrators and executive directors are needed in numerous organizations. Knowledge of finance, law, human resources, and related topics improve the systems necessary for the advancement of health care administration and delivery. Nurses are managers, administrators, and executive directors in hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and universities, and health maintenance organizations. Administrators employ, direct, evaluate, promote, and terminate employees. An administrator must have the ability to analyze budgets and make certain that financial plans are consistent with organizational mission and goals. Work hours are often long, but the rewards are gratifying in shaping the future of the organization, the delivery of care, and the profession.


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing is now the entry-level degree.
  • The majority of high-level nursing executives hold a Master of Science in Nursing or an MBA.
  •  In addition, many nurse executives are certified in administration through the American Nurses Association Credentialing Center.


  • Human resource knowledge
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Budgeting and finance skills
  • Writing skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Managerial competencies