Nurse administrators are part of the leadership or management team in a healthcare setting. This strategic role is responsible for writing and implementing policies, coordinating schedules, and maintaining budgets.
The administrative side of nursing isn’t what usually draws people to work in healthcare, but it is essential to the process of caring for patients. Staying organized, documenting everything that needs to be documented, and keeping everyone informed and on schedule is what makes hospitals and clinics run efficiently. Effective administration is also what connects patients to the care they need, and diligent charting and documentation are what keep healthcare workers and institutions out of court.
Solving medical problems, helping people in times of crisis, and healing patients are what bring many of us to healthcare, but for those who have strong organizational skills, leadership qualities, and a desire to create and implement processes within the context of healthcare and patient care, nursing administration is the career path you’ve been looking for.
Like any administrative job, staying organized in healthcare can help keep you on task and sane. Work with your co-workers to make sure your administrative environment is organized in an intuitive manner and that anyone who needs to find essential information can get at it. Obviously, this is an issue at any workplace, but often healthcare relies on paper documents. This means filing, organizing, and tidiness are all the more important in our field than in offices that have made a more complete transition to digital.
Effective communication in healthcare requires a collaborative effort of everyone on the team. From communicating policy changes to debriefing patient charts at the end of a shift, communication is a team effort and clarity and transparency with your co-workers are necessary for anything to get done.
Good charting is a big part of communication. “If it wasn’t charted, it wasn’t done,” is a common refrain in healthcare because those documents aren’t just there for your own reference. They are part of a chain of communication that will inform many, many other healthcare providers about a patient’s condition and treatment plan. Charting needs to be approached with the same seriousness that nurses give to any in-person communication with co-workers.
Another important area of communication in healthcare is making sure the day and night shifts (or the day, night, and swing shifts) keep each other informed. If possible, it’s always good to check in with the next shift before you go. Make sure all the documents your co-workers will need are organized and ready for them to work with, and keep them apprised of any serious changes from your shift.
If administration is your main field of interest in healthcare, it is possible to eventually become a nursing administrator or nurse manager. If you do go down that path, you’ll be in a leadership position at your clinic, hospital, or other healthcare facility. You’ll be responsible for policy, vision, hiring, and logistics at your workplace.
Other healthcare professionals will look to you for advice, guidance, and help with their jobs. You might also still have clinical duties. Being able to become leader in nursing is one of the many benefits of pursuing a BSN, and it almost always comes with more pay. Regardless of your place in the hierarchy, though, you’ll always have to deal with the administrative side of healthcare. Good care can only come from proper order and organization. That covers everything from having a complete chart to overseeing a whole nursing staff.