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Nurse Executive

Nurses are much more than caretakers and consultants. They are also finely-tuned team players, working as a unit to provide the best health care possible to patients. To do this, many nursing teams are managed by a nurse executive. The nurse executive is the chief nursing expert that acts as a role model and mentor to all other nurses. He or she works with the health care facility to draft health policies, evaluate nurses, and counsel nurses in education and licensing, according to Michigan’s Department of Community Health. The nurse executive also participates in nursing research about a wide variety of topics, including nursing methods and caring for vulnerable populations.

Nurses aspiring to become nurse executives must be master’s level registered nurses (RNs). Typically, to become an RN, one can either obtain a diploma from a nursing school, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree from a nursing program, but those looking to become executives must complete a master’s degree in nursing. Students should take courses in administration and management in addition to their nursing studies. After completing the program, they must pass the NCLEX-RN examination to gain licensure to practice. Nurses usually have to gain a substantial amount of nursing experience before they can advance to the executive position. However, nurses can obtain certification from organizations such as the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) to help them advance to the position.

Out of all the jobs in the health care industry, nurse positions are the most numerous. It is no surprise that nursing is experiencing a boom as well as a result of health care’s expansion. Nurse executives should see steady employment opportunities as current nurse executives retire or leave the industry. There will be a need for more nurse executives to handle incoming nurses as well. In addition to the satisfaction of working to make the health care facility a better place for patients and staff, many nurse executives enjoy benefits and bonuses due to hospitals and other facilities trying to keep their most qualified nurse executives. For example, Virginia will pay nurse executives anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 in bonuses for good job performances.