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What you can do to Become a Director of Nursing

Managing the continuum of care in a long-term care center, clinic or hospital is the responsibility of a Director of Nursing. In an effort to provide quality care, these professionals interact with patients and their families, as well as physicians all while managing an entire staff of nurses. Progressive supervisory experience along with advanced education is required of a Director of Nursing since the position requires a high degree of responsibility. In an entire department that focuses on patient care, the Director of Nursing becomes the point-person.

These professionals often work their way up to nursing management after having begun their careers as registered nurses. A graduate degree and leadership experience in the field follows, rounding out the skills necessary for the position. As such, here are 5 steps to becoming a Director of Nursing.

Steps in Becoming a Director of Nursing

Step 1: Completion of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

While the requirements to become a registered nurse (RN) differ depending on the type of position one is seeking, they are fairly specific for anyone looking to become a director. Some employers require only a nursing certificate or associate’s degree. However, according to Monster.com, individuals who want to become a Director of Nursing must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The reason is that among other factors, these degree programs cover these areas:

•Nursing management
•Research
•Clinical procedures
•Patient care
•Nursing science and principles

A BSN program typically takes four years to complete and may entail other areas of course focus.

Step 2: Obtain a Licensure

A number of actions need to be completed before one can obtain a nursing licensure. To complete the process, individuals must acquire any state-specific certificates along with passing the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Moreover, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for advancement into any management-level nursing position, individuals need more than just the state-specific licenses and certificates and an associate’s degree; they need a bachelor’s degree, as stated above.

Step 3: Gain Experience in the Field

A Director of Nursing will work their way up to the director position by not only beginning their career as a registered nurse, but acquiring plenty of experience in the field. For most higher level positions such as Director of Nursing, employers requires at least 2 to 5 years of experience as a registered nurse (the more experience, the better). With this experience, the degrees, and licensure, registered nurses can find director positions in hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices. However, about sixty percent of all registered nurses are hired by hospitals, according to the BLS.

Step 4: Leadership Role Experience

Since directors typically interact with doctors and patients, as well as oversee a large staff of practical and registered nurses, supervisory experience is vital to the role. This is because directors will use both their communication and their leadership skills to accomplish most tasks. Furthermore, in order to gain the necessary leadership experience and become equipped with the leadership skills essential to the position, registered nurses work their way up. RNs will start at the lower level management positions like assistant unit manager or head nurse, gain experience, and then continue up the ladder.

Step 5: Graduate Degree Program Completion

Obtaining a graduate degree in health services administration or in nursing may help registered nurses with experience get a leg up as a Director of Nursing candidate. Most Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program will have courses focusing on:

•Advanced research
•Health care finance
•Pharmacology
•Management principles
•Ethics

These programs also take approximately two years to complete. Further, in addition to the MSN, some employers and/or states may require the completion of more licensing and certificate programs. It is a good idea to check state requirements to know exactly what is expected of a Director of Nursing.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Fortis Institute

Fortis Nursing Program

Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • PN RN Associate Degree Bridge Program
  • Practical Nursing
  • And more...

Grand Canyon University

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
  • M.S. in Nursing: Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
  • And more...

Colorado Technical University Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education

Liberty University

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • And more...

Regent University

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

EducationConnection

Medical Assisting, Nursing, Health Sciences Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.

Programs:

Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Nursing - Master's

Kaplan University

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • And more...

Centura College

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing Diploma
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration

South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)

Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

Programs:

  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

Fortis Institute

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Practical Nursing
  • Medical Assistant

Denver School of Nursing

At Denver College of Nursing, we believe good nurses are the future of quality healthcare.

Programs:

  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

South University, Online Programs

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • And more...

Jacksonville University

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:

  • MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • RN to BSN (licensed RNs only)
  • RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator
  • And more...

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