Questions about healthcare administration

  1. I'm an ADN preparing to get my Bachelor's degree. I have three years experience in healthcare, two in critical care and one in long term care. I have found the bedside nursing experience is not where I want to be any longer, and am looking at a Bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. My advisor at college said she felt with my experience and desire to move into another aspect of care, I would have many job opportunities with this degree. I'm 43, and don't feel I have a lot of time to shift around trying to find my "niche" anymore. I guess I'm looking for general advice. Does someone with this degree get a job in a hospital, clinic or usually nursing homes? What positions would I be searching for once I have this degree? Is it hard to get a job in this when you haven't had any experience with management other than charge nurse in long term care? My workstyle tends to be that of someone who prefers paperwork, business-office setting, 9-5 hours most of the time, have enjoyed being charge nurse in the past and have a clear idea of how care should be implemented and what levels of communication should be present between admin and staff, and I also prefer a much lower level of stress than is present on the nursing floor. I don't mind deadlines and expectations, but I'm not looking to have to run a code anymore!Can anyone give me some information??

    Last edit by Hoosiernurse on Jun 5, '12 : Reason: spelling
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    About Hoosiernurse, RN

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 164; Likes: 81
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in telemetry, cardiopulmonary stepdown, LTC


  3. by   Esme12
    While it might gain you entry level administration as a manager or supervisor.....masters degree, like MBA, is more the requirement for upper management in the current job market unless you are looking at LTC/LTAC director positions. What about Health information technologies? Case management? I will say that your clear idea of what the communication between the staff administration should be....that the administrations point of view will be vastly different.

    The senior administration don't communicate with the staff...that's the managers job. Hospital administration is a beast all by itself. It also depends on whether you are community based versus academic based versus corporate owned facility.
  4. by   elkpark
    Unless you specifically want to use an additional degree to get out of nursing, you would be much better served (IMO) by a BSN than by a generic "healthcare administration" degree.
  5. by   Hoosiernurse
    Esme12, then I have a lot more investigating to do. I guess in regards to the communication I was thinking of the last DON and LTC Administrator I had and how they seldom paid any attention to the needs of the nurses and staff. They just told you what you wanted to hear. I guess I don't know much about the communications regarding a health administrator in anything else should be. This seems a kind of vague degree...I wonder how I could figure out what direction to go into? I'm not interested in information technologies or case management, I don't think, but I've never worked in either.

  6. by   Hoosiernurse
    Yes, Elkpark, I would like to remove myself entirely from nursing at this point, but not really from healthcare...however, I don't want to remove myself from being employable! I'm trying to figure out what to do with a healthcare administration degree. The info I've found makes it sound like it's possible to head in many directions, and that's nice, but confusing!

  7. by   Hoosiernurse
    Forgot to say, Esme12, that I'm open to getting the MHA that is being offered at the college I'm attending. I'm talking to my advisor tomorrow to get a better idea of what I want to do, but heading OUT of bedside nursing is a primary goal. I know that my previous boss at our LTC facility said she had her Bachelor's degree, and had been in the nursing program until her ADN level and then decided to go more into the business end of things. She never worked as a nurse in her life, so she had no perspective at all what the work was like. It was...unnerving, to say the least. But no, I hadn't thought that I'd really want to go down the LTC route. I'm still exploring what other avenues there are and what might interest me.

  8. by   ncat
    hi- i did exactly your stated plan. i also did not want bedside nursing and did not think i would be happy in hosp. adm. i obtained my bsn and used it to transition in to home health care-did on-the-road for 2 years and then into management. while u go to pt's homes u truly learn how to manage indep. and become proficient in documenting and so on. the relationship u form with this pt. group is wonderful. as my life changed the bsn took me into school nursing which i did and still do -prn- and also use all mangement skills. best of luck
  9. by   cuhome
    I've been a home health/hospice nurse for about 18 years. I'm an ADN nurse. You don't need your BSN to get into the field, and there is a higher demand than you might think. Many home health RNs (including hospice) have their ADNs only, and they successfully transition into supervisory/management positions. In that field, on-the-job training matters a lot, as there is only one way to find out if you've got the skills set, and that's to do it. After 1-2 years in the field, you can start looking at supervisory/management options, and begin to position yourself for one of them. Home health and hospice, however, are more intense than the hospital or clinic nursing experience; you are your own manager, you do determine the plan of care for yourself and the entire team, you must be proficient and current on medicare/insurance guidelines, you must be proficient with documentation, you must be familiar with the healthcare systems in your area, you puts lots of wear and tear on your car, you are alone, so you must be a very independent/take charge personality, and the days can be very long. I estimate I put in an average of 60 hours a week. Generally, you are assigned a group of patients, and you are responsible for their care 24/7; most agencies have night and weekend staffing, but not all. In addition, you may be required to pull call duty some nights and rotating weekends. It looks like "nursing lite" on the outside, but it's anything but. If you want to get away from bedside nursing, I wouldn't recommend home health/hospice. But if you're willing to put in the intensive time in home health nursing, then transition to supervisory/management, go for it! I'd recommend talking to someone in your area who has been there, done that. Hope this helps, and good luck to you!
  10. by   chevyv
    I too am about 43 and am currently finishing my bachelors in Health Care Admin. I'm also finishing my bachelors in Nursing. That ADN doesn't seem very competitive in this economy. I can sit for my nursing home administrators license once I complete the HCA. Not that I think I could run a ltc facility, but my current job in behavioral health likes it if you have your administrators license as we do have some units licensed as ltc units. This is much better suited to me right now.

    I do agree, that getting a masters is what will help when your competing against so many for a job. But, I believe the route I'm going will help me get my foot in the door while I work towards that masters. Have to start somewhere! Good luck