This article continues the exploration of thinking ahead in your upcoming career – whether you aspire to become a clinical nurse practitioner, administrator or educator, now is a good time to gather information.

In last month’s issue, Jill Kilanowski, PhD, RN, APRN, CPNP, FAAN, associate dean for Graduate Nursing Programs at MCCN, discussed what the career of a clinical nurse practitioner might entail. She talked about the importance of students understanding their passion in nursing and advised working a few years before applying for a master’s degree so that experience can inform decisions about in what direction one might want to head.

This month, Dr. Kilanowski discusses the process of discernment for becoming a nursing administrator.

“If someone has gifted people skills and has the ability to take a wide view of a situation in order to provide helpful direction for others, or they can readily identify problems and figure out solutions, they might want to consider the Nursing Administration track,” she says.

A Master of Science in Nursing Administration prepares professional registered nurses to assume advanced roles in nursing administration. As an administrator – including chief nursing officer – a nurse would plan, direct and coordinate nursing programs and initiatives for hospitals, health systems, or specific clinical areas or departments.

“Someone who follows this track will have an interest in leading and collaborating with other disciplines to achieve quality outcomes for patients,” explains Dr. Kilanowski. “In working situations they would be called upon to use epidemiological, social and environmental data to draw inferences for the development of healthcare services, with application of evidence-based practice in nursing,” she adds.

The opportunity to develop and implement programs on health promotion, disease prevention, and population health fall into this career track, as does the responsibility to lead and evaluate nursing delivery systems to assure quality outcomes, Dr. Kilanowski explains.

“The Nursing Administration program is for professional nurses who want to take their career to a higher level by assuming leadership, managerial and administrative roles,” she adds.

January issue: What does it take to be a Nursing Educator?

Graduate Program at MCCN:

Master of Science: MCCN’s fully accredited master’s degree program offers core classes online, with clinical classes taught face-to-face. The Master of Science (MS) degree is available in four tracks:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Education - all online

Post-Master’s Certificate: In addition, professionals who already hold a master’s degree in Nursing may wish to take their careers to a higher level with a post-master’s graduate certificate in a focused field of study. MCCN offers certification through the same four track options.

Doctor of Nursing Practice: For those professionals who want to advance as innovative leaders in implementing evidence-based, cost-effective and collaborative healthcare solutions, while positively impacting outcomes for patient populations at the complex systems level, MCCN’s doctorate program is for them.

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