All long-term care facilities employ nursing directors. A nursing director is not only required to be a practicing nurse, but is also responsible for coordinating the activities and functions of the nurses on staff at the facility. Because of this, a leader in the nursing industry often requires experience and dual degrees.
Generally, an Associates of Science in Nursing is not enough to progress through the ranks and most places are hiring someone that has a bachelor’s degree only to be in staffing. People who are interested in becoming a Director of Nursing should look to a more extensive education. For example, a Master of Science in Nursing with a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Science in Nursing with a Master of Science in Health Care Administration.
Administration classes and degrees are an asset to the nursing student because they introduce the concepts of financial management, clerical work, and many health care policies. When researching which colleges or universities of interest, individuals must consider only those that offer opportunities for them to obtain a dual degree in an optimum time frame.
Many hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or health care agencies expect applicants for directors to have degrees in nursing and business and also have at least five to ten years of experience; therefore the student needs to consider all of their options. It may be more practical to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, get a job in staffing, and then pursue the higher levels of education. By doing this, they can earn their higher degrees while gaining their years of experience and gaining more knowledge with on the job training.
As well as an educational background, most places also view any nursing supervisor experience as a plus. Becoming a nursing director is much more involved than just becoming a registered nurse.