Do I Have to be a Nurse to Become a Hospital Administrator?

When looking for a career that is challenging, can be financially rewarding, and ultimately revolves around helping to save and improve people’s lives, becoming a hospital administrator could be a great option. In many cases, people that are hospital administrators may have started their careers as nurses. While this is a common path, it is by no means a requirement to become an administrator. There are a variety of different career and educational paths that could be taken to become an administrator.

Education

One of the most important parts of becoming an administrator is that you will have to have the right education. It does not necessarily require you to have a specific bachelor’s degree, but to become an administrator in a hospital, you will need to have a masters degree in the field. The masters program will normally take no more than two years to complete, and once you have finished it, you can sit for any licensing exam that is required by the state. The fact that a bachelor’s degree is not required is ideal as it gives people from a variety of different professional fields the option to transfer their career focus to become an administrator.

Therapy

One career path that feeds well into becoming an administrator for a hospital is a therapist. Therapists are often responsible for caring for patients, billing Medicaid and Medicare, complying with policies, and even budgeting for their own departments. An advantage that people in this field have is that they probably already work for a hospital and understand all of the procedures and practices that are required by law. This can give them a step up against people that are entering the field from other professions.

Business

People that have a business degree and background could also make great administrators. Ultimately, a hospital administrator is responsible to ensure that the hospital does well financially. This can include budgeting, forecasting, negotiating contracts to save costs and increase revenues, and even looking for alternative ways that the hospital could raise funds. Overall, someone that has been in charge in a business environment may have done many of these tasks while working for another organization. Having this background, particularly if you were in a leadership role, and coupled with the education should make you a prime candidate for an open administrator position.

Hospital Accounting

For those that are looking to become an administrator, working for a hospital in the accounting or finance department could be a great option. Those that are in these fields will likely spend a lot of their time trying to prepare hospital financial statements and also try to collect on past due bills from insurance companies, the government, and individuals. As part of this, many people will then get to have daily contact with other senior staff on the business side of a hospital. When in one of these positions, you may ultimately have the opportunity to step into higher roles, including assistant administration. Once you have worked in one of these positions, you will be a prime candidate to take over the position as hospital administrator when a position opens up.