Every healthcare team needs an expert coach and architect of change to inspire collaboration and help shape the future of the organization. Nurse executives assume this role as they influence, design, develop, and direct the processes and systems for patient care delivery.
Natural leaders with management skills, nurse executives are critical thinkers, decision makers and strong communicators.
As a nurse executive, you will have the opportunity to innovate, impact healthcare policies, and improve patient care across the healthcare continuum. Creativity, accountability, effective communication, the facilitation of professional development, and financial stewardship are the cornerstones of nursing leadership.
Nurse executives serve as role models in supporting the mission and vision of their organization, valuing diversity, facilitating communication, and encouraging creativity. Their responsibilities also include providing professional development and learning opportunities for staff and continuing their own education through participation in nursing associations, and other growth opportunities.
The following principles guide nursing executive practice:
- Collaboration across roles
- Partnerships with constituents, including patients and providers
- Serving as an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves
- Assuming collective accountability
- Connection to networks of wellness, acute care, ambulatory, and long term care providers
- Delivery of cost effective patient care
Overall, nurse executives are team leaders who are facilitate collaboration, coordinate outcomes management, co-create effective solutions, successfully mentor their team, and enable the spirit of the community.
The Nurse Executive specialization will help prepare you for a senior leadership role in a variety of disciplines – as a manager, director, supervisor, chief nursing officer, and more. You will be responsible for advancing the nursing discipline, facilitating the design of patient care delivery, building relationships with staff and colleagues, fostering stewardship, and managing financial and economic operations.
While nursing roles are population-focused, not setting-specific, nurse executives may work in the following academic and healthcare settings:
- Home health
- Rehabilitation centers
Specialty hospitals may prefer to work with nurses who have clinical experience in their specialty field.
Role Specialty Learning Outcomes
In addition to the program learning outcomes, the graduate of the MSN with a nurse executive role specialty would achieve the following role specialty learning outcomes:
- Develop healthy workplace communities through effective communication, collaborative relationships, trust, conflict resolution, consensus building, and creation of a shared vision.
- Utilize systems thinking and knowledge of delivery models and healthcare economics, policy, and governance to facilitate organizational compliance, performance, and growth.
- Demonstrate leadership through modeling and emphasis on data-driven decision-making, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and patient safety.
- Lead planned change necessary for the achievement of institutional and departmental goals.
- Design strategies for the continuing development of staff for personal growth as well as improvement of patient and organizational outcomes.
- Implement the role of a nurse leader, nurse manager, or nurse executive in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner.
This program requires 225 clock hours of practica. The two practicum courses are in the last two terms of the MSN program and can be completed in your home community with a preceptor who is a nurse executive. The purpose of the practicum experiences is to learn about role of a nurse executive from someone who is actually working in your desired role specialty and to provide you experiential learning in the role of a nurse executive.
Nurse executive students may choose to participate in an optional on-campus residency program at one of USAHS’ four destination campuses.
During the residency, you will broaden your perspective through interprofessional learning activities, hone your oral presentation skills, network with alumni and health care professionals, meet one-on-one with your program director, and collaborate with peers from various programs.
Residency programs are completed in twelve hours, over two-and-a-half days. Additionally, course time will be shortened by approximately four weeks.
Students may also pursue the following certifications:
- Nurse Executive-Advanced (NEA-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and BSN to DNP students at USAHS may choose to pursue the Nurse Executive specialization, and complete the required courses. Learn more about additional nursing specializations at USAHS.