As we celebrate Nurses Month, we at USAHS wanted to get a sense of what a typical workday is like for a nurse manager. We asked alum Ahnnya Slaughter, DNP, to tell us all about a day in her life. Dr. Slaughter graduated in 2021 from USAHS’ Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the Nurse Executive role specialty. Coming from a military family, she began working at a VA hospital in the Los Angeles area 30 years ago as a critical care RN. “Veterans deserve the best care,” she says. “My calling wasn’t to be in the military. This is my way of being able to serve the country.” Over the years, she worked her way up, through positions such as informatics specialist, deputy nurse executive, and director of clinical staff development. She began Read more
Nurse Executive Role Specialty
As a nurse executive, you’ll have the opportunity to innovate new processes, influence policies, and improve patient care. As you lead diverse teams and mentor staff, you can advance the role of nursing in your healthcare organization.
In our Nurse Executive role specialty, you’ll learn strategies for managing financial and IT operations; designing operational and clinical processes; and creating a healthy, collaborative workplace culture. You’ll prepare for a role as a manager, director, supervisor, chief nursing officer, and more. Nurse executives work across large and small clinical organizations.
Nurse Executive Role Specialty At a Glance
- Online coursework + optional on-campus immersions
- 36 credit hours + 225 practicum contact hours
- 6 trimesters (2 years), although acceleration options are available*
- Sept., Jan. & May start dates, plus midterm starts
*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress, credits transferred, and other factors.
To accelerate course completion and meet your faculty and peers, you may choose to participate in one or more optional on-campus or virtual immersion weekends. These weekends are a chance for you to broaden your perspective by collaborating with your interprofessional peers, hone your presentation skills, network with alumni and healthcare professionals, meet one-on-one with your program director, and more.
As a role specialty within the MSN, this program requires 225 clock hours of practica over two courses, scheduled in the final two terms. (Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate students in this role specialty do not complete practica.) You can complete your practica with preceptors who meet accreditation and state licensure requirements. You’ll gain experiential knowledge about the role of a nurse executive from a mentor who is working in this capacity. A dedicated advisor will work with you to secure practica sites. (Students should plan on the need to travel and on some occasions, relocate for practica.)
Graduates of our Nurse Executive specialty will be ready to pursue the Nurse Executive, Advanced Certification (NEA-BC), administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Role Specialty Learning Outcomes
In addition to the program learning outcomes, graduates of the Nurse Executive role specialty will be able to:
- Develop healthy workplace communities through effective communication, collaborative relationships, trust, conflict resolution, consensus building, and creation of a shared vision.
- Utilize knowledge of systems thinking, delivery models, 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 initiatives that are necessary for the achievement of institutional and departmental goals.
- Design strategies for the continuing development of staff for personal growth as well as the 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.