How do I Become a Director of Nursing?

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  • Written By: Larry Ray Palmer
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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To become a director of nursing, you must meet certain educational requirements. There might be additional government regulations in your area, and there are some basic educational criteria that are generally considered to be universal requirements. To meet all of the skill requirements to become a director of nursing, your education should include nursing and business administration as major parts of the curriculum.

While studying for your nursing degree, it is essential to gain working experience in the field of nursing. For most nursing degrees, a small amount of work experience is included as a part of the curriculum, so this should not be a problem. If you intend to become a director of nursing, additional work experience might be beneficial to your future career.

Work experience with a demonstrable ability to lead a staff is a prerequisite for those who wish to become a director of nursing. In the majority of cases, nursing work experience should include five to 10 years of work as a registered nurse (RN) in the field of long-term nursing. Experience in a supervisory position, such as charge nurse or supervising nurse, is often valued highly and might result in job offers for those who have less experience if the need for nursing directors rises.


Nursing directors must hold a minimum licensing as a registered nurse in almost all areas. The majority of nursing facilities insist that prospective nursing directors hold more extensive degrees, such as a bachelor's degree or master's degree in nursing or a related science. An individuals seeking employment in this field should consider the highest level of education he or she can personally attain to assist him or her in meeting the objective to become a director of nursing.

Dual degree candidates who wish to become a director of nursing are highly valued by many nursing facilities. The dual degree combinations that are the most sought after include master's degrees in nursing and healthcare administration or business administration. Individuals who possess these degrees have a much greater opportunity to find job placement and become a director of nursing than those who hold a degree only in nursing.

With the demand for nursing directors being continuously on the rise, the prospects for becoming a director of nursing are very good for students who maintain a fair-to-good grade point average (GPA) and leave college with dual degrees in nursing and administration. Working in a healthcare facility during your college training might be beneficial in gaining the necessary work experience in the field and making the necessary business connections to eventually become a director of nursing. To further increase your chances of meeting your objectives, it is highly advised to stay up to date with current nursing networks, news and journals, even after completing your education, because the field of healthcare is in a constant state of change, and a prospective nursing director needs to stay abreast of this information.


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