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What do you think is the best way to get into healthcare management?

Wednesday October 3, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am a certified nursing assistant and would like to get my BSN. It’s difficult to get into a program in California and the waiting list is very long. I want to stay in healthcare, so I am considering going into healthcare management and eventually earning a master’s degree in nursing. If I find I enjoy this side of healthcare, then I might stay in management. What do you think? What's the best way to get into healthcare management?

Tired of Waiting

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Tired of Waiting,

That's an interesting consideration. I certainly can understand you don't want to sit around waiting to see what happens with the BSN programs. You are correct when you say you might like healthcare management. Either way, you always can go back to nursing school at a later date. I suggest you check out the American College of Healthcare Executives (www.ache.org). If you do pursue a healthcare management degree, you can become a student member. This will increase your learning curve, give you access to members-only portions of their website and help you find role models and mentors. Networking is well-known to be a great way to find a job. Being an ACHE member will give you a competitive edge in the job market. You can break into this field by finding an internship, sometimes while you are still a student, or simply seeking a healthcare management position. If you present yourself as confident, professional, hardworking, passionate and enthusiastic and you are persistent and determined, you will find something. Once you get your first job and gain some experience, you will have more options.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.