Steps to Become a Certified Nurse Executive (NE)
How do you become a certified nurse executive? The path typically requires education, experience and certification. Though everyone’s path is different, below are some common steps to become a certified nurse executive.
1. Complete an Accredited Nursing Education Program
Getting into nursing school and earning a bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree in nursing helps you fulfill the educational requirements to earn a certification as a nurse executive. For example, the Nurse Executive, Advanced Certification (NEA-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) requires at least a master’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a master’s in another field.
2. Obtain Your RN License
You’ll need an active RN license to get a nurse executive certification. Nursing licensure varies by state, so check your state’s specific requirements. To apply for a nurse license and become an RN, you’ll have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
3. Obtain Required Additional Education and Experience
Most nurse executive certifications require education related to nurse leadership or nurse administration. Both the NEA-BC and the Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC) from the ANCC require 30 hours of continuing education in nursing administration and some experience in the field. This specialized education may prepare you to lead nursing teams in a variety of environments.
4. Apply for Certification
A professional nursing certification may benefit you in your nurse executive job search and may be required for many nurse executive positions. Professional credentials like the NEA-BC and NE-BC are available to indicate that you’ve met ANCC’s requirements for certification.