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7 Careers in Healthcare that Leverage Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership involves the ways in which leaders influence and implement the organizational vision to increase organizational efficiency and stay competitive. Strategic leadership involves delegating responsibilities; practicing transparency, open communication and strong organizational skills; and developing leadership skills in others. While all industries can benefit from strategic leadership, healthcare is a particular case. Strategic leadership is especially critical in the healthcare realm because of its direct impact to the public, multitude of skilled employees, complex payment systems and changing laws and regulations. The following careers in healthcare utilize strategic leadership daily to improve organizational outcomes.

Closeup of a Nurse Holding a Stethoscope

Hospital Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is usually the highest position in a healthcare organization and is responsible for the overall direction of a hospital’s operations. Among their many duties, CEOs create and implement hospital policies. They also work in collaboration with other top executives to ensure effective strategies are being communicated and implemented to reach goals and leverage change. Hospital CEOs generally possess a medical background with high-level management and administrative experience in healthcare. While salaries for this position vary according to experience, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts the median average compensation at $181,210.

Hospital Chief Financial Officer

The role of the hospital Chief Financial Officer (CFO) entails creating business policies and implementing financial strategies that will ensure the hospital’s profitability and efficiency in a competitive industry. This executive position demonstrates strategic leadership in carrying out such necessary duties as applying financial analysis and discovering innovative ways of expanding profits. Some hospital CFOs have educational backgrounds in business administration and accounting, with many having years of experience as certified public accountants (CPAs). The average salary for top executives such as the CFO is $103,950, with potential for increased pay and benefits.

Health Information Manager

This field is rife with opportunity as health information technology continues to be adopted and utilized by more healthcare organizations. Information such as medical histories, X-rays, laboratory tests and diagnoses, and much more are increasingly being maintained electronically in information systems. The health information manager requires a combination of strong technical and analytical skills to manage and maintain the daily information technology operations of the organization. This position also ensures the stored electronic health records and any sensitive information of every patient are accurate and protected. The average salary of professionals who bring a few years of experience ranges from $50,000 to $75,000.

Hospital Administrator

A hospital administrator is a leadership position that oversees the management of all business aspects of a hospital. A career as a hospital administrator requires focused education in business administration and healthcare, plus real-world hospital management experience. Duties include the daily management of personnel, finances, facility operations and public relations. Strategic planning is a necessity for hospital administrators because their leadership position requires they keep employees in all departments on track on a daily basis. The average annual salary for a hospital administrator is $96,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Assistant Administrator

This position is the firsthand aide to the hospital administrator and is responsible for carrying out the planning, supervision and coordination of hospital activities. These professionals are often more deeply involved in the day-to-day details of running a hospital, such as raising funds, resolving complaints and enforcing hospital policies. Assistant hospital administrators usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, although those with higher education can find increased opportunities for greater leadership positions. The average salary and benefits for assistant administrators vary based on experience. Growth prospects for this position have risen in recent years.

Healthcare Consultant

The healthcare consultant is responsible for examining an organization’s processes, identifying problems, analyzing relevant data and finding adequate business solutions. Operational challenges can exist in various areas such as budgeting, revenue generation, staffing levels, and the sourcing and hiring of new employees. Management analysts earn a median salary of $85,960, and stand to see an expected growth in the field of 14 percent through 2024. Healthcare consultants in particular may see a rise in career opportunities as federal healthcare reform continues to mandate changes in business practices for providers (including hospitals) and insurance companies. Consultants play a key role in helping organizations, healthcare executives and hospital administrators navigate these federal changes.

Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrators represent a specialized leadership position within the healthcare field. The position is similar to that of the hospital administrator in that it oversees financial aspects, facility operations, staff, personnel management and other administrative duties. It is more specialized due to the focus of a nursing home on gerontology and associated issues such as hospice and palliative care. The mean annual salary for administrators in the nursing home environment is $80,340.

Strategic Leadership Comes from Experience and Education

Each of these healthcare careers involves providing leadership and overseeing the technical and operational aspects of an organization. In order for healthcare organizations to thrive and to continue to bring quality care to patients and families, they need strong strategic leaders. These specialized leadership skills not only help organizations meet their goals, but also give an edge to those individuals who seek business administration careers in healthcare. They are responsible for guiding newly minted and veteran employees through an ever-evolving professional landscape. However, no amount of leadership can compensate for insufficient training. This makes choosing the right learning institution a critical first step in launching a successful career in healthcare.

Learn More
As healthcare evolves, so can your career. Start by forming a clear strategy. At the George Washington University, our online Healthcare MBA draws insights from elite faculty leaders based in the nation’s capital. As a pioneer in the industry, this program is designed to help professionals expand upon decades of experience to hone a specialized expertise — and it has helped graduates succeed for more than 15 years.

Recommended Readings
5 Reasons Why We Need Healthcare Professionals Now More Than Ever
Careers in Healthcare – Which Healthcare Profession Suits You?
Healthcare Careers that Provide High Financial Security


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