Nurse executives can be some of the highest earners amongst people in RN jobs, often commanding salaries of $100,000 or more a year.
Nurse executives work at various administrative levels, and in various settings including the insurance industry, hospitals, and nursing unions. A nurse executive may help design plans for optimal, cost effective patient care, partner with community groups to help coordinate appropriate care related to population needs, or coordinate outcomes management via promotion of quality improvement and care systems implementation.
Nursing executives are in potentially high income jobs compared to other kinds of nurses. They have the potential to influence health care policy and advocate for the nursing profession at high levels, while the skills they develop easily translate to business management.
What are the disadvantages? Nurse executives face high stress and the possibility of decreased contact with nurses performing clinical responsibilities.
To be a good nurse executive it takes great attention to detail as well as "Vision" - an ability to conceptualize larger questions and look at long-term results and consequences. There's no question that they need strong communication skills and an interest in systems and policies.