Nurse Manager / Administrator

Nurse Managers and administrators, sometimes referred to as a head nurse, can work in many locations, be it a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or physicians’ office, to name a few. They are basically the head nurse for that facility, and are ultimately responsible for the nursing staff there and the care they provide. In some workplaces they might be the main nurse manager, but in larger settings they can have assistants who they oversee as well. Their responsibilities are varied, but are not different in scope from managers at non-medical facilities or companies. Nurse managers’ duties can encompass many things, but might include hiring, training, and evaluating staff nurses, coordinating the nursing staff’s work schedules, and ensuring they are providing optimal care. Additional duties can include keeping on top of developments in their field and incorporating them into their work setting, overseeing use of equipment and inventory, or communicating with hospital administration. They need to also be comfortable as practicing registered nurses in their field. They need to not only have their BSN and some nursing experience, but they need to be organized, efficient, innovative, and comfortable in a leadership role.

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Becoming a nurse manager begins with becoming a licensed, registered nurse. Usually nurse managers are nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing, and often have a master’s degree. You can even become a certified nurse manager and leader (CNML). This would be a voluntary certification, but one that would increase your leadership skills and marketability. It would demonstrate your commitment to your leadership role in nursing. To become certified, you would need to be a licensed, registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as a minimum of two years of nursing leadership experience. Some nurse managers might also have a degree in nursing administration or health administration, which are offered at colleges, universities, and schools of business administration or public health.

With the advanced education and increased responsibility also comes a higher pay scale. According to, the median salary of a nurse manager in the U.S. is $87,425, with the top 25% earning over $97,120. It also tends to be higher in medical and surgical hospitals than in clinics, doctors’ offices, or nursing care facilities. The outlook for nurse managers in any nursing specialty is also very good. Many people are aware of or have read about nursing shortages in the news. Healthcare is indeed growing at a rapid rate to keep up with the growing aging population. Nursing is projected to be one of the fastest growing professions for many years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the more educated the nurse, the more in demand they will be. Take advantage of this growth in nursing, which can translate to job security for you. Finish your four-year nursing degree or get started on an advanced degree or leadership courses. Once you are an established nurse, entering nursing administration and becoming a nurse manager is a logical step that can bring you to a challenging and rewarding new level of your nursing career.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives, Bureau of Labor Statistics)