Nurse Manager

Nurse Manager Job Description & Scope of Practice
A nurse manager is a nursing specialist that additionally performs in a supervisory role.  The nursing manager is a position that is responsible for overseeing the work of other nurses and health care professionals.

The nursing manager performs some of these work duties:

  • Hires, motivates, and manages nurses and other staff personnel
  • Coordinates nurse working schedules
  • Tracks and evaluates employee performance
  • Participates in the development of programs and services
  • Analyzes reports used to improve services
  • Assists in budgeting and planning for the department
  • Takes care of day-to-day running of the assigned medical area

How to Become a Nurse Manager

A nursing manager is often chosen from among the ranks of nurse care providers employed at the location.  If the nurse has experience and demonstrates excellent management potential, the health care administration may choose to promote a nurse from within the organization.  Another way to enter the nurse management field is to train specifically for it through advanced education in hospital administration.

Managing nurses may also become certified through a professional organization such as the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).  This highly respected organization also provides certification for nurse executives.  There are two certifications available including a Certificate in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) certification.

Nurse Manager Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs

To go into nursing management you must have a nursing degree as well as experience in nursing and management.  This means that you must first obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  Additionally, you must be licensed to practice nursing.

Because of the advanced management skills necessary for this medical management position it is also helpful to earn a master’s degree in nursing or in hospital administration.  By combining both nursing education with hospital administration education you will prepare yourself more thoroughly for a management position.  You will increase your ability to market yourself as a supervisor by including hospital administration education in your overall educational plan.

The Certification for Nurse Managers and Leaders (CNML) is awarded through the American Organization of Nurse Executives Credentialing Center (AONE) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation (AACN) as a collaborative effort. Applications go directly to the AONE. Eligible candidates must posses a bachelor degree or higher degree and two years experience as a nurse manager. Other degrees are acceptable, including associates, provided the applicant meets increased experience requirements. Those wishing to take the certification exam may take a self-assessment exam and participate in study groups hosted by AONE. Certification is not required, but it is encouraged.

Nurse Manager Salary and Career Outlook

Nursing managers are necessary in all areas including hospitals, medical care centers, health care organizations, health clinics, senior care facilities, long term and hospice care centers, ambulatory care centers, and any other type of health care facility where nurses are present.  Managing nurses are also necessary in the private sector in areas such as healthcare services.

There are often different levels of nursing managers, depending on the specific medical care facility.  For example, an entry level management positoin may have fewer responsibilities than a manager with more experience in management.  An entry level position will carry a lower salary than one of a more experienced level.

In general, nursing supervisors and managers in major cities can expect a salary of about $60,000 to $85,000 per year.  The salary will be commensurate with your education and experience levels.  There will generally be an increased need for nurses to perform management activities as more nursing professionals are added to the job market over time.  The need for health care professionals is expected to grow over the next decade.