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Healthcare In Five: Director of Nursing

Are you a registered nurse considering stepping into a leadership role as a director of nursing? As one of the top positions for nursing professionals, they’re responsible for leading and managing registered nurses in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Learn how you can start working toward this career path today.


What Is A Nursing Director?

A director of nursing or Clinical directors in some facilities, are licensed, certified nursing professionals in charge of managing the administrative aspects of a nursing department or healthcare facility. They serve in a leadership position, and oftentimes work with senior leadership of healthcare institutions.


What Does A Director of Nursing Do?

Nursing directors are responsible for the management and oversight a nursing departments administrative functions. In many cases, they step away from everyday patient care to guide, manage, and build up nursing teams while overseeing the day-to-day operations of registered nurses under their supervision. Common responsibilities include:

  • Staff management (hiring, firing, scheduling)
  • Creating and adhering to a budget
  • Driving innovation into the nursing practice
  • Staying up-to-date on and implementing the latest nursing trends and practices
  • Serving as a liaison between nurses and hospital leadership


Where Does A Director of Nursing Work?

A director of nursing is most commonly found working in hospitals or other large healthcare facilities overseeing all or a group of nurses. They can also be found working in small to medium-size healthcare institutions overseeing nursing staff or overall office operations. Some common places they can be found working in include:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Clinics
  • Physician offices
  • Community health centers


How Do You Become A Nursing Director?

The path to becoming one includes multiple years of education, in-person nursing experience, and in some cases additional professional certifications. Almost all nursing directors start out working as licensed registered nurses before returning to school for their master of science in nursing or related degree. Many then go on to earn a doctorate of nursing practice or similar degree. For those seeking additional credentials, professional certifications can help boost a resume. The common education and career path for a director position includes:

  • Graduating high school
  • Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree
  • Gaining experience in the nursing field
  • Earning a Master of Science in Nursing or Healthcare Administration degree
  • OPTIONAL: Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree
  • OPTIONAL: Professional certifications


What Is The Career Outlook Of A Nursing Director?

The position is one of the highest levels of nursing leadership one can obtain. Becoming one takes many years of education, in-person experience, and commitment to the field. As leaders in the nursing profession, nursing directors are often looked up not only for their position, but for their experience in the field and expertise in nursing. The journey begins as a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Explore how you can kickstart your career in nursing at the University of Providence. Explore our undergraduate and graduate offerings in nursing today.