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Healthcare In Five: Nurse Manager

A career as a nurse manager provides aspiring nurses who are interested in taking on additional responsibilities in nursing with a unique pathway toward leadership in nursing or healthcare. Nurse managers must be highly organized, possess strong communication skills, and maintain strong and effective leadership qualities. Continue reading to learn what a career as a nurse manager could look like.


What Is A Nurse Manager

Nurse managers, also referred to as nurse administrators or clinical nurse coordinators, are responsible for the management and oversight of registered nurses within a designated department or unit. Nurse managers often serve as intermediaries between registered nurses and senior leadership, ensuring effective communication both inside nursing units and from senior leadership. Through their position, nurse managers ensure that nurses are providing safe, professional, and ethical care to all patients.


What Does A Nurse Manager Do?

Nurse managers are responsible for a variety of administrative and oversight tasks centered around the day-to-day operations of a nursing unit or department. These management and administrative responsibilities help ensure that hospital nurses are effectively and seamlessly able to complete their jobs as required. Here are just a few of the administrative and managerial responsibilities of nurse managers:



  • Managing, maintaining, and balancing a budget
  • Scheduling regular and overtime shifts for nurses within their department
  • Recruitment and hiring of new nurses for their units.
  • Communication liaison between nurses and leadership
  • Day-to-day miscellaneous tasks and responsibilities



  • Ensuring nurses have access to and are away of educational development opportunities.
  • Scheduling and mandating clinical trainings.
  • Handing disciplinary actions such as firing or incident management
  • Executing the vision and policies of senior leadership
  • Seeking and implementing new, more effective ways of care


Where Do Nurse Managers Work?

Nurse managers are commonly found working in hospitals where they oversee nurses working in a specific department or unit, however nurse managers can also be found in different healthcare settings. Nurse managers also be found working in long-term care settings, nursing, or assisted living facilities.

  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Residential or nursing care facilities
  • Outpatient or long-term care facilities


How Do You Become A Nurse Manager

There are multiple different ways to become a nurse manager, including a combination of nursing education, clinical nursing experience, advanced degrees, certifications, and more. While there is no single path to becoming a nurse manager, all are required to have graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have successfully passed the NCLEX-RN exam. After gaining at least five years of experience working in a clinical nursing setting, many aspiring nurse managers attend graduate school where they earn a Master of Science in Nursing or similar degree focused on management or administration. Once graduating with an MSN or similar degree, a supplemental professional certificate can be earned prior to applying for positions, which and give candidates an additional boost.

  • Graduate high school
  • Earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Test for and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Gain five years’ experience as a registered nurse.
  • Earn a graduate degree in nursing or related field focusing on leadership.
  • Test for and receive additional certification.


What Is The Career Outlook Of A Nurse Manager?

The career outlook for nurse managers is strong. Positions for nurse managers and similar roles is expected to increase over the next ten years as healthcare organizations continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that careers for Medical and Health Service Managers is expected to grow at a rate of 28% between 2022 and 2032, adding 144,700 jobs in that time period.

Becoming a nurse manager is a great way to build a career in leadership while setting the stage for more advanced positions in healthcare, including senior leadership or executive positions. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse manager but don’t have a degree in nursing, our Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs can help you start on your journey toward becoming a nurse manager.