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Nurse Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: December 10, 2022

A Nurse Manager, or Nurse Supervisor, is in charge of overseeing a team of nurses as they provide healthcare services to patients and manage their records. Their duties include training, scheduling and mentoring nursing staff, managing a budget for their team and consulting on patient treatment plans.

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Nurse Manager duties and responsibilities

A Nurse Manager has many duties and responsibilities based on their health care setting. The following are some of the major duties and responsibilities of a Nurse Manager:

  • Create goals and objectives for their department or facility and make sure they are met by the staff
  • Communicate with staff and department heads
  • Keep and organize records of the particular facility
  • Recruit and train nurses and other health professionals
  • Create work schedules for nurses
  • Ensure the facility they work in is compliant with current laws
  • Improve the quality and efficiency of the level of care delivered to patients
  • Solve any problems patients might have at the facility
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What does a Nurse Manager do?

Nurse Managers work at clinics, hospitals or care facilities to supervise patient care and develop long-term plans for professional development on their team. Their role is to establish and maintain nursing standards and enforcing them on their team to make sure that all staff implement best practices when interacting with patients and tracking their treatment. Nurse Managers supervise the volume of patients and delegate tasks to team members so they can efficiently process the flow of patients through intake, care and discharge. They seek out training and growth opportunities, giving consistent feedback to their team.

Nurse Manager skills and qualifications

Nurse Managers usually have a varied skill set that encompasses both medical and leadership abilities. The following are some of the skills a Nurse Manager should have:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work with a variety of health care professionals and patients
  • Extensive clinical skills for specific unit
  • Ability to lead and motivate others
  • Work flexibility
  • Good organization and planning skills

Nurse Manager salary expectations

The average salary expectation for a Nurse Manager is $91,895 per year, with an overtime pay average of $11,500 a year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Nurse Manager education and training requirements

Nurse Managers need at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which takes four years of classroom study and clinical experience. Since all Nurse Managers are at least Registered Nurses, they need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Once they pass the exam, they can apply for an RN license through their state’s licensing board. After getting a BSN, they can get a master’s in nursing, health care or business. 

Nurse Manager experience requirements

A Nurse Manager must have a number of years of prior work experience in health care. The experience can be gained through administrative or clinical positions in a clinic, private practice or a hospital. A Nurse Manager usually has at least three to five years of experience as a Registered Nurse. This ensures they have the knowledge and expertise to manage and teach a unit. 

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If you’re looking for candidates for similar roles to the Nurse Manager, see our job description templates for related positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Nurse Managers


What is the difference between a Nurse Manager and a Charge Nurse?

Nurse Managers and Charge Nurses both hold leadership positions on a nursing staff. Nurse Managers are in charge of the entire nursing team as a whole, unlike Charge Nurses who take a leadership position on a certain shift. Nurse Managers decide how to distribute the budget on supplies, training and hiring. They serve a key role in deciding who joins their team. Charge Nurses have a position of authority during their shifts on-site, and ultimately report to the Nurse Manager about issues that occur on their shift. A Nurse Manager supports multiple charge nurses to cover 24/7 patient care.


What are the qualities of a good Nurse Manager?

Good Nurse Managers are dedicated to professionalism when interacting with patients and staff. They have the maturity and confidence to mentor others and give advice on how to resolve medical emergencies, improve operations and work as a team. They enjoy being hands-on and using modeling and hands-on training to teach others, developing close professional relationships with the Nurses on their team to empower them. Successful Nurse Managers advocate for their patients and constantly work to provide better care and anticipate the healthcare needs of their community.


What are the daily duties of a Nurse Manager?

Nurse Managers perform a combination of leadership tasks, administrative duties and direct patient care. They assign tasks to their nursing team and spend time evaluating their behavior and analyzing their patient outcomes to identify successes and areas for improvement. They address issues like hygiene, infection control and best practices for administering medication. Nurse Managers spend time coaching Nurses one-on-one and setting goals for their career growth. They facilitate communication between their team and other staff such as Doctors, Orderlies, Administrators and custodial staff. They also analyze financial data and compare the budget to expenses and plan new initiatives.


Who reports to a Nurse Manager?

Nurse Managers oversee a team of Nurses with different titles and responsibilities. Some of the roles that report to a Nurse Manager include Charge Nurse, Critical Care Nurse, Surgical Nurse, NICU Nurse, Pediatric Nurse and Nursing Assistant. They maintain knowledge of all types of nursing roles and their impact on patients, providing direct feedback about each Nurse’s actions in the context of their particular job. They also work with front desk staff, Filing Clerks, Bookkeepers and Medical Billers to streamline processes throughout the business side of the clinic.

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