What Are The Roles Of A Nurse Manager?

Nurse managers are highly experienced nurses who bridge the gap between bedside care and administrative roles.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for registered nurses in on the rise, and many of these roles are in management positions.

In a nutshell, a nurse manager is responsible for creating a safe and healthy working environment that supports the work of the healthcare team and contributes to patient engagement. Nurse managers have an influential role; they must develop a professional environment where interdisciplinary team members can execute their duties optimally.

Being a leader comes with many duties and responsibilities, but this is a rewarding position if you’d like to advance in your nursing career.

What Are The Key Roles Of  A Nurse Manager?

The roles of a nurse manager intertwine one-on-one time with patients with managerial responsibilities.

Oftentimes, nurse managers don’t spend as much time as a registered nurse with the patient, but they play an important role in service delivery by overseeing the team of nurses.

While most nurse managers work in hospitals and ambulatory centers, they can also be employed by other healthcare facilities. They often work in close collaboration with frontline managers and clinic leaders.

The roles and responsibilities of a nurse manager include:

  • Recruitment and retention of nursing staff: Perhaps one of the most important roles. You’ll decide who gets to join the teams of registered nurses but are also responsible for creating and maintaining a great working place for the team to thrive.
  • Supervision of the registered nurses: As a nurse manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team’s practice aligns with the philosophy of the organization.
  • Establishment of overall goals and strategy: Another key role is to establish performance goals for your team and determine overall strategies that can help your team reach the goals within the department.
  • Overseeing compliance: Nurse managers must also ensure that every registered nurse in the team maintains professional standards and complies with the regulatory requirements.
  • Create shift schedules: Another responsibility of a nurse manager is to coordinate registered nurses and create work schedules.
  • Administrative roles: Last but not least, nurse managers also have administrative roles. They must monitor their department’s budget, ensuring the effective utilization of all operational resources.
  • Patient care: Nurse managers don’t dedicate themselves to patient care as much as registered nurses, but that will still be one of your key roles as a nurse. As a leading nurse, you’ll have to offer support, especially in emergency situations.

It is easy to understand, therefore, that the roles of a nurse manager are multifaceted. From patient care to administrative and managerial duties, nurse managers are responsible for the smooth operation of their department.

What Are The Qualities Of A Good Nurse Manager?

Considering the roles of a nurse manager, you might be wondering what it takes to be successful in this position. According to the American Association of Nurse Leadership, nurse manager should have the following qualities:  

  • Integrity: Perhaps the fundamental quality of a nurse manager is personal integrity, as it allows them to helps nurses make the right decision during critical junctures in a patient’s treatment plan. Integrity will also help the nurse manager teach and adapt all ethically viable practices that allow making safe and effective care decisions.
  • Critical thinking: This skill is vital in a healthcare environment, especially in departments where multidisciplinary collaboration is essential. As a nurse manager, you will have to use critical thinking to develop your team’s ability to make decisions based on a variety of factors.
  • Mentorship: Another essential skill of a nurse manager is the ability to deploy motivational strategies for each individual personality of the registered nurses in your team. By empowering and guiding your team towards understanding their role, you’ll cultivate an environment of continual learning while giving each nurse enough autonomy, so they don’t feel micromanaged.
  • Communication skills: As a nurse manager, you must be able to communicate with your team in a clear and concise manner. At the same time, it’s also your responsibility to ensure that your nurses can communicate correctly with other medical professionals, including primary care providers and supporting staff.
  • Emotional intelligence: Nurse managers must also possess emotional intelligence so that they can provide support and help their peers cope with the stress during routine challenges. You should be able to identify emotional exhaustion and poor team collaboration and organize teambuilding sessions to prevent counterproductive influences from compromising the delivery of adequate care services.
  • Dedication to excellence: It is also essential for a nurse manager to be completely dedicated to excellence, exemplifying this through perseverance in the caregiving setting. You must assess nurses’ performance and develop techniques used to improve the delivery of the caregiving service. To do this, nurse managers must have top-notch clinical practice knowledge.

What Is A Nurse Manager Salary?

Nurse managers have good pay prospects, with the median annual wage being $99,730. Like for any other job, the actual salary will depend on the organization, state, and area where you work.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10% of those occupying medical and health managerial positions earned less than $58,680, while the highest 10% earned more than $182,600.

How to Become A Nurse Manager?

Demand for nurse managers is expected to increase, and if you want to become one, you should start with obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing and a registered nurse license, which are the main requirements for the role.

Whether you’ll need higher education or not depends on the requirements of each organization. However, a master’s degree can be an excellent extra-step towards your dream job.

Work experience as a registered nurse is another requisite; one way to prepare for your nurse manager career is to take on additional responsibilities in your current nursing role. Furthermore, you might also need experience with your organization’s digital tools, such as electronic health records.

So, what do you think? Would a nurse manager position fit you?

Tell us in a comment below; and if you know someone else who might consider this career, share this article with your friends.