A Quick Guide to Where Nurse Managers Can Take Their Career

A nurse administrator works with other members of medical team.Becoming a nurse manager is an excellent path to a career focused on helping others and making a positive impact in the healthcare system. A career as a nurse manager can lead to many opportunities beyond the bedside. Here are eight great job options for nurse managers.

  1. Clinical Nurse Manager

    A clinical nurse manager is focused both on patients and the health of the business. A clinical nurse manager’s duties include collaborating with doctors to create treatment plans; conducting rounds to monitor the care of patients; ensuring patient satisfaction; hiring, firing, and promoting; and supervising other nurses.1 A clinical nurse manager works to make sure that both clinical operations and the business itself are functioning optimally.

  2. Nurse Administrator

    A nurse administrator typically combines strong clinical experience with an advanced degree like a Master of Science in Nursing. Nurse administrators create the schedules for employees, give performance reviews, and create policies within the organization or business unit.2 Many nurse administrators are completely removed from clinical operations and spend most of their time in an office setting. Nurse administrators are important in making sure clinical care exceeds expectations.

  3. Mid-Level Management

    Nurse managers in middle management have mostly left clinical practice and are climbing up the corporate ladder. They can handle a wide range of duties, including addressing emerging trends, implementing innovative ideas, and improving quality and efficiency.3 They guide and lead nurses who provide clinical care while offering strategic support to the organization’s overall success.

  4. Head Nurse

    A head nurse will likely work in larger facilities like hospitals, treatment centers, or nursing homes and serve as the main person to coordinate all clinical nursing functions. In many cases, they will carry out the same functions as any other nurse but will also work closely with management and doctors.4 Depending on the size of the organization, a head nurse might be the nurse leader for a team or division, like pediatrics nurses or nurses working in the emergency room.

  5. Patient Care Director

    Another job opportunity for a nurse manager is working as a patient care director. A patient care director is a manager of a healthcare facility and is charged with providing supervision and leadership. As a patient care director, nurse managers will manage and direct clinical and administrative workers throughout the organization. They will also work closely with patients and their families to make sure they receive the best care possible.5

  6. Chief Nursing Officer

    A chief nursing officer is a senior role within large healthcare organizations. As a chief nursing officer, a nurse manager standardizes, develops, and ensures the appropriate translation of evidence-based care into daily practice throughout the organization. The chief nursing officer will provide a vision for the organization and implement actions to realize that vision.6

  7. Chief Executive Officer

    Nurse managers can make great CEOs for healthcare organizations. A nurse manager can garner a certain level of respect from the clinical staff because the staff knows the CEO, who was once a nurse, has been in their shoes. Nurse managers also tend to be service oriented, which is an asset for healthcare CEOs.7 While less traditional than having a business school background, a nurse manager can make an excellent healthcare CEO.

  8. Nurse Attorney

    Nurse attorneys combine a nursing degree, like a Master of Science in Nursing, with a law school degree. Some nurse attorneys work in advocacy of different healthcare or nursing-related issues. Others work for insurance companies or for professional journals. The most common role for a nurse attorney is working at a law firm and using clinical experience on complex cases.8 These are often medical malpractice cases involving doctors or nurses where a deep knowledge of both law and clinical practices is a must.

A nurse manager has numerous job options, and a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in leadership and management can put you on the right path to many of them. An online Master of Science in Nursing with a leadership and management specialization from an accredited online college can provide you with the necessary skills to shape the future of healthcare by making significant contributions to your organization in planning, finance, and human resources. And earning a degree online means you won’t have to disrupt the most important aspects of your life to earn the education you need to become a leader in healthcare.

Nurse managers have many career options beyond providing direct patient care. They are leaders of organizations, as well as important patient advocates and clinical innovators. With a MSN, you can take the first step toward a rewarding career and make a difference in the lives of many people.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


1Source: www.chegg.com/career-center/explore/clinical-nurse-manager
2Source: https://nurse.org/resources/nurse-manager/
3Source: www.americannursetoday.com/move-up-to-the-role-of-nurse-manager/
4Source: https://work.chron.com/job-description-responsibilities-head-nurse-12855.html
5Source: https://work.chron.com/education-needed-patient-care-director-27247.html
6Source: https://journals.lww.com/nursingmanagement/fulltext/2011/06000/The_role_of_the_corporate_chief_nursing_officer.10.aspx
7Source: www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/what-it-takes-be-nurse-and-ceo
8Source: www.discovernursing.com/specialty/nurse-attorney - .W4dX25NKiRt

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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