Thinking of becoming a Nurse Manager? Then you’ve come to the right place!
There are lots of benefits to becoming a Nurse Manager: you get a better salary, have more flexibility, and you play a key role in your healthcare facility.
In this role, you’re responsible for overseeing the entire nursing staff. That’s quite a large and important task, but it could be a great fit if you’re a natural leader and super organized.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Nurse Manager salaries and responsibilities and see if this nursing speciality may be right for you!
Table of Contents
Nurse Manager Salary in 2022
Salary is a key consideration when thinking about pursuing any job. With all the opportunities in the field of nursing, it’s key that you go after a job that can provide you your desired salary.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about Nurse Manager salaries.
What Is The Average Nurse Manager Salary?
The average annual salary for a Nurse Manager in the US is about $116,000 per year.
Salaries typically range between $95,940 and $138,161.
Remember, your salary is dependent on a number of factors, like experience and education.
Average Nurse Manager Salary By State
The state you work in can have a big impact on how much you get paid as a Nurse Manager.
If you are looking to increase your nursing salary, you may consider travel nursing. Travel nurses fill temporary positions in healthcare facilities outside their home area.
They are usually hired by travel nursing agencies who help match them with their desired positions.
The following map and table will give you an idea of how much Nurse Managers earn in each state.
Unfortunately the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track data for each nursing speciality, so the following data was obtained from Salary.com in June of 2022.
|State||Average Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$129,000|
Where Do Nurse Managers Get Paid The Most?
Alaska is the state with the highest average salary for Nurse Managers.
The average yearly salary is $130,000, though the salaries can range from $107,648 to $154,836.
Nurse Managers in California make $129,500 per year on average.
Salaries can range from $107,339 to $154,336 per year.
In District of Columbia, the average annual Nurse Manager salary is $129,000.
Salaries can range from $106,839 to $153,645 per year.
4. New Jersey
The average annual salary for Nurse Managers in New Jersey is $128,200.
Yearly salaries fall between $$106,230 and $152,845.
In Massachusetts, the average annual salary for a Nurse Manager is $126,200.
Salaries can range from $104,421 to $150,272.
Nurse Manager Job Outlook
Nurse Managers, like many different types of nurse, are currently in high demand. Given that Nurse Managers typically need many years of experience as RNs, this nursing speciality is a great opportunity if you’re able to develop the necessary skills.
Better yet, the demand for these types of nurses is set to increase as the baby boomer generation continues to age and the need for long-term care facilities continues to go up.
According to the BLS, healthcare administration employment is set to rise by about 32% through 2030. There could be close to 140,000 new managers needed to fill the gap.
Finally, the need for Nurse Managers is expected to grow more in outpatients settings compared to inpatient settings.
What Is A Nurse Manager?
Nurse Managers, also referred to as Nurse Administrators, are usually Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) responsible for overseeing nursing staff in a healthcare facility.
In order to lead nursing staff, these types of nurses typically require many years of clinical nursing experience. This experience provides Nurse Managers the skills and knowledge they need to properly organize and guide staff.
Some of their duties can include:
- Creating schedules for nurses on staff
- Conducting performance reviews and providing feedback to staff
- Creating and implementing nursing policies and processes to improve patient outcomes
What Do Nurse Managers Do?
While we mentioned some of the most important duties for Nurse Managers above, the scope of their role goes beyond just those three things.
Other specific responsibilities of Nurse Managers include:
- Working with the entire care team
- Creating plans to educate nurses and patients
- Communicating between administration and nursing staff
- Designing and implementing disciplinary procedures
- Ideating ways to improve patient outcomes
- Interviewing and hiring new nurses
- Managing budgets
- Developing and overseeing schedules and daily processes
- Recruiting and training new nurses
Since Nurse Managers are responsible for leading entire teams of nurses, their daily duties can vary greatly from day to day.
What Skills Do Nurse Managers Need?
Two of the most important skills a Nurse Manager needs is leadership and organization. In order to lead an entire team of nurses, a manager cannot be lacking in these areas.
Other skills Nurse Managers need can include:
- Problem solving
- Quick thinking
- Bedside expertise
- Analytical skills
Where Do Nurse Managers Work?
Nurse Managers tend to work in non-clinical roles, meaning most of their work takes place in an office as opposed to bedside.
However, they do often need to be in healthcare facilities in order to help new employees and monitor the performance of current employees. They also need to be present in administrative meetings.
Some of their work settings can include:
- Urgent care clinics
- Nursing homes
- Doctors’ offices
Pros Of Being A Nurse Manager
There are quite a few benefits to becoming a Nurse Manager.
Read on to learn about them.
One of the best advantages of becoming a Nurse Manager is the higher salary when compared to traditional RNs and a lot of other nursing specialties.
While you may not make quite as much as some other APRNs, like CRNAs, this role is one of the higher-paying positions a nurse can work in.
Another perk of working as a Nurse Manager is the more flexible schedule. Since these types of nurses are in charge of setting schedules for the entire nursing staff, you’ll likely get to set your own hours as well.
Since you’ll be required to attend administrative meetings and oversee other nurses, there will likely be times when you must be at work.
However, for the most part, it’s likely that you can work when you want, as long as you are working full time.
Since Nurse Managers work in administration, you’ll be exposed to other areas of administration outside nursing.
This gives you the chance to see how healthcare administration works holistically.
It also gives you the opportunity to advance to more senior administrative roles after you gain a few years of experience managing nurses. As long as you produce good work, there’s a good chance you can advance your career even further (and likely increase your paycheck as well!).
This is a key role in the success of a healthcare facility. You have the opportunity to implement new policies and procedures that can improve patient outcomes.
Given the importance of this position and the chance you can effect, it can be one of the most rewarding nursing specialties.
Cons Of Being A Nurse Manager
While there are plenty of benefits to becoming a Nurse Manager, there are a few things you should consider as well.
Read on to learn about some of the disadvantages of being a Nurse Manager
Less Clinical Care
Since Nurse Managers work in a more administrative role, it means you’ll provide less direct patient care. If you got into nursing because you love caring for patients at the bedside, this can be quite a drastic change.
While you’ll still get to interact with patients, most of your interactions will be more indirect as you help guide nurses on proper procedures and train new nurses.
Because Nurse Managers are in charge of entire teams of nurses, it means you always need to be ready to react to any situation, even when you’re not “on the clock.”
While most nurses in more clinical roles can clock in and clock out, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with any emergencies that come up, whether that be a schedule conflict or dealing with a nurse that broke from proper procedure.
If something goes wrong with the nursing staff, you could be held accountable by your bosses.
As we mentioned in the job responsibilities section, Nurse Managers are required to create and carry out disciplinary procedures. This means you may have to confront members of your staff if they are not fulfilling their duties.
You’ll also be required to resolve any conflicts that arise from your staff. For example, if two nurses aren’t getting along, you’ll need to come up with a solution in order to get things running smoothly again.
How To Become A Nurse Manager
Since the role of Nurse Manager is a leadership role and requires that you oversee an entire team of nurses, this speciality will require more advanced education and skills than a lot of other nursing specialities.
Read on to learn the steps to become a Nurse Manager.
1. Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
Before you can even think about becoming a Nurse Manager, you first need to become a licensed Registered Nurse.
Since these types of nurses eventually need to obtain an advanced degree, the best way to become an RN is to enroll in a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at an accredited university.
While you can become an RN in some states by simply obtaining an associate’s degree, getting your BSN right away will make the transition to an advanced degree much easier.
After you complete your degree program, you need to pass the NCLEX exam. Once you pass, you’ll officially be a licensed RN and be ready to work as a nurse.
If you are already an RN with an associate’s degree, you don’t need to start your BSN from scratch. Instead, you can enroll in an RN to BSN bridge program, which can save you time when compared to a traditional four-year BSN program.
2. Gain Clinical Experience
Once you become an RN, you’ll need to gain bedside experience in a clinical role.
Since Nurse Managers lead entire teams of nurses, you’ll need a lot of experience before you’re ready to take on this leadership role.
Nurse Managers typically require at least five years of clinical experience.
3. Obtain An Advanced Degree
While there are exceptions, most major healthcare facilities will require that Nurse Managers hold an advanced degree. This is becoming increasingly true as interest in healthcare administration and management increases.
The best way to get your advanced degree is to enroll in a Master’s of Nursing (MSN) program at an accredited university.
There are a number of appropriate degree programs you can enroll in. However, to be prepared for this role, you’ll want to be sure your program includes courses that focus on:
- Ethics and policy
- Organizational management
- Money and resource management
Once you obtain your MSN, you may consider advancing your education even further. You can do this by enrolling in a Doctorate of Nursing (DNP) program. This is the highest level of education you can reach in nursing.
4. Get Certified (Optional)
While it’s not completely necessary to obtain your certification, it can certainly help you stand out amongst other nurses when competing for jobs.
Through the ANCC, you can obtain your Nurse Executive Certification.
You don’t necessarily have to hold an advanced degree to get certified, but you will definitely need lots of experience before you qualify to take the exam.
In fact, if you don’t hold an advanced degree, you will need 30 hours of continuing education in nursing administration within the last three years.
Additionally, the knowledge you gain through an advanced degree program will prepare you to become certified and prepare you for the role of Nurse Manager.
Is Becoming A Nurse Manager Right For You?
Nurse Managers play a critical role in any healthcare facility. In fact, nursing staff can’t really function without an effective one.
Luckily, the importance of this job is reflected in its relatively high salary and room for growth in other administrative roles.
While the role may come with some drawbacks like added stress and less clinical care, if you’re a leader with great organization skills, this may be the perfect nursing specialty for you!
Nurse Luke is a CRNA who specializes in Nursing content and still enjoys a very busy career with Locum, Per Diem and Travel nursing in the greater midwest. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and received his CRNA masters degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Healthcare. He is passionate about helping nurses explore the options of becoming a travel nurse as well as spending time with his Family.