Gone are the days in nursing where you pick a unit and stay in it until you retire. Nowadays, it is much more common, and even encouraged, to try out different roles.
Perhaps you have grown tired of bedside nursing. You want a change. Maybe you are the person in the group others look to to enact positive change. If you are a natural advocate who knows how to get things done and inspire others along the way, naturally you may be wondering, is hospital/nursing management a good career path?
The answer is yes — it’s a good career path. But the better question, and the question you really want answered, is is it a good career path for you.
What Is Nurse Management?
A nurse manager is a nurse who is responsible for a unit/office, staff nurses, assignments, and finances. They manage nursing schedules, promote patient satisfaction, ensure policies and standards are maintained, and serve as a liaison between nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Their exact role, function, and duties may vary from place to place.
Why Is Hospital/Nursing Management Important?
Management in healthcare requires two major skills: ability to manage and knowledge of healthcare. A manager in this role needs to know not only how to operate a unit, but also how to keep patients safe.
For example, when deciding to send a nurse home early due to staffing and patient ratio changes, the nurse manager needs to consider both the financial and patient safety needs. What are the repercussions of keeping an extra nurse on the unit? What are the repercussions of sending a nurse home?
There are many moving parts in healthcare. A nurse manager oversees and coordinates all of these moving parts. They collaborate with the nurses, physicians, and patients to achieve great patient outcomes.
Decisions need to be made. And when decisions impact patient care, it’s important that the person making those decisions have a nursing background. Is hospital/nursing management a good career path for all experienced nurses? That depends — great nurse managers are those who know how to lead and operate a unit. They understand the financial and logistical concerns as well as the quality and safety needs of patient care.
Nurse managers are essential for the operation of a unit or office, including the nursing staff’s job satisfaction. They have the power to make nurses feel supported, inspired, and even secure.
So if you have a passion for ensuring patient safety and quality care, all while advocating for your team of nurses, this is the role for you.
Hospital and nurse managers are also essential for ensuring patient satisfaction. In fact, improving patients outcomes is one of the most important duties of a nurse manager.
Because nurse managers are making decisions with both patients and nurses in mind, they have the influence and opportunity to create a safe environment. The result is better outcomes for patients, reduced medical errors, and a decrease in staff turnover.
Why Is Hospital/Nursing Management a Good Career Path?
When you think about hospital/nursing management, you may be wondering: Is nursing a good career for the future? In short, yes.
The need for nurses is not slowing down, and neither is the need for hospital/nursing management. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the demand for hospital and nurse managers will grow 28% in the next 10 years, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Along with stable job security, this career could provide a nice salary too. The median salary for a health service manager, such as a nurse manager, is $101,340 annually. Your salary could be higher in a hospital or lower in a medical office.
Examples of Roles in This Career Choice
- Nurse manager
- Hospital administrator
- Nurse supervisor
- Nursing director
- Clinical manager
- Chief nursing officer
- Hospital supervisor
What Will You Actually Do?
Depending on your exact role and the facility you work at, your job responsibilities may vary. Is hospital/nursing management a good career path for someone looking for more consistent daily tasks? Generally speaking, a nurse manager’s day has more administrative tasks than a bedside nurse. You could expect to:
- Create nursing schedules
- Participate in budget and leadership meetings
- Facilitate staff training
- Problem-solve clinical operation challenges
- Listen to staff’s concerns and mediate
- Provide bedside nursing care when needed
Pros and Cons
Is hospital/nursing management a good career path for everyone? Probably not. Like any job, there are pros and cons. Consider these things when making your decision.
- Excellent job security
- Excellent salary
- Utilize your leadership skills
- Opportunity to enact positive change
- High levels of autonomy
- High demands and stress
- Bureaucracy may limit your options and visions
- Potentially long hours
- Less direct contact with patients
Is Hospital/Nursing Management a Good Career Path for Me?
Consider the duties. Do you like taking the lead and making decisions? Are you a people-person? Do you have stellar communication skills? If you answered yes, chances are high that this is an excellent career path for you.
Consider the schedule. Do you like working 12-hour shifts, or do you prefer a more traditional 9a-5p job?
Consider the work. Do you like providing hands-on patient care, or do you prefer managerial and office work?
Consider the requirements. Do you have nursing experience or a bachelor’s degree in nursing?
Qualities of a Good Nurse Manager
Do you have the characteristics it takes to be a successful manager? One study detailed that these four attributes of a nurse manager were indispensable:
- Being proactive
- Having micro and macro perspectives
- Respecting own beliefs and standards
- Having empathy for staff nurses