NURS 6200 – The Nurse Administrator: Leading and Managing for Excellence


The primary objective of nursing leaders is to achieve excellence in patient service delivery. Students in this course work to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and manage in the nursing profession. They assess organizational, managerial, and leadership theories and discuss nursing administration standards of practice. Additionally, they look at roles and responsibilities, quality control, strategic planning and management, regulations, and the function of information systems. Through field experiences in clinical settings, students observe practical applications of nursing administration. Additionally, they hone their writing and critical thinking abilities through application-based writing projects such as a business plan proposal, journal entries, and a reflection from the perspective of a nurse administrator.


NURS 6200 – The Nurse Administrator: Leading and Managing for Excellence Assignment

The Responsibilities of a Nurse Manager

A nurse manager’s fast-paced, multitasking role is never dull. Fortunately, you will always be prepared with the skills, training, and talent you will gain through the RN to BSN or Master of Science in Nursing programs at the University of Saint Mary.


Nursing administration can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your hospital, clinic, school, or other institution will rely on your expertise to screen, interview, and hire nursing staff. You might also have to deal with medical records and regulatory requirements. In some cases, you will be able to use your diplomatic skills to address labor and union issues in the workplace.

Budgeting and Planning

You probably completed your nursing studies because you have a knack for numbers and an eye for detail, and that same ability will come in handy as a nurse manager. You will review and manage your department’s finances, including salary and supplies.

Personnel Management

When you assume the responsibilities of leading and supervising a staff, which typically consists of any combination of licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered nurses (RN), certified nursing assistants, medical clerks, and aides, the “manager” part of a nurse manager comes to the fore. You also work with other departments to ensure the best possible patient outcomes. Reviewing case loads, going over assignments, discussing overall patient care, reinforcing patient care standards, reviewing transfer protocols, or other general and specific clinical duties may begin or end your day. Staff meetings are excellent places to share experiences, reveal problems, brainstorm solutions, and propose solutions.

Simultaneously, you will schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your staff members to discuss individual issues, goals, and performance and training opportunities. You will inspire and motivate your staff to become better health care professionals as a mentor, and you will advocate for them among the more extensive clinical team.

Types of Nurse Managers

Clinical Nurse Managers

As a professional in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, acute care center, or other institution, you would have a wide range of responsibilities and be regarded as an essential member of a large, well-coordinated team. You may be in charge of nursing staffs in ICU, ER, Pediatrics, or other departments, depending on your specialty and training.

Case Managers in Nursing

You can become certified as a Nursing Case Manager after completing a one-year training course. You will be working closely with individual patients, coordinating treatment, tracking outcomes, and conducting research in this role. Some Case Managers also work with insurance companies, advocating for the patient and developing a feasible treatment plan.

Nurse Manager of Geriatric Care

A Geriatric Care Manager, as opposed to a Case Manager, focuses on senior adults and their care. In this role, you would assess the patient’s home, consult with family and physicians, develop a care plan, and supervise the hiring of home health aides and other support personnel.

Special Skills of a Nurse Manager

Collaboration and communication

Every nursing job relies on communication, from correctly outlining the treatment to responding to questions and concerns from patients, family members, and clinical staff. Your communication skills as a nurse manager will help you explain policies to your nurses and represent your staff in cross-functional meetings.


Knowing what needs to be done and when it needs to be done applies not only to your role, but also to the roles of your nursing staff. Your ability to schedule and follow-up as a nurse manager will help make daily processes run more smoothly.


As a nurse manager, you will see the health care profession from a variety of perspectives, and you should be able to demonstrate your ability to find common ground and foster cooperation in your workplace and with family members.

The Roles of a Nurse Manager: Taking the Nursing Profession Forward

“The nurse manager is in charge of creating safe, healthy environments that support the work of the health care team and promote patient engagement.” According to the American Organization of Nurse Executives, “the role is influential in creating a professional environment and fostering a culture where interdisciplinary team members are able to contribute to optimal patient outcomes and grow professionally.”

The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at Duquesne University provides registered nurses with the skills to advance in their careers as well as the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of healthcare for future generations. The MSN program builds on baccalaureate-level practices to prepare graduates for positions in advanced training and management. Registered nurses can choose between three MSN specializations at Duquesne: Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner, Forensic Nursing, and Nursing Education and Faculty Role.

Nurse Manager and Leader Responsibilities

Nurses in management positions are expected to not only make critical decisions to aid in patient care, but also to carry out specific duties such as the following:

  • Personnel management
  • Case administration
  • Treatment preparation
  • Recruitment
  • Budgeting
  • Scheduling
  • Discharge planning
  • Mentoring
  • Developing educational plans
  • Records management

Nurse managers need strong communication and leadership skills. They should be adept at coordinating resources and personnel and meeting goals and objectives. They must be effective leaders who can strike a balance between working with the nursing staff and the administrators of the healthcare facility.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, nurse managers are change agents. They collaborate with staff to identify and implement beneficial changes that will improve patient wellness and safety outcomes. Nurse managers must also follow patient safety regulations established by state and federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Joint Commission, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. They must ensure that the staff is educated on care standards and that they can implement them as needed.

Nurse managers work in a variety of clinical settings, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, schools, and psychiatric facilities.

According to the agency, “nurse managers lead their unit staff in preventing patient harm in their unit, empowering nurses to be the first line of defense against patient harm.”

Successful Nurse Manager Characteristics

Working as a nurse manager necessitates skills that go beyond clinical care. The position necessitates management abilities, budgeting and business acumen, as well as leadership qualities. Communication and interpersonal abilities are also essential. Successful nurse managers share the following characteristics:

  • Communication Skills that Work – Listening to staff and patient concerns and communicating needs is part of being an effective leader. Nurse managers must be able to establish solid rapports with all staff members, from janitors to head administrators, as well as patients, in order to foster teamwork.
  • Advocacy – In some cases, nurse leaders may need to advocate on behalf of their staff in order to ensure a safe and reasonable practice environment. In other cases, they may be required to advocate for patient safety and access to high-quality healthcare. Nurse managers should not be afraid to speak up or use their position.
  • Participation – With so many administrative demands, nurse managers must balance business and patient care. To ensure patient safety and well-being, nurse managers must have exceptional clinical skills.
  • Mentoring – Effective nurse leaders do not micromanage their employees. They inspire, empower, mentor, and identify strengths. They improve both creativity and mindfulness.
  • Maturity – Nurse managers do not take sides in squabbles or assign blame before gathering all of the facts. They don’t allow simmering emotions to explode. Instead, they confront and resolve conflict.
  • Professionalism entails following one’s moral compass to ensure that all aspects of the profession are met with honesty and integrity. They treat others with dignity and do not bully.
  • Professionalism – Nurse managers use their moral compass to ensure that all aspects of their profession are handled with honesty and integrity. They treat others with dignity and do not bully.
  • Supportive – They don’t set unrealistically high expectations. Instead, they use encouraging words to motivate employees to succeed. They mentor and coach.

The Future of Nurse Managers

The anticipated shortage of nurses will create opportunities for newly minted nurse managers as the current nursing workforce ages and retires. Researchers discovered that nurse managers are critical to overall nurse retention because they influence work quality and workplace stability.

“Strong leadership qualities in the nursing unit manager have been linked to higher job satisfaction, lower turnover intention among nursing staff, and better patient outcomes.” “Nurse leaders need to be supported in their efforts to retain nurses given ongoing workforce issues and to ensure high-quality patient care,” researchers wrote in the 2014 study “Leadership skills for nursing unit managers to decrease intention to leave.”

Researchers discovered that in order for nurse managers to do a better job in the future, there must be cohesive relationships among staff members and better communication with staff. Continual changes in healthcare, as well as a focus on costs, are among the many factors that make the role of nurse manager difficult.

Nurses at Florida Atlantic University urged leaders to “challenge their thinking and practices to recognize that the crux of leadership is in the power of relationships.”

“Growing future nurse leaders is a long-term quest that necessitates both planning and action,” researchers discovered in their study “Growing Nurse Leaders: Their Perspectives on Nursing Leadership and Today’s Practice Environment.” “Our emerging leaders will eventually succeed our current leaders and carry on the critical work of improving nursing practice environments and, most importantly, patient outcomes.” However, succession planning is difficult in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare environment.”

Duquesne University students pursuing an online MSN degree are prepared for the role of nursing leader. The program provides students with a broad-based nursing education that prepares them to take on managerial roles and effect future changes in the profession. The online MSN program allows students to continue their careers as registered nurses while taking nursing classes remotely and learning from industry leaders.

The Nurse Manager’s Financial Role

Nurse managers are essential to hospital operations. Nurses are in charge of patient safety and well-being and provide the majority of inpatient care. As a result, nurse managers must ensure that their units live up to their enormous responsibilities. At the same time, hospitals are commercial enterprises with financial concerns. Nurse managers have a fiduciary duty to their organizations and play an important role in ensuring hospitals stay within their budgets.


Nursing labor is one of the most expensive aspects of patient care in a hospital. Nursing services, unlike certain medical services such as rehabilitation therapy, do not generate revenue — nursing is classified as a cost center. As a result, hospitals strive to keep enough nurses on staff to provide proper care and safety while not incurring excessive costs. Nurse managers are responsible for determining how to responsibly and cost-effectively staff their departments on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis.


Despite the fact that some hospitals use computer systems to monitor employee activity, nurse managers are frequently required to submit payroll for their departments. Even in facilities with advanced timekeeping systems, nurse managers must review and validate payroll reports as well as coordinate employee leaves, vacations, and illnesses with human resource departments. This is critical for controlling labor costs.


Nurses have unrestricted access to medical supplies. Every syringe, IV bag, and tongue depressor, on the other hand, costs money. When it comes to supplies, hospitals rely on nurses’ discretion. Nurse managers are responsible for keeping an eye on supplies, encouraging responsible use, and carefully allocating or rationing them when necessary. Nurse managers must ensure that nurses have everything they need to do their jobs while also encouraging fiscal responsibility.

Utilization of Insurance

Hospitals must be mindful of what their patients’ medical insurance plans cover. When providing services and making patient care decisions, nurse managers must consider which interventions are covered and which may incur significant costs for the patient or the facility. Nurse managers, among other things, review patient cases with nurse case managers and floor nurses to ensure that the care provided is as aligned with hospital and patient financial considerations as possible.

Nurse managers at all levels collaborate to address new trends, implement innovative ideas, and work toward the common goals of quality, efficiency, and excellence in practice. they guide and lead front-line nurses while also contributing to the success of an organization.

On the front lines, some of the most rewarding experiences occur. The nurse manager is in charge of nursing practice and quality of care among front-line nurses or nurses in a single unit or department, as well as supervising all personnel and budget issues and creating an environment that promotes professional practice and employee engagement. Traditionally, the title of head nurse was assigned to the role of front-line manager. Nurse manager or director is a more common title nowadays.

Nurse managers bridge the gap between staff and middle-to-upper management, ensuring two-way communication. They translate and promote organizational goals to front-line employees, as well as remove roadblocks to their performance. Managers must stay current with advances in care and technology, as well as regulatory and legal requirements.

Command and control center

Most nurse managers serve as command central, offering assistance, recognition, just-in-time information, a steady hand and cool head in emergencies, and advocacy for patients, families, and staff. They also have the opportunity to promote personal and professional development among their employees. Above all, managers see the impact of the care provided by their nurses on patients and families. Managers set the tone and expectations for caring excellence, quality optimization, and a “just culture”—one that does not hold practitioners accountable for system failures but does not tolerate reckless behavior. Nurse managers instill hope and determination in their teams so that they can do their best work.

The larger the organization, the more important it is to maintain a unified approach to achieving goals and objectives. Directors or administrators in charge of more than one department work with managers in a systematic manner, setting clear expectations and providing clear direction so that employees understand their roles and responsibilities.

Beyond Nursing

Nurse managers may be in charge of personnel from other disciplines in addition to nursing. Nurses, assistive personnel, social workers, therapists, technicians, teachers, fiscal and front-office staff, chaplains, pharmacists, and others who contribute to patient care make up many teams in many settings. Nurse managers also work with ancillary staff who care for the environment, provide nutritional services, maintain physical facilities, and assist the nursing staff in providing care. Nurse managers have the knowledge and experience to manage complex operations as well as a diverse workforce.

Nurse management teams, along with front-line managers and clinical leaders, help to set the organization’s direction and goals. These groups work to ensure that policies and procedures are followed consistently throughout an organization. The team sets goals to support the organization’s overall direction, encourages and monitors performance at the unit or department level, and evaluates results that accumulate across the organization.

Nurse managers may choose to advance to the position of nurse executive. The executive is in charge of practice, fiscal matters, strategic planning, human resource advocacy, promoting professional achievement, and ensuring a clinically excellent environment. As liaisons, nurse executives collaborate with multidisciplinary colleagues, set the vision, and serve as leaders for the organization as a whole. They also serve as external ambassadors, establishing collaborative relationships with the general public, legislators, academic partners, and other nursing organizations.

The nurse manager’s role in fostering a healthy workplace

One of the most difficult roles in healthcare today is that of nurse manager of an acute or critical care unit. This person must balance patient care issues, staff concerns, medical staff relationships, supply inadequacies, and organizational initiatives, as well as a personal life. All of this is only remotely possible if the patient care unit provides a supportive environment for patients, families, and staff. The nurse manager is critical to this effort: studies show that people don’t leave their jobs; they leave their managers. This article describes how the nurse manager of an acute neurosciences unit collaborated with her staff to define, create, and sustain a work environment in which patient care improved, people enjoyed coming to work, and staff retention increased.

A Nurse Manager’s Role

A nurse manager supervises the nursing staff and handles administrative tasks to ensure the health-care facility runs smoothly. A nurse manager is in charge of personnel and coordinates staffing and all patient care needs. This position acts as a liaison between front-line employees, physicians, and other administrators. To excel in this role, you must have strong communication skills, clinical experience, and the ability to lead others.

Job Description

A nurse manager is the nursing organizational mastermind for a hospital or clinical setting’s health-care unit. A nurse manager hires, trains, and evaluates nurses while supervising all nurses on the unit to ensure patient care runs smoothly.

This position necessitates excellent organizational abilities. A nurse manager must constantly see the big picture and schedule nurses based on the patient load, which varies at any given time. A nurse manager is also responsible for budgetary oversight. Working with top administration, the person in this position is responsible for meeting the unit’s staffing and supply needs within the constraints of the allocated budget. If there is a disparity, a nurse manager must make a case for additional funding in order to provide the best possible care for patients. A nurse manager, as the unit’s leader, responds to patient and family concerns as they arise. This position also has important responsibilities for risk management and policy enforcement. Finally, when the unit is understaffed, a nurse manager steps in to assist.

Nursing is a dynamic and demanding profession that necessitates engaging and motivating role models and leaders. Identifying and developing nurse leaders is one of the most difficult challenges the nursing profession faces in today’s ever-changing and demanding healthcare environment. Leadership is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon; research conducted over a century concludes that, despite being one of the most observed concepts, there is no universally accepted definition or theory of leadership. There is a growing understanding of what true nursing leadership is and how it differs from management.

This discussion will outline the nature of nursing leadership and the importance of nurse leaders in advancing the profession; clarify definitions and distinguish between nurse managers and nurse leaders; describe the evolution of nurse leadership by identifying theories and styles of leadership relevant to nursing practice; and emphasize the importance of identifying nursing leaders. In addition, the paper serves as a warning to recognize, avoid, and discourage “negative” leaders in the pursuit of a bright future for the nursing profession.

The main objective of the nursing profession – excellent in person-centered care – can be achieved with appropriate identification, support, and development of future nurse leaders, as well as recognition of the shifting paradigm of leadership theory and the context in which future nurse leaders are destined to grow. It is critical for the nursing profession’s future success that informal, negative “leaders” be discouraged and positive leaders with evidence-based leadership qualities be identified and nurtured to lead the profession.

The role of nurse leaders in the workforce is rapidly evolving as the healthcare industry shifts from volume to value. Quality leadership skills, on the other hand, are timeless. So, what exactly does it take to be a great nurse manager? Natalie O., BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions, shares her top 5 successful nurse manager traits below: .

  1. Clinical expert and astute business professional: Excellent nurse managers quickly learn to wear multiple hats. This is due to the fact that they must constantly balance business decisions with the clinical needs of their unit. It is no longer sufficient to simply ensure that the nursing department is adequately staffed in today’s ever-changing healthcare system. Effective nurse managers also implement cost-cutting measures and process efficiencies to ensure the smooth operation of their unit.
  2. Strategic decision-maker and conflict-resolution expert: A skilled nurse manager must balance short-term needs with long-term goals. Similarly, the nursing staff will look to their manager to resolve any conflicts that arise. Confrontations are never easy, but ignoring a problem will only breed discontent among their staff. A nurse manager who handles a problem with open and honest communication, on the other hand, will always be appreciated. Most hospital administrators agree that the ability of a nurse manager to make effective decisions is critical to the unit’s success.
  3. Effective communicator: A nurse manager’s decisions and choices are not always easy or popular. A successful nurse manager understands the importance of explaining the reasoning behind these decisions to their staff when necessary. Active listening skills are also required for effective communication. Front-line employees will respect a nurse manager who listens to their concerns and collaborates with them to achieve their objectives.
  4. Motivating leader: A great nurse manager motivates their staff to do their best. A nurse manager is frequently tasked with creating an empowering culture by mentoring younger nurses and encouraging collaboration between nurses and other hospital staff members. Furthermore, successful nurse managers do not bully or allow others to bully them. They understand that fostering a healthy work environment can have a positive impact not only on patient care outcomes, but also on nurse staff recruitment, retention, and engagement efforts.
  5. Adaptive game changer: An active nurse manager understands that life happens. As a result, they must be able to change staffing or care decisions in response to changing needs. For example, a team member may need to switch shifts with another nurse to accommodate a special family gathering, such as a wedding or birthday. When exceptional leaders demonstrate understanding and compassion for their employees, they instill trust in them. .

Characteristics of an Effective Nurse Manager

  1. They motivate their team and set a good example.
  2. They still enjoy working on the floor and taking care of patients.
  3. They are accommodating when it comes to your vacation time.
  4. They’ll jump right in when the shift gets busy!
  5. They are excellent listeners. They even take you aside to work out whatever is bothering you, and when you leave their office, you feel ready to face the day!
  6. They are strong, stable, and caring
  7. They know how to take charge and how to deal with it!
  8. They do not use “medical jargon” to communicate with people who are deaf.
  9. They provide patient care in the same way that an RN, LPN, or CNA would.
  10. Unless they are informed, the patients are unaware that they are the manager.

The Qualities of a Nurse Manager

A nurse manager’s job is complex and demanding because it entails coordinating the efforts of people with diverse skills, education, and personalities in order to provide safe, high-quality patient care. Nurse managers must be accountable for staff performance, financial management, resource utilization, and patient outcomes, in addition to ensuring that care is delivered in accordance with best practices and organizational policy. A good nurse manager should be a professional role model for her staff, provide leadership, and ensure the unit or department runs smoothly.

Clinical Knowledge

Clinical abilities are essential in a nurse manager. When a problem arises on a unit, the staff turns to the nurse manager for clinical expertise and advice. The nurse manager should be able to demonstrate how to change a dressing or start an intravenous line, as well as make recommendations for how to handle a specific situation. To maintain clinical expertise, the nurse manager must be committed to ongoing education through reading, formal education, and regular clinical practice.

Communication Skills

A nurse manager must be able to communicate effectively. A nursing unit’s staff may include nurse aides with limited education as well as nursing professionals with baccalaureate degrees or higher. Nurse managers also interact with doctors, social workers, patients, families, other hospital employees such as respiratory therapists and lab technicians, and senior hospital administration personnel. Some people who work in hospitals or seek care from them may have limited English skills. The nurse manager must be able to establish rapport, ensure clear communication, and listen carefully for potential problems or miscommunication in each case.


A flexible attitude is required of a nurse manager. Priorities in a healthcare setting can shift quickly as patients develop problems. As patients are admitted or discharged, the census of most inpatient hospital units changes on a daily or even hourly basis. Medical technology also evolves on a regular basis, and the absence of a specific item may necessitate a change in supplies or equipment. The nurse manager must be able to respond to changing needs by adjusting staffing or care decisions while also being decisive when necessary.

People Management

Nurse managers must be able to manage people. Because the majority of a nurse manager’s work is done by others, the nurse manager must be able to educate and supervise without micromanaging. A nurse manager promotes collaboration among staff, physicians, and hospital leaders by using conflict resolution and negotiating skills. Nurse managers must be able to coach and mentor staff at all levels, as well as work with the unit’s diverse strengths and weaknesses.

Other Capabilities

According to an article in the August 2009 issue of “Nursing Management,” other important skills for nurse managers include a focus on quality and patient safety, attention to patient satisfaction, and a strong understanding of customer service. According to the article, senior leaders should look for a nurse manager who has financial acumen, strong physician relationships, collegiality and networking skills, and the ability to use power appropriately. Nurse managers must also be creative, innovative, and capable of multitasking, prioritization, and self-direction.

Characteristics of a successful nurse manager

What characteristics would you attribute to the ideal nurse manager if you had to describe them? Scrubbed In has weighed in on what we believe are the five most important qualities of a successful nurse manager.

  1. They have one foot in the clinical world and one foot in the academic world.

One of the most difficult challenges for nurse managers is balancing fiscal and clinical responsibilities. With so many demands on tightening budgets and consolidating resources today, it’s easy to lose sight of the unit’s day-to-day realities. Skilled nurse managers can balance business decisions with clinical requirements. It’s not an easy task to complete!

  1. They make sound strategic choices.

As a bedside nurse, it can be difficult to recognize this skill because it is not always visible. However, this does not diminish its worth. Successful managers must strike a balance between short-term and long-term objectives. These are frequently the decisions made behind the scenes. And the unit’s long-term success is dependent on it.

  1. They place a premium on working relationships.

Effective managers understand that developing and maintaining healthy work relationships is critical to their own and the unit’s success. These managers practice shared governance and are open to staff input. They address conflicts directly and honestly as they arise. They encourage both nurse-to-nurse and multidisciplinary collaboration. They also understand that a healthy work environment results in better patient outcomes as well as a happier and more fulfilled nursing staff.

  1. They are trustworthy leaders.

Those who lead with integrity hold themselves professionally accountable. “What role am I playing in this situation?” they ask themselves. They define their values and then use those values as a guidepost to stay on track. And they are truthful. Leading with integrity does not always imply doing what your team expects of you. However, it does imply being forthright when explaining the reasoning behind a decision.

  1. They do not bully (or tolerate bullying)

Nurse managers who rule through fear or passive-aggression will not be successful in the long run. Nurses who do not feel supported have lower job satisfaction and are more likely to leave their job (or the profession!). Great nurse managers use their authority to set the bar high, to challenge employees to perform at their peak, and to coach and mentor their employees. They do not abuse their power, and they have zero tolerance for workplace abuse at any level.


Characteristics of an Effective Nurse Manager

A nurse manager is one of the leadership positions that an RN with a BSN can take on. A nurse manager oversees a team of nurses and medical assistants who care for patients around the clock in a hospital or assisted living facility. It’s a critical role, with the nurse manager’s leadership influencing the unit’s functionality, flexibility, and morale.

First and foremost, a nurse manager must be able to collaborate with others. Hiring, conducting performance reviews, connecting higher levels of administration to the staff, and ensuring clear and complete communication are all part of the job. In other words, “people skills” are required.

However, every aspect of working with people as a nurse manager necessitates the ability to assess needs and priorities and effectively communicate them. While being friendly and welcoming is a skill that helps with morale, nurse managers must also ensure that everyone is where they need to be and doing what they need to do in order for the unit to take care of its patients.

According to Bob Dent, president of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, nurse managers are critical to fostering a sense of teamwork within the unit. It’s not just about ensuring that nurses work well together; nurse managers can foster a culture that allows them to function as a team.

The nurse manager must also be well-versed in nursing. Even if the nursing unit does not provide specialized care, prior experience with the patients the unit treats is essential. If a nurse manager is in charge of a specialty unit, they will want to stay up to date on the latest research by taking certification classes, reading peer-reviewed journals, and speaking with other doctors and nurses in the specialty area.

Nurse managers may not be directly involved in patient care, but they are expected to be a resource for the other nurses on the unit and to educate patients and their families.

In addition, having been a nurse will help a nurse manager better understand how to advocate for the nurses on the unit, patient safety, and the bottom line of the healthcare facility. All of those factors are important, but they are difficult to balance.

Nurse managers must also assist their units in being adaptable. According to Beth Greenwood of the Houston Chronicle, “Priorities in a healthcare setting can shift quickly as patients develop problems. As patients are admitted or discharged, the census of most inpatient hospital units changes on a daily or even hourly basis. Medical technology also evolves on a regular basis, and the absence of a specific item may necessitate a change in supplies or equipment. The nurse manager must be able to respond to changing needs by adjusting staffing or care decisions while also being decisive when necessary.”

Arkansas State University’s RN to BSN program is geared toward nurse managers. In addition to courses that prepare a nurse for the rigors of a modern healthcare setting, the program includes a nursing management course. Nurse managers will be prepared to lead healthcare teams after completing the seven-week course. If you believe you have the skills and desire to be a nurse manager, A-State can assist you in preparing for this difficult and important position.

What exactly is a nurse manager?

In a medical facility, a nurse manager directs and coordinates a team of nurses. These managers typically focus on nurse recruitment and retention, as well as daily supervision of a team of nurses. Nurse managers are in charge of everything related to the nursing unit, including resources, personnel, patient care issues, and budgetary concerns. A nurse manager may work with doctors on patient care and treatment, as well as bridge the communication gap between a patient’s family and their doctor. A nurse manager also represents the nursing team and communicates the team’s ideas, concerns, and needs to hospital management.

A nurse manager’s roles and responsibilities

Nurse managers are responsible for recruiting, mentoring, and evaluating employees, developing new nurse orientation, maintaining a healthy work environment, and monitoring and improving patient care. A nurse manager also serves as a nurse’s representative and is frequently expected to speak with top management on behalf of the nurses they supervise.

Furthermore, nurse managers are expected to establish and maintain proper inventories of medical supplies and equipment, maintain a healthy and safe working environment, stay constantly updated on the health status of patients, and incorporate new and proven health care practices to improve patient care.

Top abilities are required for effective nurse managers.

A nurse manager frequently has a broad knowledge of their field. Because of this expertise, nurse managers are frequently in charge of planning, interacting with patients and families, managing nurses, and a variety of other responsibilities throughout the course of their day. These managers are also skilled at working under pressure. Because of this broad skill set, nurse managers are not limited to the medical industry but can also work in other fields. If you want to become a nurse manager, make sure you have the following skills:


Nurse managers understand how to communicate effectively with their staff and patients, as well as the doctors and administrators with whom they collaborate. They are expected to act as liaisons between the management and nursing teams while also ensuring the comfort of their patients.

Team Player

Nurse managers are familiar with team dynamics and know how to support them — even when there is conflict effectively. Managers must work to instill a sense of trust and unity among their nurses and staff in order to ensure the team’s effectiveness. Nurses and staff will be far more likely to work without conflict if a strong bond of trust and coordination is established.

Positive Attitude

The medical field is no stranger to tense and stressful work environments. If needed, a nurse manager provides support and strength to team members.


Nurse managers understand how to confidently and decisively lead a team of professionals, especially in times of high stress and tight deadlines.


A nurse manager is always willing to mentor nurses. Because mentoring is so important in the development of a nursing team, managers must encourage their teams to strive for leadership positions. If another nurse expresses an interest in a nurse management position, current managers have the unique opportunity to mentor those nurses and teach them how to advance and manage a group of health care professionals successfully.

According to a 2014 survey conducted by chief on leadership skills, the ability to change is the most desired leadership trait. Sixty percent of current business leaders believe that a successful manager and leader should be adaptable to changes in the workplace. Strategic thinking is important, according to 55% of respondents. The other most important leadership skills were integrity (48 percent), effective communication (40 percent), and trustworthiness (38 percent). Because the role of a nurse manager is similar to that of a business leader, it is critical for current or aspiring nurse managers to acquire these skills in addition to their medical training in order to thrive in their careers.


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