How to Become a Nurse Manager

Nurse Managers coordinate and manage patient treatment procedures in a hospital or clinic. They are qualified nurses who have the additional responsibility of schedule planning and work delegation for the nurses’ team.
As of 2019, the number of registered nurses (RNs) serving the American public is close to 3 million. This is indicated by the latest records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are interested in entering the field of nursing in the next few years, then this piece is for you. It will tell you how to become a Nurse Manager.

Should I Become a Nurse Manager?

Education Required Associate’s Degree/Bachelor’s Degree
Major Requirement Nursing
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training Required
Key Skills Communication, Problem Sensitivity, Service Orientation, Coordination and Management, Social Perceptiveness, Critical Thinking
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $77,460 (Registered Nurses)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 12% (Registered Nurses)

Sources: O*NET Online and US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nurse Managers undertake many administrative responsibilities. Chief among them is the management of nurses’ schedules and supervision of their work. Ensuring proper service delivery to patients in need is also the duty of nurse managers. Like most healthcare professionals, nurse managers are no strangers to long hours and weekends/holidays on the job.

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for registered nurses (RNs) to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028. This will mainly be down to America’s increasing average age and a rising number of patients dealing with chronic conditions like arthritis, obesity, diabetes, etc. Consequently, the demand for nursing services will be greater.

Steps to Become a Nurse Manager

The criteria mentioned in this section must be fulfilled to become a Nurse Manager in the US.

1. Nursing Education Following high school graduation, you have to join a specialized post-secondary nursing education program. In this regard, you can pick one of the following.

  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Associate degree will last for 2 years while the Bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to finish. More multi-faceted training is provided over the course of a Bachelor’s program. It also has a more detail-oriented approach to nursing. This might be why an increasing number of employers prefer to choose Bachelor’s degree holders as nurse managers.

2. Get Licensed :After getting your degree, it is time to apply for the nursing license. To that end, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). There may also be some other state-specific licensing requirements.

3. Gain Experience :Once you have your license, you can begin your professional career as an RN. Most nurse managers start out this way. As you become more experienced and skilled, you will be able to pursue nurse manager jobs.

4. Certification and/or Continuing Education:To get ahead and become a well-rounded nursing professional, you are recommended to pursue certification and continuing education opportunities. There are Master’s degree programs available or you can choose to become a Certified Case Manager (CCM) by qualifying the relevant certification exam. To be eligible to take the CCM exam, you must have working experience both as a registered nurse and a nurse manager.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Manager?

This will depend primarily on your chosen degree program. For an Associate’s degree, you will need 2 years to graduate. On the other hand, completing a Bachelor’s degree will take 4 years. You will subsequently be working as an RN to attain the experience required to pursue a Nurse Manager position. This work experience requirement is state-specific and may vary across the country.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Nurse Case Manager?

Following are the requirements for becoming a Nurse Manager.

  • Candidate must be 18 or older.
  • Should be a lawful citizen of the United States.
  • Must complete a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development) Certificate.
  • Should complete specialized nursing education (either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree).
  • Clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  • Obtain the required nursing experience.

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Nurse Manager?

In 2019, Registered Nurses (RNs) in the country made $77,460 in annual mean salary. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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