group of healthcare professionals with one shaking hands with businessman

Is Nurse Management the Right Career Path for You?

Although being a bedside nurse is the most common reason people cite for entering into nursing, many will move on to other positions in time, including positions in nurse management. In fact, many of the most successful nurses do just that.

Nurse management is not for everyone, but if you have stellar clinical skills, high emotional intelligence, visionary leadership qualities, and the ability to bring out the best in others and do so with integrity, you may have what it takes to gain a position in nursing management.

Nursing offers many career options, both in nurse management and others.

Search Nursing Jobs

What Is Nurse Management?

The nursing management professional is responsible for the oversight of a unit, department, or facility. Their responsibilities span the areas of staffing, patient care, and finances.

As a member of nursing management, you will recruit and retain nursing staff, collaborate on patient care issues, and oversee paperwork, such as medical records and disciplinary actions.

Most nurse management positions require a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Some may require a Master’s degree in nursing, healthcare administration, or business. Other requirements may include obtaining a nurse management certification through the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Why Is Nurse Management Important?

Nursing management plays an important role in the healthcare system. As a liaison between patient care, nursing, physicians, and the mission of the hospital, you can greatly impact patient outcomes. 

You will no longer provide hands-on care on a daily basis, but the decisions you make will impact how that care is delivered.  

Nurse managers are decision-makers. Many of these decisions are difficult, but the challenge and satisfaction of knowing you are part of the solution to many problems can lead to a fulfilling career in nurse management.

4 Qualities Of A Successful Nurse Manager

1. Emotional Intelligence

In the workplace, emotional intelligence may be even more important than IQ. Emotional intelligence is the awareness and ability to control your emotions to handle relationships with judgment and empathy.

The emotionally intelligent nurse management team member understands how to manage themselves, build relationships, and foster teamwork. 

One study by Rebecca McGill, associate dean for clinical and field education at the St. Catherine University Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, found that successful nurse managers build trust and relationships, connect with people, show empathy, and know their staff members on a personal level.

2. Visionary

Nursing Management found six key attributes of successful nurse managers. One of the most important is learning to be visionary.

A visionary nurse manager creates and clearly communicates a personal vision to guide change and enable others to achieve a purpose. 

They move to action. A clearly defined vision allows nursing management staff to expand their ability to create desired results.  

3. Coaching

Nurse management is not a dictatorship. Successful nurse managers know how to incorporate coaching communication into their interactions with staff.

Successful nurse managers understand the essential nurse communication skills for success. They set clear expectations and provide positive feedback at every opportunity. 

They offer meaningful praise and compliments. They even work alongside their staff during times of staffing shortages or high census.

In short, successful nurse managers are team players.  

4. Integrity

Being in nursing management requires you to identify your values and use them as a compass to stay on course. Be honest.

Integrity means doing the right thing in all situations. The best decision may not give the staff what they want. You will need to be a straight shooter and provide the rationale for your decisions.  

Obtaining a job in nursing management may bring you the nurse job satisfaction you desire. If you think nurse management is for you, talk to your mentor, job coach, or current nurse manager. 

Learn more about this important role and get ready for a successful career in nursing management.


Apply Now

Latest Blogs

Take the first step to starting your new career.

Authorized to work in the US? *
Job Type Interest *
Have you been on an Interim engagement with AMN before? *
Are you currently employed or on an active Interim engagement? *

How much notice would you have to give? *

What date are you available to start an Interim engagement? *

* Indicates Required Fields


I agree to receive emails, automated text messages and phone calls (including calls that contain prerecorded content) from and on behalf of AMN Healthcare, and affiliates. {{show_more}} I understand these messages will be to the email or phone number provided, and will be about employment opportunities, positions in which I’ve been placed, and my employment with AMN companies. See privacy policy or cookie policy for more details.

Complete Your Application!
AMN Healthcare NurseFinders logo
Continue to NurseFinders to complete your application and profile.