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The Responsibilities of a Nurse Manager

The fast-paced, multitasking role of a nurse manager is never boring. Fortunately, with the skills, training, and talent you will learn through the Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of Saint Mary, you will always be prepared.


Nursing administration can take many forms. Your hospital, clinic, school, or other institutions will look to your expertise for screening, interviewing, and selecting nursing staff. You may also be involved with medical records and regulatory requirements. In some settings, you'll have the opportunity to employ your diplomatic skills in addressing labor and union issues in the workplace.

Planning and Budgeting

A skill with numbers and an eye for detail likely helped you complete your nursing studies, and that same acumen comes in handy as a nurse manager. You'll review and manage finances for your department, including salary and supplies

Staff Management

The "manager" part of a nurse manager steps into the forefront 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. You also collaborate with other departments to promote the best patient outcomes. Your day may begin or end by reviewing case loads, going over assignments, discussing overall patient care, reinforcing patient care standards, reviewing transfer protocols, or other general and specific clinical duties. Staff meetings are ideal forums to share experiences, reveal problems, brainstorm solutions, and suggest answers.

At the same time, you'll schedule regular one-to-one meetings with your staff members to review individual issues, goals, and performance and training opportunities. As a mentor, you will inspire and motivate your staff to become better health care professionals and advocate for them among the larger clinical staff.

Finally, as a nurse manager, you will likely be part of cross-functional meetings in your organization, representing the nursing staff and its needs among physicians, administrators, and other personnel.

Take the Next Step!

The same talent and dedication that brought you success as a floor nurse can help you become a nurse manager. It's the ideal position if you enjoy mentoring, problem-solving, and creating a positive difference for patients and co-workers alike.

Training for Nurse Managers

A nurse manager typically has complemented their RN with an advanced degree, such as an MSN with a Nurse Administrator concentration or even a concentration. The University of Saint Mary offers such programs. The MSN program combines advanced nursing courses with leadership, management, and human resources courses to prepare nurses for management positions. For those interested in an MBA program, the university adds courses covering business skills for health care managers, legal and ethical issues in health care, and topics in health care management to a traditional MBA for a more focused skill set.

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 broad scope of responsibilities and be regarded as a valuable member of a large, coordinated team. Depending on your specialty and training, you may be heading the nursing staffs in ICU, ER, Pediatrics, or other departments.

Nursing Case Managers

Following a training course of about one year, you may become certified as a Nursing Case Manager. This role has you working closely with individual patients, coordinating treatment, tracking outcomes, and performing research. Some Case Managers work with insurance companies as well, advocating for the patient while designing a feasible treatment plan.

Geriatric Care Nurse Manager

As opposed to a Case Managers, a Geriatric Care Manager specializes in senior adults and their care. This role would have you assessing the patient's home, consulting with family and physicians, creating a care plan, and supervising the appointment of home health aides and other support personnel.

Special Skills of a Nurse Manager

Communication and Collaboration

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


Knowing what needs to be done and when to do it extends not only to your role but also to that of your nursing staff. As a nurse manager, your ability for scheduling and follow-up will help make daily processes move more smoothly.


You'll see the health care profession from many perspectives as a nurse manager, and ideally you will demonstrate your ability to find common ground and foster cooperation in your workplace and with family members.

Whatever your goal, a master's in nursing or an MBA with a health care management concentration is designed to develop the abilities and skills of nurse professionals to think outside of the day-to-day operation and emerge as the nursing leaders of today. Learn more about how to earn your degree with the University of Saint Mary. Go to today.