The following article discusses the career path of Director of Nursing. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Director of Nursings.
Directors of nursing hold responsibility for all of the nursing activities within their health care setting. They evaluate, plan, and direct programs and care and make sure that all staff follow the philosophy and goal of the hospital. They manage staff, guiding and disciplining them as needed, and have recruitment and budgetary responsibilities as well. They also put communication methods in place between nurses, physicians, and other members of staff, thereby ensuring that patient needs are met. They make high-level decisions that have an impact on overall health care outcomes.
Other job duties of a director of nursing include:
- Coordinating and managing all services for patients
- Ensuring that the right personnel are recruited, trained, and retained appropriately
- Putting appropriate care standards in place and ensuring that all personnel adheres to them
- Providing supervision for all personnel involved in delivering patient services
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 352,200 medical and health services managers in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Hospitals; state, local, and private: 36%
- Offices of physicians: 11%
- Nursing and residential care facilities: 10%
- Government: 8%
- Outpatient care centers: 7%
How to Become
The education requirements for a nursing director vary depending on where they work. However, a BSN (bachelor’s degree in nursing) is usually required as a minimum, as well as a state license. It is also advisable to have other certifications, such as CPR. These professionals must demonstrate awareness of nursing best practices and must enforce them in their clinical setting. They are also expected to have strong leadership skills.
Usually, a director of nursing will hold a master’s degree before taking on this position, although exact requirements do vary depending on the institution. One of the reasons why the graduate degree is generally required, is because these programs often include a period of supervised administrative experience.
Many directors of nursing have a nursing background, having completed the BSN. Others enter the field by completing graduate degrees in areas such as business administration, public health administration, health management, or health administration. These degrees all focus on both business and the health care sector as a whole, meaning they include courses on health information systems, health economics, law and ethics, strategic planning, human resources administration, budgeting and accounting, and health services management.
Some roles will require licensing in some states. The requirements for these licenses vary greatly, but most include a specific level of education and work experience as well. It is important to check whether or not licensure is required. It is quite common for directors of nursing to hold their RN (registered nurse) license. Voluntary certification options also exist through a variety of professional bodies.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective directors of nursing have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Very detail oriented
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- Being a true and inspirational leader
- Having the necessary technical skills
- Being committed to lifelong learning
The national average salary estimate for Director of Nursing was $95,821. This number is estimated from over 1,730,124 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $49.91 and monthly of $7,985.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Director of Nursing salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, California had the largest quoted salary of $124,233 while Oklahoma had the smallest quoted salary of $65,748.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Director of Nursing. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Aureus Group Director of Nursing||Ohio||$162,021|
|CyberCoders Director of Nursing||California||$156,537|
|The Confidential Search Company Director of Nursing||Massachusetts||$152,000|
|CMC Limited Director of Nursing||Washington||$151,216|
|Nursing Home Rehab Center Director of Nursing||New York||$150,000|
|Medical Forefronts Management Solutions Director of Nursing||California||$150,000|
|Clinical Management Consultants Director of Nursing||California||$149,563|
|ProEnlist Director of Nursing||California||$147,939|
|US Skilled Nursing Director of Nursing||New York||$147,479|
|Acuity Professional Placement Solutions Director of Nursing||Florida||$145,465|
|MMS Group Director of Nursing||California||$140,152|
|GW Consultants, Inc Director of Nursing||New York||$140,000|
|New York City Care and Rehab Centers Director of Nursing||Connecticut||$140,000|
|All Med Search Director of Nursing||California||$139,055|
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