Head of Nursing Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Head of Nursing, or Director of Nursing, oversees Nurses in a medical facility. Their duties include organising the nursing unit and the recruitment processes, evaluating nursing care standards and setting budgets.  


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Head of Nursing duties and responsibilities 

A Head of Nursing manages the recruitment of Nurses, their training and general accounting and budgeting. Other duties and responsibilities of a Head of Nursing include:

  • Coordinating the nursing staff and all other health professionals for optimal patient care
  • Developing a standard of care that adheres to the law and must be followed by all nursing staff
  • Implementing and tracking infection control programmes designed to provide a clean environment within the medical facility
  • Monitoring accounting, finances and expenses
  • Participating in management team conferences to discuss the status of nursing staff and patients 
  • Working with health staff members and other stakeholders to improve the quality of care provided to patients


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What does a Head of Nursing do?

A Head of Nursing is responsible for overseeing teams of Nurses or divisions of healthcare facilities. For instance, a Head of Nursing might be in charge of all nursing in the emergency room. A Head of Nursing is responsible for the performance of their team, which means they have to make sure Nurses are meeting all their job requirements. Head of Nursing must also make sure all the patients for whom they’re responsible have needs met and are provided with appropriate attention.


Head of Nursing skills and qualifications 

A Head of Nursing needs a range of skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. These skills and qualifications include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills 
  • Leadership and organisation skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail 
  • Knowledge of various healthcare systems


Head of Nursing experience requirements 

Most employers require candidates to have at least three years of experience working in a similar role. Nurses with several years of experience can also qualify for the position. They must also have several years of experience performing basic financial management and budgeting, inspecting hospital procedures and managing fellow Nurses. 


Head of Nursing education and training requirements 

The minimum education requirement for Heads of Nursing is a bachelor’s degree in public health administration, nursing, business administration, healthcare management or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in business administration, health services management, public health administration or health administration. 

Many employers provide on-the-job training to new hires. The training usually involves shadowing the current Head of Nursing, a member of the accounting team, a member of the management team or another member of personnel. The introductory training period allows candidates to understand how your organisation functions daily and the institution areas they will focus on. Heads of Nursing may have a large number of Nurses and procedures to familiarise themselves with, so this training period will vary depending on the size of your company. 


Head of Nursing salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Head of Nursing in the United Kingdom is £72,014 per year. Their actual salary varies depending on several factors, including experience, education, geographical location and company. 


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Head of Nursing job description FAQs


What's the difference between a Head of Nursing and a Nurse Case Manager?

A Head of Nursing supervises the nursing staff and oversees patient care. They also perform administrative functions such as budgeting and record keeping. A Nurse Case Manager is a Registered Nurse (RN) responsible for the assessment and implementation of health care plans for individual patients. They focus on providing efficient and effective medical care while managing the treatment costs. A Nurse Case Manager serves as a liaison between patients, families, Physicians and other health care providers. 


What qualities make a good Head of Nursing?

A Head of Nursing must be empathetic and caring individual. While their position requires much more administrative than clinical duties, they still work with Administrators, other Nurses, Doctors, patients, orderlies and the general public and therefore must enjoy working with and being around people. Because many Heads of Nursing spent several years working as Nurses, their medical experience and expertise can be valuable in developing policy and making high-level decisions on certain cases. Developing conflict-resolution skills, being a good judge of character and possessing strong leadership skills can also prove useful. 


How can you make your Head of Nursing job description stand out?

To make your Head of Nursing job description stand out, make sure to clearly explain the purpose of the position. Outline the duties and responsibilities grouped together in key areas and list both daily and ongoing duties in order of importance. You must also explain the role using terms that are familiar to the applicants you’re targeting so as to clearly demonstrate the depth of authority of the position.

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