Nurse Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Nurse Manager, or Chief Nursing Officer manages staff in a medical setting such as a hospital, clinic or minor injuries unit. Their primary duties include maintaining high standards of patient care, managing a ward or departmental budget and scheduling staff rotas.


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What does a Nurse Manager do?

A Nurse Manager is responsible for staffing their ward or clinic. They recruit and train new staff and provide ongoing support and performance management to the members of their team. They liaise with other Managers to coordinate multi-disciplinary teams from a number of departments and work with patients to ensure that they have comprehensive care plans that meet their individual needs. 

Nurse Managers report to Senior Managers, providing data to help them plan for the future and ensuring that there are adequate resources in place to meet demand. They also act as the first point of escalation for complaints and feedback.


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Nurse Manager duties and responsibilities

Nurse Managers have a range of managerial and executive duties that can include:

  • Carrying out home visits to observe and supervise Health Care Assistants 
  • Ensuring that all patient data is entered, stored and retrieved according to internal policies and relevant legislation
  • Referring patients to specialist clinics or services
  • Collecting, collating and analysing patient feedback
  • Supervising a team comprising Nurses, Health Care Assistants and other clinicians
  • Reviewing and revising policies to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and best practice guidelines
  • Leading team meetings to address operational issues and share information
  • Developing a professional network 
  • Maintaining a healthy collaborative team environment


Nurse Manager skills and qualifications

A successful Nurse Manager candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to fulfil both their clinical duties and their role as a Manager. These skills and qualifications can include:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Diplomacy and objectivity when dealing with patients and staff
  • Effective time management skills, including scheduling staff shift patterns and arranging cover 
  • Flexible with excellent decision-making skills and the ability to multi-task effectively
  • Leadership skills and the ability to provide support and guidance for team members
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Strong IT skills and knowledge of patient data management systems
  • A commitment to delivering patient-focused care


Nurse Manager experience requirements

Nurse Managers typically need several years of experience working as a Nurse, Midwife, Paramedic or a related role. Candidates who have experience in management or who have been responsible for patient liaison, have an advantage. Nurse Managers who have worked in a variety of different clinical settings have valuable experience of the various specialities and the processes in place in different departments. Nurses who have worked on the business side of nursing will also have useful experience in managing budgets and resources. 


Nurse Manager education and training

Nurse Managers need to be qualified and registered healthcare professionals,  this can be in a variety of fields including Registered General Nurse (RGN), Registered Mental Nurse (RMN) and Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities (RNLD). Nurse Managers also need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and need to complete Continuous Professional Development to maintain their registration. Additional training is an advantage, and candidates who have completed certification in clinical governance or auditing will have a number of useful skills.

Nurse Managers working in certain settings will benefit from additional training in that area, such as Care Home Managers and Residential Home Clinical Managers.


Nurse Manager salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Nurse Manager in the UK is £40,656 per year. This depends on their experience, qualifications, specialism and the setting in which they work.


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Nurse Manager job description FAQs


Who does a Nurse Manager report to?

Nurse Managers typically report to a Director of Nursing, Chief Nursing Officer or Vice President of Nursing. They may report to a Care Home Manager, Residential Home Manager, Ward Manager or a Clinical Lead, depending on where they work.


What should you look for in a Nurse Manager CV?

Nurse Managers need to have plenty of experience working in a clinical setting, seeing patients and gaining a thorough understanding of the wide range of duties expected of a Nurse. Applicants who have experience working with multi-disciplinary teams will also have an advantage when it comes to reviewing processes and assessing their effectiveness of interdepartmental communication. Candidates who demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the National Health Service values are ideal for roles within the NHS. 


What makes a good Nurse Manager job description?

A Nurse Manager job description must include details of the level of responsibility that the post holds, including the number of direct reports the post-holder will have. If the Nurse Manager has specific responsibility for any particular area, list it in the job description and explain how the role contributes to the success of the department.    

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