15 Nursing Administration Jobs (With Duties and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Nursing can be a rewarding and challenging career path with many opportunities and positions to consider. If you're interested in a nursing career and have strong leadership and management skills, you might consider a nursing administration job. Understanding the various roles available with duties and average salaries can help you determine which position to pursue.

In this article, we explain what nursing administration is, list the types of jobs available, and explore frequently asked questions related to the role.

What is nursing administration?

Nursing administration is the implementation of nursing policies and disciplines within a health care facility. Within this field, you can pursue several managerial positions. Nursing administrators ensure the health care center operates smoothly so the patients or residents receive the highest quality of care. Along with their nursing experience and skills, administrators use their leadership abilities to supervise a team of nurses.

Depending on the role, the operation's scope, and the patients being served, a nursing administrator's duties may vary. Most departments offer continuing education opportunities and encourage collaboration with other departments within a facility. Administrators rely on ethics to make important decisions regarding the staff, procedures, and department as a whole.


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Types of nursing administration jobs

While nursing administrators have many similar daily responsibilities, they may also have different duties depending on their employer or their specific job title. Here are some jobs you might be interested in if pursuing a career as a nursing administrator:

1. Registered nurse (RN) manager

National average salary: $40.39 per hour

Primary duties: RN managers supervise a medical staff within a nursing department. They ensure nurses provide the highest quality of care to their patients and often act as a liaison between the facility's administration and the employees. RN managers may also recruit and train the nursing staff, help administer medicine, create patient care plans, and respond to patient questions and concerns. They typically work in an office setting away from the clinical unit, most commonly in a hospital, urgent care clinic, physicians' office, or a long-term care home.

2. Clinical nurse manager

National average salary: $44.48 per hour

Primary duties: Clinical nurse managers oversee the nursing staff in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, medical clinic, or similar health care center. These managers assess patient care, manage budgets, and create schedules for their staff. They evaluate the performance of their staff, which may include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse assistants. Clinical nurse managers may also take part in human resources decisions regarding the clinic's employees.

3. Charge nurse

National average salary: $39.38 per hour

Primary duties: A charge nurse is an RN who oversees a particular unit or department in a medical facility. They delegate nursing duties, coordinate schedules, review admissions and discharges, and ensure a sufficient supply of medications and various medical supplies. Charge nurses help maintain the quality of care in their units, provide performance evaluations, and may assist with nursing tasks, as needed.

4. Nursing supervisor

National average salary: $40.61 per hour

Primary duties: Nursing supervisors are medical professionals who supervise a nursing team to maintain a high level of patient care. Common duties include establishing policies and guidelines for their nursing staff, managing the department's budget, and ensuring the maintenance of patient records. They also coordinate nursing schedules, assign patients to nurses, create reports for senior management, and ensure the staff adheres to various hospital and legislative mandates.

5. Director of care

National average salary: $90,312 per year

Primary duties: A director of care, also called a patient care director, manages health services or facilities. They handle the planning, coordination, supervision, and evaluation of all clinical resources, services, and programs within a facility. Directors of care supervise and direct employee activities and use their leadership skills to oversee various programs dedicated to patient welfare.

6. Nurse manager

National average salary: $99,552 per year

Primary duties: Nurse managers supervise a hospital or clinic's nursing staff, including the management of human and financial resources. They train employees, oversee and improve patient care, ensure the maintenance of standards and quality of care, and maintain a safe environment for staff and patients. Additional duties may include handling patient complaints, coordinating schedules, making management decisions, and responding to crisis situations.

7. Chief nursing officer

National average salary: $95,492 per year

Primary duties: Chief nursing officers supervise nursing activities within a health care organization. They often advise the senior management team on best nursing practices, complete performance reviews, create new patient services, and represent the nursing staff at meetings. Chief nursing officers are typically involved in significant decisions dealing with the daily operational management of the facility or organization at which they work.

8. Community health nurse

National average salary: $37.18 per hour

Primary duties: Community or public health nurses create and offer educational health programs to community members on a variety of topics in schools, clinics, or other community settings. They typically offer programs and services from pre-conception to school entry, including maternity support, prenatal classes, breastfeeding support, and healthy eating guidelines for children and families. Additional educational programs include support for provincial immunization programs, school health assessments, and communicable disease programs.

9. Director of nursing

National average salary: $99,874 per year

Primary duties: Directors of nursing lead and supervise nursing units within a health care setting. They implement quality improvements and other initiatives in the clinical area to ensure clients are receiving high-quality care. Directors of nursing maintain and promote a safe working environment within the community or clinic in which they serve. They support their staff in the delivery of safe client care and ensure all employees maintain health and safety standards.

10. Clinical nurse specialist

National average salary: $46.22 per hour

Primary duties: Clinical nurse specialists are RNs who have extensive nursing knowledge and skills, and clinical experience in a specialized area. From clinical management to medical research, a clinical nurse specialist performs many duties throughout the workday. They may participate in medical research, the development and implementation of research- and evidence-based policies, and the education of nursing staff on clinical procedures, policies, and best practices.

Read more: How to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist (With Skills)

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about nursing administration:

Where do nurse administrators work?

Nurse administrators may work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals or physicians' offices, or in larger medical facilities like rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, or long-term care homes. Some nurse administrators work within a larger hospital system, so they may travel between locations.

For example, in a hospital, you may work in an office, creating and implementing departmental procedures and policies, directing nursing staff, or creating reports and budgets. If working in a physician's office, you may work with the medical and administrative staff to handle record-keeping and billing. At a long-term care facility, you may oversee the nursing staff, the facility's maintenance, and the overall quality of patient care.

What skills are beneficial for a nursing administrator to have?

Nurse administrator positions require candidates to have a variety of skills to perform their duties successfully. Here are some of the fundamental skills that can help you find success in this position:

  • Leadership skills: Nurse administrators use strong leadership skills to supervise a nursing staff and delegate duties. This ability also helps administrators oversee nursing activities in their department and gives them the authority to implement necessary changes.

  • Communication skills: The ability to communicate with a wide variety of professionals in a health care setting is essential for success in the role. Communication skills can help you interact effectively with each member of your team, including colleagues, doctors, or other hospital administrators.

  • Business skills: Strong business skills can help nurse administrators make strategic decisions and manage budgets for their department and staff. These skills can also help you establish collaborative relationships with interdepartmental staff, which can be helpful in larger organizations.

Related: Nursing Skills (With Definition, Tips, and Examples)

What education do you need as a nurse administrator?

The education requirements for a nurse administrator can depend on the specific role, but it's typically beneficial to pursue an advanced degree. Most nurse administrator positions require a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Candidates are required to register their RN or Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN) designation with the nursing regulatory body, college, or association in the area in which they intend to work.

This is an essential step, as each province and territory has its own regulations. Nurse administrators may also pursue a Master of Science in nursing or even a doctorate in nursing.

Do nurse administrators work with patients?

While nurse administrators rarely provide direct care for patients like staff nurses, they may sometimes interact with patients. Depending on the role, some administrators visit patients to discuss their experiences, evaluate their care, or see how they're recovering. These visits help administrators better identify with patient or staffing needs, and give them a different perspective on their operational success. In the event of security concerns, patient behavioural issues, or quality complaints, an administrator may investigate the issue by speaking with the patient or their family.

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