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How to Become a Nurse Manager: Salary, Role & Qualifications


Whether you’re new to nursing or have several decades of experience, you may have considered becoming a nurse manager. Responsible for bridging the gap between clinical care and administrative processes, nurse managers play a crucial role in healthcare. They work in a range of medical and corporate settings, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, aged care facilities, insurance companies and government departments. 

The core responsibilities of a nurse unit manager include: 

  • Developing and overseeing the implementation of care policies and procedures
  • Coordinating staff rosters  
  • Hiring and training new staff 
  • Managing and evaluating the performance of nursing staff 
  • Providing feedback and managing career progression 
  • Keeping up with advancements in nursing technologies. 

For nurses looking to advance their career from a practitioner to manager role, complementing your existing experience and knowledge with additional qualifications is a vital step in reaching this goal. If you’re passionate about nursing and a natural leader, The University of Adelaide has online programs that can help you continue on your pathway to becoming a nurse manager. 

 

Benefits of becoming a nurse manager

Not sure if securing the role of nurse manager is worth the extra training required? To determine the right trajectory for your nursing career, consider the benefits associated with becoming a nurse unit manager: 
 

Increased salary 

Nurse wages vary depending on location, qualifications and experience. According to PayScale, the average registered nurse in Australia makes between $52,192 and $87,699 per year. Compare this with the average nurse unit manager salary, estimated to be between $69,253 and $108,414. With such significant wage increases on offer, undertaking further training offers long-term financial benefits for aspiring nurse managers. 
 

Greater responsibilities 

Nurse managers have a more diverse range of responsibilities than nurse practitioners. If you feel you’ve maximised your potential as a nurse practitioner, becoming a nurse manager can help you find more fulfilment in your career. In addition to clinical care duties, the typical nurse manager job description also includes administrative, conflict resolution and change management duties. This means your day-to-day tasks will cover a broader range of accountabilities, making your role more varied.  
 

Opportunities for growth 

Nurse managers have more opportunities than nurse practitioners to reach the highest levels of the healthcare industry. As a nurse manager, you’ll be exposed to several different branches of medicine, giving you access to a greater number of career advancement openings. 

 

Education requirements 

To become a nurse manager, you must first attend an accredited university or college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After receiving your nursing degree, you’ll need to apply to the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) to practise as a Registered Nurse.

As nurse managers are required to understand many different areas of healthcare, it can be challenging to transition straight from a practising Registered Nurse to a nurse manager. Even if you can offer extensive experience in patient care, undertaking postgraduate study is an effective way to improve your chances of being considered for nurse manager roles. 

Enrolling in a course designed especially for healthcare leaders will help you acquire the advanced skills required of nursing managers, allowing you to formalise your experience while broadening your knowledge. 

 

Getting qualified 

If it’s your ambition to become a nurse manager, consider enrolling in The University of Adelaide’s MBA (Health Management). This course was co-created by health and business experts to empower future health leaders with the skills they need to be successful. Designed to build your confidence in all areas of business and the health care sector, this 100% online course covers all the essential skills nurse practitioners need to advance their career. 

Throughout the program, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Deliver ethical, socially responsible and future-focused leadership
  • Influence internal and government stakeholders
  • Manage multiple facets of healthcare economics and the associated challenges and solutions 
  • Achieve enterprise-wide objectives
  • Manage health and wellbeing innovation
  • Sharpen your research capabilities to minimise risk and increase confidence. 

Upon graduating from the MBA (Health Management), you’ll be one step closer to qualify for leadership positions in a variety of organisations across the healthcare landscape. To meet the course entry requirements, you’ll need an undergraduate bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and two years of relevant work experience.

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For more information about enrolling in our MBA (Health Management) program and how it can further your nursing career, learn more about enrolment today.