Average Salary
$62,639
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
12%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
329,955
Job Openings

Head Nurse Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a head nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.11 an hour? That's $62,639 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 371,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Head Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many head nurses have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, compassion and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a head nurse, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.6% of head nurses included rn, while 10.1% of resumes included bls, and 9.9% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the head nurse job title. But what industry to start with? Most head nurses actually find jobs in the health care and professional industries.

How To Become a Head Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a head nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 49.2% of head nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.5% of head nurses have master's degrees. Even though most head nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a head nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a head nurse, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on head nurse resumes include diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a head nurse. In fact, many head nurse jobs require experience in a role such as staff nurse. Meanwhile, many head nurses also have previous career experience in roles such as registered nurse or nurse.

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Average Salary
$62,639
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
12%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
329,955
Job Openings

Head Nurse Career Paths

Top Careers Before Head Nurse

Nurse
6.8 %

Top Careers After Head Nurse

Head Nurse Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Head Nurse

Head Nurses in America make an average salary of $62,639 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $79,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $49,000 per year.
Average Salary
$62,639
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities For Head Nurses

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Bridgeport, CT
Salary Range59k - 90k$73k$73,390
New York, NY
Salary Range56k - 85k$69k$69,477
Mission, TX
Salary Range47k - 71k$58k$58,491
Glen Ellyn, IL
Salary Range46k - 70k$57k$57,307
$46k
$90k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Head Nurse (FP
State of Connecticut
07/28/2021
$74,51107/28/2021
Head Nurse (HC
State of Connecticut
07/02/2021
$65,19807/02/2021
Head Nurse HC
State of Connecticut
05/21/2021
$65,19805/21/2021
Nursing Department Head
Alamance Community College
05/21/2021
$62,07605/21/2021
Head Nurse HC
State of Connecticut
05/21/2021
$65,19805/21/2021
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Head Nurse Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Head Nurse. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Head Nurse Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Head Nurse resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Head Nurse Resume Examples And Templates

Head Nurse Demographics

Gender

female

79.7 %

male

15.4 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

69.8 %

Black or African American

12.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.3 %

French

6.4 %

Russian

6.4 %
Show More Head Nurse Demographics

Head Nurse Education

Majors

Nursing
81.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

49.2 %

Associate

28.4 %

Diploma

10.4 %

Top Colleges for Head Nurses

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$19,375
Enrollment
506
Show More Head Nurse Education Requirements

Online Courses For Head Nurse That You May Like

Certificate in End of Life Care
ed2go

(19 contact hours) The Certificate in End-of-Life Care will enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals and individuals who work with or care for those experiencing a terminal illness...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Pediatric HIV Nursing
edX (Global)

Taught by leading experts in pediatric HIV clinical care and treatment, nursing, and global health, this course will equip nurses and midwives with the skills they need to provide quality clinical care to children living with HIV according to the latest clinical guidelines from the World Health Organization. The course is self-paced to accommodate individual schedules and learning needs.ICAP at Columbia University has been a leader in international HIV care and treatment for over a decade. We...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Head Nurse

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.6% of head nurses listed rn on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Best States For a Head Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a head nurse. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Oregon, and New Jersey. Head nurses make the most in California with an average salary of $105,045. Whereas in Hawaii and Oregon, they would average $93,936 and $81,340, respectively. While head nurses would only make an average of $81,108 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Head Nurse Jobs:
5,520
Highest 10% Earn:
$119,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Head Nurse Jobs:
2,540
Highest 10% Earn:
$109,000
Location Quotient:
1.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Head Nurse Jobs:
1,378
Highest 10% Earn:
$116,000
Location Quotient:
0.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Head Nurses

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Top Head Nurse Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$63,398
Head Nurses Hired: 
62+
2. McPherson Hospital
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$61,927
Head Nurses Hired: 
25+
3. St. Luke's Hospital
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$60,929
Head Nurses Hired: 
23+
4. Jackson Memorial Hospital
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$61,996
Head Nurses Hired: 
18+
5. CNA Financial
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$80,339
Head Nurses Hired: 
13+
6. CampCo
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$56,748
Head Nurses Hired: 
13+