FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Head Nurse

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Head Nurse

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Head Nurse Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Duties

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute to existing plans
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. For example, an oncology nurse may work with cancer patients or a geriatric nurse may work with elderly patients. Some registered nurses combine one or more areas of practice. For example, a pediatric oncology nurse works with children and teens who have cancer.

Many possibilities for working with specific patient groups exist. The following list includes just a few examples:

Addiction nurses care for patients who need help to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs, and other substances.

Cardiovascular nurses care for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery.

Critical care nurses work in intensive-care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries that need very close monitoring and treatment.

Genetics nurses provide screening, counseling, and treatment for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

Neonatology nurses take care of newborn babies.

Nephrology nurses care for patients who have kidney-related health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, substance abuse, or other causes.

Rehabilitation nurses care for patients with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Registered nurses may work to promote public health, by educating people on warning signs and symptoms of disease or managing chronic health conditions. They may also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, or other community outreach programs. Other nurses staff the health clinics in schools.

Some nurses do not work directly with patients, but they must still have an active registered nurse license. For example, they may work as nurse educators, healthcare consultants, public policy advisors, researchers, hospital administrators, salespeople for pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, or as medical writers and editors.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They provide direct patient care in one of many nursing specialties, such as psychiatric-mental health or pediatrics. CNSs also provide indirect care, by working with other nurses and various other staff to improve the quality of care that patients receive. They often serve in leadership roles and may educate and advise other nursing staff. CNSs also may conduct research and may advocate for certain policies.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Head Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.

Education

In all nursing education programs, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. BSN programs typically take 4 years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in the physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. These programs also offer more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Many registered nurses with an ADN or diploma choose to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the nursing profession and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 or more years of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, registered nurses must have a nursing license. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing can give details. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, and pediatrics, among others. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a higher standard, and some employers require it.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Registered nurses must be able to assess changes in the health status of patients, including determining when to take corrective action and when to make referrals.

Communication skills. Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions. Nurses need to explain instructions, such as how to take medication, clearly. They must be able to work in teams with other health professionals and communicate the patients’ needs.

Compassion. Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when caring for patients.

Detail oriented. Registered nurses must be responsible and detail oriented because they must make sure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

Emotional stability. Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.

Organizational skills. Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs. Organizational skills are critical to ensure that each patient is given appropriate care.

Physical stamina. Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.

Advancement

Most registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings. With experience, good performance, and continuous education, they can move to other settings or be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

In management, nurses can advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions are requiring a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership, communication skills, negotiation skills, and good judgment.

Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations, among others—need registered nurses for jobs in health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance.

Some RNs choose to become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, which, along with clinical nurse specialists, are types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs may provide primary and specialty care, and in many states they may prescribe medications.

Other nurses work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Head Nurse?

Send To A Friend

Head Nurse Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Head Nurse Career Paths

Head Nurse
Nurse Manager Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Chief Nursing Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Case Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Nursing Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Assistant Director Of Nursing
Director Of Staff Development
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Director Service Director
Administrative Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Manager
Manager Of Clinical Services
10 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager Patient Care Manager Director Of Social Services
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Clinical Supervisor Patient Care Manager
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Clinical Supervisor Clinical Manager
Patient Relations Director
10 Yearsyrs
Clinical Coordinator Assistant Nurse Manager
Nursing Services Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Unit Manager Clinical Manager
Hospice Director
12 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager Assistant Director Of Nursing
Director Of Clinical Education
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager Assistant Director Of Nursing Director Of Health Services
Home Service Director
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Coordinator Regulatory Affairs Specialist Quality Consultant
Quality Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinical Coordinator School Nurse Health Coach
Wellness Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Director Medical Director
Inpatient Services Director
12 Yearsyrs
Show More
Share

Do you work as a Head Nurse?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Nurse 6.0 years
Registered Nurse 5.3 years
Nurse Clinician 4.3 years
Head Nurse 4.0 years
Nurse Manager 4.0 years
Nurse Coordinator 3.5 years
Surgical Nurse 3.4 years
Nurse 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Head Nurse
Staff Nurse 45.6%
Nurse 7.6%
Top Careers After Head Nurse
Staff Nurse 22.8%
Nurse 7.5%
Director 2.4%
Supervisor 1.9%

Do you work as a Head Nurse?

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Head Nurse?

Have you worked as a Head Nurse? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Head Nurse.

Top Skills for A Head Nurse

  1. Patient Care
  2. Staff Members
  3. Charge Nurse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Staff nurse in Medical Surgical/Orthopedic nursing providing direct patient care at Presbyterian University Hospital and Lee Hospital.
  • Identified documentation and communication improvements and conducted competency assessments for current staff members.
  • Served as Charge Nurse and supervised professional and paraprofessional nursing personnel.
  • Supervised and coordinated nursing activities in a large Internal Medicine practice.
  • Provide support and assistance with surgery scheduler's implementation of updated surgery scheduling system and patient data history.

Head Nurse Demographics

Gender

Female

75.8%

Unknown

12.6%

Male

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.8%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.3%

French

6.4%

Russian

6.4%

Tagalog

3.8%

Ukrainian

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Amharic

2.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Danish

1.3%

Latvian

1.3%

German

1.3%

Yoruba

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Ilocano

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Italian

1.3%
Show More

Head Nurse Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.3%

Walden University

8.9%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

6.0%

Saint Joseph's College, New York

4.4%

University of Maryland - Baltimore

4.2%

Excelsior College

4.2%

Columbia University

4.2%

Adelphi University

4.2%

New York University

4.0%

Western Governors University

4.0%

Molloy College

3.8%

Webster University

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

Saint Louis University-

3.3%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.3%

University of Saint Francis

3.1%

University of Pennsylvania

3.1%

Kaplan University

3.1%

Michigan State University

2.9%

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry

2.9%
Show More
Majors

Nursing

76.4%

Business

3.8%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Nursing Science

3.0%

Education

1.6%

Family Practice Nursing

1.3%

Psychology

1.2%

Public Health

1.2%

Management

1.1%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

0.9%

Medical Assisting Services

0.9%

Health Education

0.7%

Health Sciences And Services

0.7%

Nursing Assistants

0.7%

Clinical Psychology

0.6%

Law

0.6%

Elementary Education

0.5%

Mental Health Counseling

0.5%

School Counseling

0.4%

Health And Wellness

0.4%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

30.9%

Masters

29.9%

Associate

13.8%

Other

13.2%

Diploma

3.8%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

3.2%

License

1.6%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate Working As a Head Nurse?

Are you working as a Head Nurse? Help us rate Head Nurse as a Career.

Top Head Nurse Employers

Jobs From Top Head Nurse Employers

Related to your recently viewed content