Head Nurse Education Requirements And Degrees

There are several education requirements to become a head nurse. Head nurses usually study nursing, nursing science or psychology. 49% of head nurses hold a bachelor's degree and 28% hold a associate degree. We found these by analyzing 4,168 head nurse resumes to investigate the topic of head nurse education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a head nurse are University of Phoenix and City College of New York of the City University of New York, The.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in head nurse education paths.

We prepared a list of a head nurse certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that head nurses must have to succeed are Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) and Medical Assistant.

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Head Nurse ?

The most common degree for head nurses is bachelor's degree 49% of head nurses earn that degree. A close second is associate degree with 28% and rounding it off is diploma with 10%.

  • Bachelors, 49%
  • Associate, 28%
  • Diploma, 10%
  • Masters, 8%
  • Other Degrees, 5%
Head Nurse DegreeascdescPercentagesascdesc
Bachelors
49.2%
Associate
28.4%
Diploma
10.4%
Masters
8.5%
Certificate
1.3%

What Should I Major in to Become a Head Nurse ?

Most head nurses, 82% to be exact, major in nursing. Some other common majors for a head nurse include nursing science and psychology majors.

Head Nurse MajorascdescPercentagesascdesc
Nursing
81.9%
Nursing Science
3.1%
Psychology
2.2%
Education
1.7%
Business
1.6%

Most Common Colleges for Head Nurse

Here are the most common colleges for a head nurse career in the US based on their resumes. Advocates often get their degree in University of Phoenix, City College of New York of the City University of New York, The, and Pennsylvania State University .

University of Phoenix

City College of New York of the City University of New York, The

Pennsylvania State University

Long Island University

Adelphi University

Head Nurse Common CollegeascdescPercentagesascdesc
University of Phoenix
11.03%
City College of New York of the City University of New York, The
7.72%
Pennsylvania State University
6.25%
Long Island University
6.25%
Adelphi University
6.25%

Average Head Nurse Salary by Education Level

Head nurses with a Masters degree earn more than those without, at $70,498 annually. With a Bachelors degree, head nurses earn a median annual income of $64,410 compared to $60,245 for head nurses with an Associate degree.

Master's Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Some College/ Associate Degree

Head Nurse Education LevelascdescHead Nurse Salaryascdesc
Master's Degree
$70,498
Bachelor's Degree
$64,410
Some College/ Associate Degree
$60,245

Head Nurse Jobs You Might Like

10 Best Universities For Head Nurses

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for head nurses. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

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
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
Duke University
Durham, NC
2
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
3
Yale University
New Haven, CT
4
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
5
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

17 Best Online Courses for Head Nurses

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for head nurses from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a head nurse:

  • Rn
  • Bls
  • Patient care
If you want to improve head nurses skills these courses could help you in this.

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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...

Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers
coursera

This course is designed with a singular goal: to improve the care you provide to your patients with substance use disorders. By delving into a model case performed by actors, seven Yale instructors from various fields provide techniques to screen your patients for substance use disorder risk, diagnose patients to gauge the severity of their use, directly manage treatment plans, refer out to treatment services, and navigate the various conditions that may limit your patient's access to treatment...

Introduction to Integrative Nursing
coursera

This course is designed for nurses who are drawn to practice in a different way - nurses who value whole-person care and know that the essence of nursing practice is truly caring and healing. You will learn about the principles and practices of Integrative Nursing and how you can be a healing presence to all you serve. Then, you will do an integrative assessment and apply the principles of Integrative Nursing to improve symptom management and overall patient outcomes. Finally, you will explore w...

Palliative Care Always
coursera

Palliative Care Always is a specialization for health care practitioners, patients and caregivers. We've designed this specialization to demonstrate how palliative medicine integrates with patient care, and to help you develop primary palliative care skills. Over the next five courses, you will develop skills in symptom management, goals of care and effective communication to improve the quality of life for patients and families suffering with serious illness. Our hope is that you feel increasin...

Transgender Medicine for General Medical Providers
coursera

The course is a comprehensive set of didactic lectures surveying fundamentals of transgender medical and surgical treatment. The material is meant to provide the student with core knowledge that is essential for current primary care providers caring for transgender patients. There are 10 modules led by the expert clinical faculty from the pioneering Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New Yor...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

PrEParing: PrEP for Providers and Patients
coursera

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) using the antiretroviral medication emtricitibine/tenofovir approved in countries around the world is a highly effective means of reducing transmission of HIV through sexual encounters and needle sharing. This Johns Hopkins University course PrEPares you with essential information, concepts and practical advice regarding PrEP from leaders in the field. A first of its kind learning opportunity, both providers and patients learn from the same experts through content...

Certificate in Spirituality, Health, and Healing
ed2go

(25 contact hours) Enhance your professional marketability by recognizing the impact spiritual values and beliefs have on health and healing...

Certificate in Perinatal Issues
ed2go

(20 contact hours) The Certificate in Perinatal Issues is a multidisciplinary educational experience designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals who provide care and support for childbearing women, newborns, and families...

Newborn Baby Care
coursera

A newborn baby is an amazing beautiful life filled with hope. Unfortunately, many babies die or experience preventable harm even in 21st century. It is imperative that babies who are born healthy get off to a healthy start in the first month of life. There are some easy tenets of care to implement that help ensure that babies and families get off to a healthy start no matter where they are in the world. In this specialization learners will acquire the skills necessary for newborn baby care to op...

Emergency Care: Pregnancy, Infants, and Children
coursera

Welcome to the final course of lectures in your quest to master EMT basics. In this course, we will cover some of the highest-stress patient populations: pregnant patients and kids, also known as pediatrics. To wrap up your EMT knowledge we will end this course with information about hazmat situations, extricating patients from tight spots and finally how you write a note about your patient care. You will learn to ensure it communicates what your assessment of the patient was, what interventions...

Certificate in Complementary and Integrative Health
ed2go

(24 contact hours) Enhance your professional marketability by gaining a broad understanding of complementary and integrative health care options...

Acute and Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Comprehensive Review
coursera

Welcome to Acute and Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Comprehensive Review This course, offered by the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is designed to inform primary care physicians and general otolaryngologists, as well as nurses, physician assistants and medical assistants, about the differences between acute and chronic rhinosinusitis and how to distinguish and treat them. It is also applicable to individuals who wish to broaden the...

Health for All Through Primary Health Care
coursera

This course explores why primary health care is central for achieving Health for All. It provides examples of how primary health care has been instrumental in approaching this goal in selected populations and how the principles of primary health care can guide future policies and actions. Two of the most inspiring, least understood, and most often derided terms in global health discourse are "Health for All" and "Primary Health Care." In this course, we will explore these terms in the context of...

Symptom Management in Palliative Care
coursera

This course should be taken after the Essentials of Palliative Care course and continues building your primary palliative care skills - communication, psychosocial support and goals of care. You will learn how to screen, assess, and manage both physical and psychological symptoms. You will explore common symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and distress and learn specific treatments. You will continue to follow Sarah and Tim's experience and learn cultural competencies critical for optimal sy...

Best Head Nurse Certifications in 2021

1. Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

Train to be a certified nurse assistant working with other health care professionals to provide quality care for elderly or sick individuals in nursing homes and hospitals and at home.

Train to be a certified nurse assistant working with other health care professionals to provide quality care for elderly or sick individuals in nursing homes and hospitals and at home.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Website
Certified Nurse Assistant
Certifying Organization
American Red Cross

2. Medical Assistant

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)
Certifying Website
Medical Assistant
Certifying Organization
American Society of Phlebotomy...

3. Certified Nurse Technician (CNT)

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? No
Certifying Organization
National Healthcareer Association

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Head Nurse

Top 10 Affordable Universities For Head Nurses

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for head nurses.

1. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$16,091

2. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

3. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,998

4. Clayton State University

Morrow, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,419
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$17,697

5. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$22,430

6. Minot State University

Minot, ND • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,064
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$15,576

7. Florida International University

Miami, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,556
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$19,434

8. University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

Mayaguez, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$4,094
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,302

9. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,238
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,567

10. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,623
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
SUNY Farmingdale
Farmingdale, NY
2
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
3
Hunter College of the City University of New York
New York, NY
4
Clayton State University
Morrow, GA
5
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Top 10 Hardest Universities To Get Into For Head Nurses

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. University of Rochester

Rochester, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
29%
SAT Average
1,422

2. University of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK • Private

Admissions Rate
41%
SAT Average
1,321

3. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

Admissions Rate
10%
SAT Average
1,514

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
40%
SAT Average
1,376

5. Clemson University

Clemson, SC • Private

Admissions Rate
47%
SAT Average
1,337

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,513

7. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
28%
SAT Average
1,429

8. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

Admissions Rate
58%
SAT Average
1,309

9. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO • Private

Admissions Rate
58%
SAT Average
1,304

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
42%
SAT Average
1,326
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
2
University of Tulsa
Tulsa, OK
3
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
4
SUNY at Binghamton
Vestal, NY
5
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

Top 10 Easier To Apply Universities For Head Nurses

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. AdventHealth University

Orlando, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
87%
SAT Average
1,016

2. Nyack College

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
999

3. D'Youville College

Buffalo, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
100%
SAT Average
1,072

4. La Roche College

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
99%
SAT Average
1,008

5. Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Standish, ME • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,069

6. Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Bartlesville, OK • Private

Admissions Rate
68%
SAT Average
964

7. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
92%
SAT Average
1,031

8. Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Canton, OH • Private

Admissions Rate
75%
SAT Average
1,085

9. Saint Martin's University

Lacey, WA • Private

Admissions Rate
96%
SAT Average
1,111

10. Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,031
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
AdventHealth University
Orlando, FL
2
Nyack College
New York, NY
3
D'Youville College
Buffalo, NY
4
La Roche College
Pittsburgh, PA
5
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Standish, ME

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