Head Nurse Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real head nurse resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage patient pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention, monitor patient response and record care plans accordingly.
  • Receive intensive training for critical care skill development upon transferring to the medical ICU.
  • Perform advanced nursing care to acute/chronic medical/surgical, cardiac, thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic and oncology/ hematology patients.
  • Certify staff in CPR and blood glucose monitoring.
  • Develop and implement an intensive care class for the staff; implement ACLS class for all staff.
  • Develop process improvement plan with bundles for sedation and ventilation.
  • Provide ongoing medication management for patients, including assessing effectiveness, and adjusting medications for optimum effectiveness with minimal side effects.
  • Serve in rehabilitation and Medical/Surgical units
  • Serve in rehabilitation and Medical/Surgical units

Head Nurse Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 31% of Head Nurses are proficient in Patients, BLS, and Compassion. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Compassion, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Head Nurses that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 31%

    Performed advanced nursing care to acute/chronic medical/surgical, cardiac, thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic and oncology/ hematology patients.

  • BLS, 9%

    Obtained BLS and ACLS certifications among others such as telemetry certification and gained experience with multiple computer documenting/charting systems.

  • Compassion, 6%

    Dedicated and patient-focused RN with experience performing admissions, assessment, treatment and education for multicultural patients with compassion and empathy.

  • Acute Care, 6%

    Supervised a staff of 42 on a 35-bed orthopedic/urology post-operative acute care unit

  • Acls, 4%

    Maintained required certifications including ACLS.

  • CPR, 3%

    Maintained certification and instruction to staff as CPR Instructor.

Most head nurses list "patients," "bls," and "compassion" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important head nurse responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a head nurse to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a head nurse resume, you'll understand why: "registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a head nurse in order to "case management of client educating and monitoring staff on medication administration medical evaluations of clients communication with client parents and guardians"
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many head nurse duties rely on compassion. This example from a head nurse explains why: "registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when looking after patients." This resume example is just one of many ways head nurses are able to utilize compassion: "show compassion in facilitating pain management and completing prescribed treatments including dosage changes, accu-checks, and ambulation. "
  • Detail oriented is also an important skill for head nurses to have. This example of how head nurses use this skill comes from a head nurse resume, "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." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "oriented all new staff nurses to unit-- required technical proficiency. "
  • A head nurse responsibilities sometimes require "emotional stability." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses." This resume example shows how this skill is used by head nurses: "worked with multidisciplinary team to provide medical support, chemotherapy administration, and emotional support for patients and families. "
  • Another common skill for a head nurse to be able to utilize is "organizational skills." Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs a head nurse demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "utilized effective organizational skills to coordinate surgery schedules at four separate hospitals. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "physical stamina." According to head nurse resumes, "nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients." This resume example highlights how head nurse responsibilities rely on this skill: "included medication administration and psychiatric and physical assessment. "
  • See the full list of head nurse skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious head nurses are:

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    What Nurse Coordinators Do

    A nurse coordinator is primarily in charge of overseeing all nurses and their activities in a hospital or clinic. Their responsibilities include managing and rotating schedules, assessing nurse performance, organizing nursing programs, and developing strategies to optimize procedures. They may also assist patients and answer inquiries, studying their conditions to develop specific care plans to suit their needs. Furthermore, as a nurse coordinator, it is essential to lead and encourage teams to reach goals, all while implementing the facility's policies and regulations.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take nurse coordinator for example. On average, the nurse coordinators annual salary is $1,133 lower than what head nurses make on average every year.

    Even though head nurses and nurse coordinators have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patients, compassion, and acls in the day-to-day roles.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a head nurse responsibility requires skills such as "bls," "acute care," "oncology," and "surgery." Whereas a nurse coordinator is skilled in "customer service," "data collection," "quality care," and "emr." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Nurse coordinators tend to make the most money in the health care industry by averaging a salary of $80,569. In contrast, head nurses make the biggest average salary of $80,362 in the education industry.

    On average, nurse coordinators reach similar levels of education than head nurses. Nurse coordinators are 2.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Nurse Clinician?

    A nurse clinician is a health expert who provides care and assistance to patients in hospitals, clinics, or similar establishments. Among their responsibilities include preparing equipment and documents, administering medication, monitoring the patient's condition, maintaining charts, and regularly reporting to physicians. In some establishments, they may also perform administrative support tasks such as answering calls and correspondence, preparing and processing documents, and organizing records. Moreover, a nurse clinician must maintain an active communication line with fellow medical staff to provide optimal services to patients.

    The next role we're going to look at is the nurse clinician profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $15,014 lower salary than head nurses per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of head nurses and nurse clinicians are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patients," "compassion," and "acls. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, head nurse responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "bls," "acute care," "oncology," and "triage." Meanwhile, a nurse clinician might be skilled in areas such as "emergency situations," "patient outcomes," "home health," and "family education." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On average, nurse clinicians earn a lower salary than head nurses. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, nurse clinicians earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $73,633. Whereas, head nurses have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $80,362.

    On the topic of education, nurse clinicians earn similar levels of education than head nurses. In general, they're 3.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Registered Professional Nurse Compares

    A registered charge nurse is responsible for supervising nurses' workflow in a particular department or area, ensuring every patient gets the proper care that they need. A registered charge nurse has the discretion to direct tasks, arrange schedules, and monitor patients, such as in the aspects of admission and discharge. Furthermore, a registered charge nurse must maintain an active line of communication and coordination among nurses, physicians, and other personnel involved as the conditions in a hospital can be unpredictable.

    The registered professional nurse profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of head nurses. The difference in salaries is registered professional nurses making $6,905 lower than head nurses.

    Using head nurses and registered professional nurses resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "patients," "bls," and "compassion," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a head nurse is likely to be skilled in "clinical supervision," "medical assistants," "fte," and "staff development," while a typical registered professional nurse is skilled in "healthcare professionals," "nursing diagnosis," "patient outcomes," and "home health."

    Additionally, registered professional nurses earn a higher salary in the utilities industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $64,620. Additionally, head nurses earn an average salary of $80,362 in the education industry.

    Registered professional nurses typically study at similar levels compared with head nurses. For example, they're 0.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Registered Nurse Charge Nurse

    Now, we'll look at registered nurses charge nurses, who generally average a lower pay when compared to head nurses annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $8,831 per year.

    While both head nurses and registered nurses charge nurses complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patients, bls, and compassion, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "surgery," "emergency care," "hematology oncology," and "clinical supervision," which might show up on a head nurse resume. Whereas registered nurse charge nurse might include skills like "rehabilitation," "resident care," "emergency situations," and "good communication."

    Registered nurses charge nurses earn a higher salary in the health care industry with an average of $68,929. Whereas, head nurses earn the highest salary in the education industry.

    In general, registered nurses charge nurses reach similar levels of education when compared to head nurses resumes. Registered nurses charge nurses are 3.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.