Clinical Nurse Manager 

A clinical nurse manager is a nursing professional in charge of a unit to supervise patient care and staff performance. The unit can be in any healthcare facility like a hospital, ambulatory care setting, or a nursing home. 

There is an assumption that a nurse manager is an administrator. The difference is that the role of management is at a smaller scale.  The responsibility of a nurse manager can be overseeing activities at the wards, department, diagnostics, and imaging, among other areas. Specialty and training can determine the area of work. For instance, a registered nurse who specialized in critical care can become head other nurses at ICU or an emergency room. 

The broad scope of responsibilities that they play makes administration to regard nurse managers as valuable managers of a coordinated team because of the more engaging roles. Clinical nurse managers, the involvement in clinical nursing is lesser than the managerial activities. 

 How to Become a Clinical Nurse Manager  

A clinical nurse manager should be someone who in addition to knowledge of clinical practice has management, budgeting, and leadership qualities. Interpersonal and communications skills are also crucial.  They come in handy when communicating with colleagues, other departments, patients, and their families. These steps will lead you to clinical management if you have the necessary qualities for this position. 

 Earn   a BSN Degree  

You should enroll for a BSN Degree program if you are a registered nurse with a two-year associate’s degree. Study at an accredited school and get the right licensure because an ADN degree will only qualify you for a generalist but not a managerial role. A BSN degree program takes 4 years, but you can join an accelerated program when you already have an Associate’s degree. It will take just around two years to complete since you will not repeat the core courses.  Since your target is in management, it is wise to choose a BSN program those majors in nursing and minors in something like healthcare management or business to prepare for supervisory roles. 

Some people pursue a BSN degree as the second one for career switch after acquiring a first degree in a different academic area.  

 Those who have not been practicing should sit for a national licensure examination to become registered nurses. 

 You will after licensing need to work and gain experience in offering nursing service as at various settings.  The length of experience varies, and some employers require up to five years of experience.  You improve the chances of filing nurse manager openings by taking on more responsibility with supervisory responsibilities as you can. Many facilities prefer to hire clinical nurse managers from within their staff and consider those who have been active in various duties. 

 Pursue a graduate degree  

Small facilities and private practices can hire clinical nurse managers with a bachelor’s degree if they have some years of supervisory experience. Most of the organizations do not follow this route.  They prefer to hire clinical nurse managers who have a Master’s degree in nursing or knowledge in a different area of business.  A degree program that incorporates planning, legal issues, fiscal management, or other administrative functions will increase your chances to fit in a managerial role.  A masters degree in healthcare administration or master of business administration provides nursing and business skills. 

After earning a graduate degree, it is an excellent time to get a certification as a nurse manager. 

The body with authority to license depends on the place where you plan to practice. In the United States, you should get certification from CNML (Certified nurse manager and leader). It is a certification tailored for nurse leaders in nurse management roles.  CNML issues licensure in collaboration with AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses). The requirements to earn this certification include: 

  • An active unrestricted registered license  
  • BSN or higher degree  
  • Experience of two or more years in the role of nurse manager or five years   experience for a holder of an associate’s degree 

The applicants for licensing should pay a fee and pass an examination to get a certification. 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Certified Clinical Nurse Manager  

     1.Staff management 

Staff management is the core role of clinical nurse managers. They assume the responsibility to lead and supervise staff in their units. Some of the teams the clinical nurse managers supervise are: 

  • Registered nurses  
  • Licensed practical nurses  
  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Medical clerks  
  • Aides

 It is the role of clinical nurse managers to collaborate with another department to improve patient care and promote best outcomes.   There are many specific and general duties for clinical nurse managers, but within the day, their focus must include these essential roles. 

  • Review of caseloads  
  • Going over assignments
  • Discussion of overall patient care  
  • Reinforcement of patient care standards  
  • Receiving and attending to transfer protocols  

A staff meeting is a common forum to share experiences, brainstorm, reveal problems, and suggest answers.  Personal meetings with staff members to review goals, performance, and opportunities are also part of work by clinical nurse managers. 

     2. Planning and budgeting  

This role requires nurse managers input in reviewing and managing their department’s finances, including the purchase of supplies and staff salaries.  Planning and budgeting require an eye for detail and good with calculations. 


 Administration can take different forms. Clinical nurse managers can be involved in managing regulatory requirements and medical records. In some settings, they use diplomatic skills to address labor and staff union issues.  Some healthcare facilities require nurse managers to use their expertise when there is interviewing, selection, and screening of nursing staff. 

     4.Clinical Nurse Manager Career Prospects and salary  

The salary of a nurse manager depends on experience, location, and employer. The average annual salary is $79,725, although some earn up to $108,000 a year. Managers at hospital settings, especially those in intensive care units, earn the highest salaries.  Because of the extensive experience that clinical nurse managers possess, they become eligible for further opportunities within nursing leadership. The can become educators, clinical nurse specialist, patient care coordinator, or director of nursing.  

Clinical nurse managers can oversee and manage nursing staff at all care centers, but their work is more than supervision.   They also mentor and motivate staff in addition to advocating on their behalf. An emphasis on preventive care and treatment of lifestyle diseases has led to an increase in need of clinical nurses. A higher number of clinical nurses mean there must be more clinical nurse managers.