Nursing Directors or Directors of Nursing are Registered Nurses who take on more responsibility as a manager. They are responsible for supervising and reviewing the nursing staff, maintaining high standards of care for patients, reporting to upper management and high level staff members, overseeing the department budgets, managing patient data and medical records, as well as interacting with patients, family members and physicians.
The Director of Nursing needs to be a caring person who enjoys working with people. Communication skills are a must as they will deal with nurses, other team members, physicians, administrators, patients and family members, as well as the general public. Many Nursing Directors have years of nursing experience to draw from and their medical expertise can be valuable in determining policy and making difficult decisions. Leadership skills, being a good judge of character and developing conflict-resolution skills would also be necessary for the Director of Nursing.
Directors of Nursing must be Registered Nurses and normally have years of experience as an RN. The Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) might be necessary for nurses seeking to pursue this field in the future. This program focuses on leadership training, critical thinking and communication skills and would be beneficial to the Nursing Director. Many employers want the Director of Nursing to have a Master’s Degree in nursing or healthcare administration.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that there is a growth rate of over 20% for jobs as medical and health service managers within the next 6-8 years.