MSN: Nurse Leadership Degree Programs & Career

As the nursing profession becomes more complex, it has become common for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in nursing to spend more time training students in areas such as communication, critical thinking, and leadership. Each of these becomes important should an individual wish to advance their nursing career into an administrative or managerial position. While a nurse leader may not necessarily have a formal management role, he/she is looked upon as someone who has good interpersonal and risk management skills. Closely related subjects include nurse administration and nurse management, for which nurse leaders may often times be ready to advance into quickly.

How to Become a Nurse Leader

To become a nurse leader, sometimes referred to as nurse manager, students typically complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program
  2. Earn a Registered Nurse Certification
  3. Meet the professional experience conditions
  4. Enroll and complete an MSN degree with a specialization in nurse leadership and management

Nurse leader Salary and Career Information

The expected salary, career growth, and work environment for a nurse leader might include:

  • According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers earned an average of $88,580 per year as of 2012.
  • Job Prospects: Very good to excellent
  • Job Setting: Private practices, nursing homes, hospitals, home health care agencies

Nurse Leader Qualifications

To become a nurse leader, students are typically required to meet the following job qualifications:

  • Professional training in human resources, business management, or a leadership role in a clinical setting
  • Possess strong leaderships and management skills and be an effective communicator
  • Experience in a specialized area of nursing practice

Nurse Leader Job Description

A nurse leader is typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Provide leadership and direction to the nursing staff and other members of the patient care team
  • Delegate responsibilities to staff members and monitor performance
  • Implement medical management programs and ensure timely reporting
  • Assist with interviewing, evaluating, and counseling of nurse employees

MSN Degrees for Aspiring Nurse Leaders