Nurse supervisors are responsible for three key elements of care delivery: patient care planning, orientation and training, and administration and policy adherence. They manage nursing staff, oversee care plans and coordinate the hiring and training of new personnel. Nurse supervisors ensure that the nursing staff follows all established policies and procedures. They play an important role in care delivery teams, acting as a liaison between nursing staff and patients, as well as between nurses and other medical professionals. Because nurse supervisors coordinate all nursing staff activities, administrative responsibilities are an essential component of this career.
What They Do
In general, a nurse supervisor’s primary role is ensuring that patient needs are met. However, they are more likely to do this by managing their team of nurses rather than through one-on-one interactions with patients. Some of the daily responsibilities of nurse supervisors include making care service schedules, maintaining and updating records and working with physicians to ensure care plans are carried out effectively. They resolve scheduling issues and coordinate the rotation of the nursing staff. Because they have the final say in nursing care procedures in their department, nurse supervisors play a vital role in the successful delivery of patient care.
Career Growth and Salary Potential
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job growth for medical and health services managers, including nurse supervisors, is expected to increase 17 percent through 2024, a rate that is much faster than the national average. This growth is in part due to the aging baby boom population and a shift toward preventive, holistic care. Nurse supervisors earn salaries ranging from $76,350 to $98,328, with a median of $87,043. These amounts vary depending on factors such as experience, setting and geographical location.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing is usually required in order to become a nurse supervisor. However, some employers may prefer candidates who hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. For registered nurses who are looking to advance their careers, earning an online RN to BSN is an ideal way to become qualified for nurse supervisor roles. Prior nursing experience is also important for those looking to become nurse supervisors. NCLEX licensure is required, but in most roles, the licensing is identical to that of registered nurses. Other requirements may vary by state.