Nurse manager

What they do

Nurse managers oversee the nursing care provided in wards or units at public or private hospitals, aged or palliative care homes, or other healthcare facilities. They develop, implement and monitor policies of nursing care. They also supervise nursing staff to ensure nurses provide safe and effective nursing care to patients. They oversee the continuous professional training and development of nurses to meet clinical standards.

Nurse managers are responsible for the smooth running of their ward, ensuring the ward is adequately staffed and well stocked with medical supplies, including medications and personal protective equipment.


Working conditions

Nurse managers usually work regular office hours, but may be required to do shift work including weekends and public holidays, and their working times may be irregular depending on the size of the unit they supervise. They may also need to be able to provide training and organise and attend meetings with staff and upper management.

Tools and technologies

Nurse managers regularly use computers to maintain staff records and coordinate patient care, provide reports to upper management, help to create staff rosters, and allocate resources in the nursing care unit they supervise. They may also use computers and other resources to keep up to date with current advances in nursing, consult government legislation and policies, and access professional development and training for staff.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a nurse manager, you must first become a qualified registered nurse. You must also gain sufficient practical experience as a nurse in the area you wish to work. You will usually need to complete postgraduate study in nursing or health management. Most employers will also require those working in management roles to have experience using leadership skills in a related industry or occupation.

To become a registered nurse, you usually need to study a degree in nursing at university. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate and postgraduate courses in nursing or health management. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.


Required registration and licensing

To work as a nurse manager in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You will also need to hold a current Working with Children Check (WWC Check). Visit the Working with Children website for information on how to apply for a WWC Check.