Nurse manager

Also known as:

  • Charge Nurse
  • Nurse Supervisor

What they do

Nurse managers oversee nursing care on a ward or unit in public or private hospitals, aged or palliative care homes, or other healthcare facilities. They supervise nursing staff to ensure nurses provide safe and effective nursing care to patients. They also oversee the continuous professional training and development of nurses to meet clinical standards.

Nurse managers are responsible for the smooth running of their ward, making sure that the ward is adequately staffed and well stocked with medical supplies, including medications and 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 and health management.

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.

Most employers require those working in management roles to have experience using leadership skills in a related industry or occupation.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a nurse manager in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You will need to hold a Working with Children Check from the Department of Communities.