What does a Nurse Executive do?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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A nurse executive typically takes on a range of administrative- and management-type tasks for his employer. A person in this position helps to plan patient care and develop policies and procedures for hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient centers, and a full range of other health care facilities. Often, a nurse executive is also responsible for budget administration and serves as a mentor for other nursing staff members. This job typically involves a great deal of leadership responsibility, as a nurse executive often supervises other nurses and helps with creating schedules, delegating responsibilities, and evaluating staff performance.

A good deal of a nurse executive's responsibility is centered on design and planning. A person with this title typically works to design and plan patient care in a hospital, nursing home, or other type of health care facility. For example, some nurse executives work in ambulatory clinics and urgent care facilities. In addition to the designing and planning of patient care, a person with this title is often responsible for helping to create a range of policies and procedures for staff members to follow.

A nurse executive is typically responsible for the administration of a health care facility’s budget as well. Part of this job, for example, is showing financial accountability. He may also have a range of other administrative duties to perform, depending on where he is employed.


The job of a nurse executive usually involves a number of leadership and supervisory tasks. An individual in this position is often responsible for ensuring that the facility’s mission is successfully carried out and serves as a mentor for other health care staff members. A person in this position may establish and maintain communication with other staff members for the purpose of keeping the work environment positive. He may also help educate other health staff members, supervise them, and manage their schedules.

The requirements a person must meet to become a nurse executive may depend on the particular jurisdiction and the needs of the employer for which a person will work. In many cases, however, a person can secure a job in this field after obtaining a license to practice as a registered nurse and a master’s degree in nursing or a related field. For example, some employers may hire nurse executives who have earned master’s degrees in health care administration as well. Other employers may, however, prefer those who have earned doctoral degrees in nursing or a related major.


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