Nurse Manager Salary Guide

7 Min Read Published January 19, 2024
Nurse Manager Salary Guide

A nurse manager is an advanced practice registered nurse who manages and oversees the nursing staff in a healthcare facility. These roles often earn high salaries; read on to learn how much you could make as a nurse manager. 

What is the Average Nurse Manager Salary?

According to, the average nurse manager earned an annual base salary of  $107,248 in 2023, while reports a much higher annual salary of $121,300.

Nurse Manager Salary Range

There is a significant variation in the salaries earned by nurse managers in the United States, with the lowest-paid 10% earning $96,840 per year and those in the highest-paid 10% earning $139,443, according to reports that the lowest-paid 10% of nurse managers earn $100,476, while the highest-paid 10% earn $144,607.

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Nurse Manager Salary by Years of Experience

According to, a nurse manager’s salary will increase with years of experience: 

  • 1 to 4 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $88,000
  • 5 to 9 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $91,000
  • 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $98,000
  • 20 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $101,000

Nurse Manager Salary by Work Setting

Nurse managers can be found working in all types of care facilities, with most working in hospitals and/or clinics. They usually have several responsibilities:

  • Manage a team of nurses, CNAs, and techs on a unit 
  • Supervise patient care
  • Ensure that standards are upheld and best practices applied at all times
  • Oversee departmental supply budget
  • Train the nurses on their staff
  • Provide input as to who is hired to their team

Their leadership and organizational skills are so critical to the smooth operations of a department that their clinical setting has far less impact on a nurse manager’s salary that they earn than their experience and education.

How to Increase Your Salary as a Nurse Manager

Nurse managers are highly paid professionals, but there are steps you can take and credentials that can boost your salary further.

Pursue Further Education

Nurse managers are leaders, and their job responsibilities require both innate and learned skills. By pursuing degrees beyond an Associate's or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, you can significantly enhance your own abilities and increase your value to an employer. 

According to, there is a “particular need” for nurses who have earned their master’s degrees or higher, and they are often paid substantially higher salaries. Many facilities offer tuition reimbursement, essentially paying you to increase your earning potential. Earning a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration is a great option for nurse managers. 


Nurse managers are able to demonstrate their expertise, knowledge, and value through certification in a variety of specializations.

One great way nurses can distinguish themselves is by becoming a certified nurse manager and leader, offered through the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Additional certification demonstrates commitment to the field, enhances your image, reflects your achievements, and establishes your professional credentials. 


Negotiating salary demonstrates both professionalism and confidence in your value to an organization, and that is the approach that nurses find most successful. 

When discussing compensation, it is a good idea to focus less on yourself and your needs than on the value that you bring to the organization. Make a note of previous accomplishments that reflect well on your employer as well as exemplify your superlative leadership and patient care.


Nurse managers offer tremendous relief to facilities that are experiencing staff shortages, and as a result, they are paid significantly higher hourly rates than nurses in permanent positions. 

Travel nurses enjoy the novelty and excitement of working in a new environment while also being paid sign-on bonuses and stipends for housing, food, mileage, and other job-related expenses. Travel nurses can also explore different areas of the country and expand their network of colleagues, friends, and career experiences.

Nurse Manager Education Costs

Nursing is both emotionally and financially rewarding. Whether you are considering becoming a nurse manager out of interest in elevating patient care or for its compensation and stability, it’s important to remember that becoming a nurse manager requires a significant investment of time and money. 

At a minimum, becoming a registered nurse requires an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and most facilities are looking for nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or higher.

Only you can assess the value of the time you’ll spend pursuing a nursing degree. However, the financial investment in school is easier to compare to the overall career salary, even with the wide range of tuition costs charged by different schools.  

For example, a two-year ADN degree costs an average of between $6,000 and $20,000 overall. A four-year BSN program costs, on average, between $35,000 and $120,000. Even using the lowest average nurse manager salary reported($100,476), it is clear that nurse managers can quickly pay for their education and reap the rewards of this highly paid position. 

Director of Nursing

According to, the average annual director of nursing salary is $164,200, with the lowest-paid 10% earning $125,036 and the highest-paid 10% earning as much as $211,961.

Nurse Educator reports that nursing instructors earn an average salary of $105,675, with adjunct nurse educators earning an average salary of $117,870.

Manager of Patient Services

This position earns an average salary of $145,800, according to The salary range for the position ranges from $125,800 to $171,500.


  • Is Being a Nurse Manager Worth It?

    • Yes, nurse managers earn an average salary of $107,248, according to, with many earning even more. The position is also professionally and emotionally rewarding and can lead to higher positions in healthcare management.
  • What Do You Do as a Nurse Manager?

    • Nurse managers manage both patients and their nursing team. They are responsible for ensuring that the staff, patients, and visitors within their environment are safe. They’re also responsible for ensuring that best practices are being followed, quality care is being delivered, and their unit is operating within its budget and in keeping with organizational goals.
  • Do Nurse Managers Get Bonuses?

    • Yes, nurse managers generally receive bonuses representing approximately 15% of their annual salary. However, it is important to note that this isn’t a guarantee, and it’s important to discuss it at your interview and hiring.  
  • Is Being a Nurse Manager Hard?

    • While being a nurse manager is professionally rewarding, it also is a job that comes with its share of challenges, including safety and risk of infection, stress, fear and anxiety, and work overload.
  • Can You Be a Nurse Manager Without Being a Nurse?

    • No, being a nurse manager requires licensure as a registered nurse and, in most cases, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and at least two-to-three years of clinical nursing experience. 
  • What Type of Nurse Makes the Most Money?

    • The nursing specialty that receives the highest compensation is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), the professional who administers anesthesia for surgical procedures. CRNAs earn an average of $221,359 per year.
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer Contributor

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is a freelance writer and editor who is driven by details. She loves to dive into research, ensuring that the information she provides educates, engages and illuminates. Before starting her own business she spent years working in advertising and raising three kids. Today she lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where her she and her husband enjoy travel, the Jersey Shore, and spoiling their grandchildren.

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