Nursing management

Nursing management

Nursing management is performing leadership functions of governance and decision-making within organizations employing RNs to seek additional education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice to prepare for leadership roles within nursing. Management positions increasingly require candidates to hold an advanced degree in nursing.


  • Roles 1
    • Matron 1.1
    • Director of Nursing 1.2
      • Service directors 1.2.1
    • Nurse manager 1.3
    • Charge nurse 1.4
  • References 2
  • External links 3



A matron is the senior nurse who serves as "the head of the general staff of the hospital" and is obeyed by his/her subordinate nurses.[1] Traditionally, matrons wear a dark-blue dress, usually darker than her subordinates, also known as sisters, in addition to a white-starched hat.[2] As such, matrons usually "provide strong leadership and act as a link between Board-level nurses and clinical practice."[3] In military hospitals of the United States, matrons were "charged with the responsibility of making twice daily rounds to supervise the [common] nurses' duty performance."[4]

Director of Nursing

A director of nursing (DON) is a registered nurse who supervises the care of all the patients at a health care facility. The director of nursing is the senior nursing management position in an organization and often holds executive titles like Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Chief Nurse Executive, or Vice-President of Nursing. They typically report to the CEO or COO.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives is a professional association for directors of nursing.

Service directors

Many large healthcare organizations also have service directors. These directors have oversight of a particular service within the facility or system (surgical services, women's services, emergency services, critical care services, etc.).

Nurse manager

The nurse manager is the nurse with management responsibilities of a nursing unit. They typically report to a service director. They have primary responsibilities for staffing, budgeting, and day-to-day operations of the unit.

Charge nurse

The charge nurse is the nurse, usually assigned for a shift, who is responsible for the immediate functioning of the unit. The charge nurse is responsible for making sure nursing care is delivered safely and that all the patients on the unit are receiving adequate care. They are typically the frontline management in most nursing units. Some charge nurses are permanent members of the nursing management team and are called shift supervisors. The traditional term for a female charge nurse is a nursing sister (or just sister), and this term is still commonly used in some countries (such as the United Kingdom).


  1. ^ Archer, Francis B. (1967-10-20). The Gambia Colony And Protectorate: An Official Handbook. Psychology Press. p. 296.  
  2. ^ Fatchett, Anita (2012-04-17). Social Policy for Nurses. Polity. p. 222.  
  3. ^ Lees, Liz (2007). Nurse Facilitated Hospital Discharge. M&K Update Ltd. p. 80.  
  4. ^ Sarnecky, Mary T. (1999). History of the United States Army Nurse Corps. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 3.  

External links

  • American Nurses Association
  • American Society of Registered Nurses
  • The Nursing and Midwivery Council (UK)
  • Nurse Management