Registered nurses (RNs) comprise the largest health care occupation in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. With more than 580,000 jobs predicted to emerge during the 2008 to 2018 decade, various career opportunities are available for both new entrants and experienced nursing employees. Registered nurses with a bachelor's degree in nursing, proper licensing and adequate clinical experience can ascend to assistant nursing manager positions in a variety of practice settings.
Assistant nurse managers are responsible for implementing patient care programs and coordinating nursing activities within their health care institution. Their tasks include assisting nurse managers with the development and evaluation of patient care standards; monitoring patient admission and discharge; collaborating with physicians and medical staff on patient treatment plans; and assessing and allocating resources according to changes in patient populations. Assistant nurse managers also interview, hire and train new staff, as well as conduct performance reviews and develop education programs for employees. Other duties include reviewing budgets, and conducting nursing research. As of June 2011, a University of Texas report showed that average salary range for assistant nurse managers fell between $66,144 and $99,216 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2010 salary report showed that registered nurses, which include assistant nurse managers, averaged salaries that fluctuate based on employer type and industry. For example, RNs working in hospitals reported an average salary of $68,610. Nurses working in home health care facilities averaged $63,850 per year. In nursing homes, RNs earned an average salary of $59,990 annually. Registered nurses working in personal care services and federal government agencies reported the highest average salaries at $86,470 and $79,530, respectively.
Assistant nurse managers promoted to nurse manager roles can expect salaries to vary in different metropolitan areas. A June 2011 SalaryExpert report revealed that nurse managers working in Houston earned an average salary of $86,904 per year. In comparison, nurse managers in Chicago averaged $102,284 per year. Nurse managers also averaged $86,265 in Atlanta, $93,498 in Los Angeles and $96,406 in Miami. The lowest average salary was reported by nurse managers employed in Orlando, who averaged $85,178 annually. Nurse managers working in New York City’s Manhattan borough averaged the highest salaries at $110,472 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of RNs will increase 22 percent due to technological advancements in the health care industry. Demographic shifts, including a growing elderly population, will also spur employment opportunities for assist nurse managers and other RN professionals. As assistant nurse managers acquire greater responsibility and take on more leadership roles, advancement to nurse manager, head nurse and even senior administrative positions is possible. Assistant nurse managers can also increase their earnings potential by obtaining an advanced degree in nursing or health care administration.