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Nursing Director Salary (United States)

Just below two-thirds of Nursing Directors in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $55K to $117K per year, and the average comes out to $80K per year. Final cash compensation to Nursing Directors varies from around $55K to approximately $117K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K and $5K, respectively. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. About a fifth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a fair number report medical coverage and more than half claim dental coverage as well. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 89 percent of Nursing Directors are female. Job satisfaction for Nursing Directors is high. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Nursing Director Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$55,622 - $114,180
(Median)
56K
66K
80K
98K
110K
MEDIAN: $79,854
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Nursing Director Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$23.20 - $52.01
(Median)
23
28
35
42
52
MEDIAN: $34.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$55,622 - $114,180  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,071  
Profit Sharing
$0.08 - $5,286  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$54,864 - $116,688  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,179
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$23.20 - $52.01  
   
Overtime
$0.14 - $54.97  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,071  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.08 - $5,286  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$54,864 - $116,688  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 212
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Job Description for Nursing Director

Nursing directors oversee all nursing activities within a health care institution. They direct, plan, and evaluate programs and overall care, as well as ensure the goals and overall philosophy of the department are followed. Nursing directors oversee staff, providing guidance and discipline as necessary; these directors often play a role in the hiring process for nurses as well. They help develop and finalize budgets, and they then must handle cost control and ensure their department remains within that budget. Additionally, nursing directors oversee their department's communication with physicians and other health care professionals in areas such as patient needs. Nursing directors consult with upper-level managers on high-level administrative decisions and provide information to supervisors related to the nursing staff's workload and budget.
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Nursing Director Tasks
  • Develop and implement standards of care relevant to patient services and personnel.
  • Supervise all personnel who deliver direct patient services.
  • Coordinates all patient services.
  • Retain quality personnel through hiring, training and evaluation programs.

Common Career Paths for Nursing Director

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Compensation may increase greatly for Nursing Directors who advance to upper-end positions like VP or Chief Nursing Officer. Median pay for VPs and Chief Nursing Officers is $157K per year. With an annual salary of $114K, Chief Nursing Officer is the most common role for Nursing Directors to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Nursing Home Director role — which usually pays $72K — is also typical for Nursing Directors, though less common by comparison.

Nursing Director Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Nursing Director

Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Critical Care, Acute Care, and Medicine / Surgery are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 15 percent, and 14 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Elder Care, Long Term Care, and Geriatrics. Most people skilled in Elder Care are similarly competent in Quality Improvement / QA.

Pay by Experience Level for Nursing Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Nursing Directors with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $72K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $77K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $83K in this role. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $89K.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 28%
Houston
up arrow 21%
San Antonio
up arrow 11%
Denver
up arrow 7%
Atlanta
up arrow 7%
National Average
$80,000
Pittsburgh
up arrow 4%
Toledo
up arrow 5%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Nursing Directors will find that Los Angeles offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 28 percent. Nursing Directors will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+21 percent), San Antonio (+11 percent), Denver (+7 percent), and Atlanta (+7 percent). Trailing the national average by 5 percent, Toledo is the market with the smallest paychecks.

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Experience Affects Nursing Director Salaries

National Average
$80,000

Skills That Affect Nursing Director Salaries

up arrow 9%
National Average
$80,000
Quality Improvement / QA
up arrow 4%
Organizational Development
up arrow 4%
Wound Care
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 316 votes.

Gender

Female
89%
female alumni
 
Male
11%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
30%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 76% dental benefits Dental: 66%
vision benefits Vision: 54% employee benefits None: 21%