Average Head Nurse Salary

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The average salary for a Head Nurse is $69,926.
MEDIAN $69,926
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United States (change)
$46k - $100k
$295 - $5k
Profit Sharing
$0 - $3k
Total Pay
$49k - $101k

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Job Description for Head Nurse

Head Nurse Tasks
  • Evaluate and assess nursing needs of the client.
  • Observe signs and symptoms and report to the physician and/or other appropriate health professionals as often as needed, or upon changes in the client's condition.
  • Initiate diagnostic, preventive and rehabilitative nursing procedures as appropriate to the client's care and safety.
  • Attend client care conferences and initiate client care conferences for complex and/or multidisciplinary clients whenever needed.
  • Coordinate the total plan of care and maintain continuity of client care by acting as a liaison with other health professionals assigned to the same clients.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Head Nurse. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Head Nurse
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor
Nurse Administrator
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Head Nurse Job Listings

Popular Skills for Head Nurse

Skills in Organizational Development and Critical Care are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Case Management, Surgery and Medicine / Surgery.

Pay by Experience Level for Head Nurse

An early career Head Nurse with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $63,000 based on 22 salaries. A mid-career Head Nurse with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $67,229 based on 27 salaries. An experienced Head Nurse with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $75,076 based on 34 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $83,749.

Pay Difference by Location

Learn more about cost of living by city.

Years of Experience

This data is based on 105 survey responses.
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career