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Nursing clinical director

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Summary of occupation

Nursing clinical directors oversee the planning, organisation, direction and coordination of the clinical nursing services in a hospital, aged care or other healthcare facility or service. They provide nursing leadership and professional guidance to nursing staff and ensure nurses and midwives deliver safe, effective and reliable health care to patients.

They manage administrative functions such as record keeping, budgeting, health service planning, and workforce planning. They also promote working relationships with community agencies.

ANZSCO description: Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates nursing programs and clinical services in a hospital, aged care or other health service facility, maintains standards of nursing care, provides leadership to ensure an appropriately skilled nursing and midwifery workforce, and contributes to health service planning. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Director of Nursing, Senior Nurse Manager
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A nursing clinical director needs:

  • advanced knowledge and experience in nursing
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • effective leadership and motivational ability
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • a high level of business and management skills.
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Working conditions

​Nursing clinical directors work in a variety of settings, including private or public hospitals, aged and palliative care nursing homes, or community metropolitan or regional health services throughout the State.

They often organise and attend meetings with community organisations, nurse managers and the upper management of the health service to ensure the smooth running of the health care facility.

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Salary details

​On average, nursing clinical directors can expect to earn between $2 728 and $3 047 per week ($141 871 and $158 431 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Nursing clinical directors regularly use computers to coordinate administrative duties such as record keeping, health service planning, reporting and budgeting. They may also consult and reference government and health legislation policies, and consult other resources to keep up to date with current nursing practices. Nursing clinical directors working in rural areas may also require a drivers licence.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a nursing clinical director you must first become a qualified registered nurse. You must also gain sufficient practical experience as a nurse, and usually need to complete postgraduate study in management.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant bachelor degree courses in nursing, and postgraduate courses in management. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as a nurse in Western Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and hold a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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