Why Career Change From Nursing to Practice Management

Practice Manager helping patient in healthcare practice

If you’re a nurse experiencing burnout, you may face the decision to leave the healthcare industry or find another career within healthcare that still sparks that same passion and motivation you found when you first started. You may also feel the need to make significant career choices to better suit your overall career and wellbeing. 

Practice management can be the next logical step in your nursing career that happily satisfies that need for change and growth.

What does a practice manager do?

Practice managers use their skills to lead and manage important aspects of a medical or healthcare practice. These responsibilities include:

  • Recruitment
  • Performance management
  • Privacy, security and accuracy of patient records, operational standards and procedures
  • Managing revenue cycles
  • Overseeing budgets
  • Managing operations resources
  • Participating in strategic planning

Many aspects of practice management overlap with nursing, so you can easily use your skills and experience as a platform for career advancement in a practice manager’s role. The additional skills that will set you apart from the crowd are gained through a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715).

Job opportunities in practice management

Job opportunities in practice management are varied. Roles range from working in a general practitioner’s office to a medical or health clinic or a department in a hospital. Practice managers are essential in all these places and both the medical team and patients depend upon your skills.

This role allows you to expand your skills and implement knowledge in areas such as:

  • Setting strategy and managing operational plans
  • Health billing and accounting
  • Managing budgets and financial plans 
  • Patient care to create a safe place for every client’s needs


Heightened independence and autonomy 

Practice management can give you a workplace where there are minimal night or weekend shifts, which can help return your work-life-family balance. It can provide you with greater independence and autonomy. It also provides a rewarding and productive alternative in comparison to hospital-based workloads, while still doing much of what you love about nursing.

Having more independence and autonomy at work allows you to have more flexibility to dictate your own schedule, create better work relationships and increase your focus. Independent, self-motivated workers set out to achieve their professional goals their own way. 

What to expect in a salary

Another attractive part of the change from nurse to practice manager is the opportunity to increase salary. A median salary for a registered nurse is approximately $81,900. The median salary for a qualified and competent practice manager is $106,000. 

Nursing qualities that make a great practice manager

Changing careers may feel significant or daunting. You may feel you lack some of the skills needed for a role at this level. However, as a nurse, you already have many attributes needed for this role from experience alone. The process of changing your career can be stressful, but is very rewarding in the long run. 

Here are some qualities that you already have that will help you in practice management.

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Making a difference

As a nurse, the most important part of your work is knowing you make a difference. This may be the biggest reason you love working as a nurse. You are likely to recognise these common motivations:

  • A desire to help
  • Career diversity
  • Ongoing professional and personal growth
  • The potential for career and salary growth
  • Job security

These motivations may be one of the main reasons you continue to work in a hospital or related setting. A change in career direction as a practice manager can give these same levels of satisfaction and motivation. The years you’ve dedicated to your professional growth as a nurse is a reliable indicator to a future employer of your dependability and worth.

Excellent communication skills

As a nurse, you already have experience in quickly putting people at ease while inspiring confidence and feelings of safety. In a practice environment, your ability to build relationships with clients brings the long-term satisfaction of following people through their total health journey. Your ability to speak and listen is essential for problem-solving and managing your team.

Excellent written and verbal skills are essential for effective management in both roles. Your value as a practice manager is enhanced when you can communicate with pediatrics just as easily as senior medical personnel. Knowledge of technical and medical language is an advantage too. You’re used to explaining a hard-to-comprehend language in a way that is both easy to understand and comforting.

Flexibility and adaptability

Employers in all industries seek workers who exhibit flexibility and adaptability. The diverse nature of the hospital or clinic setting has ensured you have developed these qualities and gives you a natural familiarity with the role of practice manager.

Decisive leadership

A great nurse can think quickly and address problems before they arise. Your emotional maturity, decision-making ability and good moral compass are your strengths when it comes to making honest and ethical business decisions.

Your management skills have been formed in the diversity of the nursing environment, whether you are aware of it or not. A Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) will show your future employer that you have taken steps to fill in any gaps in your background.

Team player

Clinical nursing is a team sport. Those skills are wholly transferable to the medical practice setting and are highlighted as you interact with receptionists, assistants, practitioners, suppliers and compliance officials.

Where other candidates for the role might lack the ability to relate immediately to both the medical team and clients, you can quickly own the role and be comfortable with navigating intrinsic and essential day-to-day relationships.

Changing careers from nursing to practice management

You have already shown that you are capable through your current career as a nurse. To capitalise on your skills and provide you with the confidence to move smoothly into your new role, further study can help you fill any gaps in your knowledge and ensure you are suitably qualified.

You can easily gain the Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) by studying online at your own pace while fitting study around your current work and lifestyle. Chat with our team to discover how you can benefit from this diploma and start preparing for the career transition from nursing to practice management.


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