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Healthcare Quality Director Career Guide

How to Become a Healthcare Quality Director

One of the most important roles in healthcare is that of the Director of Quality. The person in this role is responsible for quality control in all areas within their organization. As a Director of Quality, your primary goal is to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for your patients, providers, and support staff. 

A bachelor’s degree in nursing or an RN license is the minimum level of education you should have to obtain a job in healthcare quality management. 

A man in a suit talks to a group of doctors.

What Is a Healthcare Quality Director?

One of the most important roles in healthcare is that of the Director of Quality. The person in this role is responsible for quality control in all areas within their organization. As a Director of Quality, your primary goal is to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for your patients, providers, and support staff. 

A bachelor’s degree in nursing or an RN license is the minimum level of education you should have to obtain a job in healthcare quality management.

What Does a Healthcare Quality Director Do?

There are a few things that you can expect to do every day as a healthcare quality director. Some days, you'll be assessing the quality of the medical products that your organization uses; other days, you will need to assess the services provided by your medical providers and support staff and report on their performance. Some other responsibilities of a healthcare quality director include:

  • Addressing issues about the quality of products and/or services.
  • Guiding best practices to organizational staff.
  • Developing programs and initiatives that promote quality.
  • Training staff as necessary on quality assurance initiatives.
  • Collecting and interpreting data that could affect the quality of your products.

These are just a few of the major tasks that you will be responsible for as a Director of Quality in healthcare. Your main purpose and job within the organization are to maintain a high standard of quality when it comes to your organization’s patient care, prescription drug issuance, medical device usage, and other medical equipment. 

What Education Does a Healthcare Quality Director Need?

To get started in your career, you’ll need to earn a nursing license or a BSN. This type of degree will allow you to get experience in the healthcare field, while also helping you understand what to expect from quality and products inside a hospital or clinic. Gaining experience in a healthcare setting will be valuable in preparing you to move forward in your career.

An advanced degree is important for becoming a healthcare director of quality. For that reason, you may want to pursue an RN-to-MSN bridge program if you are already a registered nurse and need to earn a BSN as well as an MSN. For those with a BSN, a master’s in nursing leadership and management will help to equip you with the leadership skills necessary to take on a senior position like this.

Either degree program will familiarize you with the workplace skills necessary in this line of work, including the inner workings of our healthcare systems, the leadership skills necessary to direct other healthcare workers, and the problem-solving skills that you will need to apply in your everyday work.

Nursing – Education (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a...

This MSN – Education online nursing program for...

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a BSN program component and is a substantial leap forward for an aspiring nurse educator.

  • Time: 74% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,795 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion, $4,385 per 6-month term during graduate portion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.

Sample careers and jobs this online nursing degree will prepare you for:

  • Nurse Educator
    Nursing Faculty
    Program Director
    Academic Clinical Nurse Educator

Given the growing nurse educator shortage, earning your MSN with a focus in education is both a rewarding decision and a solid career move.

Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.

For registered nurses with a bachelor's degree who are ready for...

For registered nurses with a bachelor's degree...

For registered nurses with a bachelor's degree who are ready for greater responsibility:

  • Time: 82% of grads finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,385 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.

Sample careers and jobs this degree program will prepare you for:

  • Director of Nursing
    Chief Nursing Officer
    Quality Director
    Clinical Nurse Leader
    Project Manager

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical and health services managers to grow 17% by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Female doctor discussing with manager..

What Skills Does a Healthcare Quality Director Need?

There are skills that every Director of Quality in healthcare should have to be successful in their role. Because of the complexity and sensitive nature of this role, you need to have the right background and skills to land this position:

  • Leadership skills: As a healthcare quality director, you will have a team of people that you manage. You should have experience in leading a team and delegating work.
  • Extensive knowledge of healthcare operations: You should know the ins and outs of healthcare operations, including the types of medical equipment, treatments, and medications that you will be inspecting for quality.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: Since you will be working closely with a team, members of other departments, and vendors, you will need great interpersonal skills to succeed.
  • Critical thinking skills: The healthcare industry as a whole can be very complex, but the role of quality management in healthcare can be even more challenging. You must be able to think critically in this position. 

Depending on where you work, you may need other skills in addition to the ones above. Some employers may require you to know specific software or other programs that they use. Having additional skills can set you apart from the competition and increase your chances of landing the job.

How Much Does a Healthcare Quality Director Make?

$142,994

The median annual salary for a healthcare quality director is $142,994. To get a better idea of the range of incomes, on the lower end, 10% of people in this position earned $113,000 or less, while the top 10% earned over $170,000. These numbers can give you an idea of the range of salaries, but your salary will be dependent on geographical location, education, and experience level. For example, working in an urban area will most likely get you a higher salary than in a rural area. Having relevant certifications can also affect your salary. 

What Is the Projected Job Growth?

32%

Providing quality services to patients is one of the most essential parts of healthcare. The role of a healthcare quality manager is expected to grow by an astounding 32% between now and 2029. As new technology and new treatment methods are developed, the need to ensure the quality of these devices, medications, and technologies will remain vital as well. 

Where Do Healthcare Quality Directors Work?

Varies

Healthcare quality directors can work in a variety of medical practices and medical companies. There may even be healthcare manufacturers or other distributors that require a position for a Director of Quality. Some places in which you can work as a healthcare quality director include:

-Hospitals

-Family Practices

-Medical Manufacturers

-Medical Insurance Companies

These are common examples, but there is certainly a need for quality management in other areas of medicine. 

 

Interested in Becoming a Healthcare Quality Director?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.

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