national
Skip to content Skip to Live Chat
Close Nav

Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

Healthcare Quality Director Career Guide

How to Become a Healthcare Quality Director

A healthcare quality director is sometimes referred to simply as a director of quality. One of the most important roles in healthcare is the role of the director of quality. The person in this position 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?

A healthcare quality director is in charge of ensuring quality healthcare is being administered to all patients. They are also in charge of managing risk, ensuring compliance, controlling infection, and improving overall performance. The healthcare quality director often reports to upper management. They are responsible for maintaining the good reputation of the facility, ensuring patients are satisfied and compliance is considered in every interaction. To become a healthcare quality director, you'll want to earn your RN license and even consider higher levels of education like bachelor's and master's degrees.

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'll need to review 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 usage. 

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 gain experience in the healthcare field while also helping you understand what to expect from the 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. If you already hold 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. Beyond a master's degree, a post-master's certificate in nursing leadership & management can also be beneficial.

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.

What Degrees are Best for a Healthcare Quality Director?

Nursing (Prelicensure) – B.S.

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN...

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you...

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a baccalaureate-prepared nurse:

  • Locations: offered in FL, IN, TX, MO, and UT only.
  • Tuition: $6,430 for the first term, $7,616 for the remaining 4 terms. Each term is six-months. Prelicensure students can not accelerate and the program takes 2.5 years to complete.

WGU offers the prelicensure program in areas where we have partnerships with healthcare employers to provide practice sites and clinical coaches to help teach you and inspire you on your path to becoming a nurse.

If you don't live in one of our prelicensure states or don't qualify to apply, consider getting our Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Coordination instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also working directly with patients who need help.

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

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a...

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and...

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a substantial leap toward becoming a nurse leader.

  • Time: 75% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,998 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion, $4,367 per 6-month term during graduate portion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350 in both the undergraduate and graduate program.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

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

If you're driven to lead, this online nursing degree will provide you everything needed to make that career a reality.

Compare degrees
This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

Nursing Leadership and Management – Post-Master's Certificate

A certificate for registered nurses with a master's degree in...

A certificate for registered nurses with a...

A certificate for registered nurses with a master's degree in nursing who are ready for greater responsibility in a leadership and management role.

  • Time: 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,367 per 6-month term, plus a one-time Health Professions Fee of $350. The cost to sit for the NAHQ Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) exam is included in tuition.

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.

Nursing (RN-to-BSN Online) – B.S.

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking...

An online BSN degree program for registered...

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking the added theoretical depth, employability, and respect that a bachelor's degree brings:

  • Time: 66% of graduates finish within 18 months.
  • Tuition: $3,998 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.
  • Transfers: On average, students transfer 81 credits.

With over 35,000 BSN alumni, this is one of WGU's most popular online degree programs. View our RN to BSN degree guide.

If you don't currently have an RN and don't qualify for your nursing prelicensure program, consider getting our Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Coordination instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry in a unique way.

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: $4,367 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.

Compare degrees

This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

Next Start Date

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

Apply Today

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

 

Learn about Online College Admissions at WGU


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. 

 

Healthcare Quality Director FAQ's

Healthcare quality directors support the efforts of the healthcare organization in developing and implementing evidence-based clinical protocols and pathways, improving patient care, and reducing institutional waste.

To become a health quality director, you will need experience in the health sector and an advanced degree such as an MSN or Master’s in nursing leadership and management. In addition, you may need a post-master's certificate in leadership & management.  

A quality improvement director oversees quality assurance and implementation strategies to monitor and address client satisfaction issues at a healthcare facility.  

 

Interested in Becoming a Healthcare Quality Director?

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

View Degree Programs