From inner-city medical wards to outlying medical clinics, a nurse manager coordinates, leads, and supervises the nursing team in a range of practice settings. To take on a leadership role as a nurse manager requires more than critical thinking, clinical abilities, and outstanding communication. The nurse manager’s job is to ensure that the healthcare team’s efforts are supported. They are also responsible for increased patient engagement which in turn leads to higher patient outcomes. Leadership development in nurses is the key to developing early to mid-career nurses into great nurse managers.
The function of nurse management has a significant impact on building a professional environment and cultivating a culture that encourages the best possible results. Such a job, which entails providing best practice patient care and employee efficiency, maybe intimidating and rewarding. Healthcare executives are more interested than ever in retaining talented nurses at their facilities. Maintaining clinical expertise necessitates having well-trained nurse managers on staff.
We have compiled a list of tips to pursue a professional career in becoming a successful nurse manager.
1. Embrace Education
There is a shortage of nurse managers because they are multi-dimensional and require exceptional organizational and governance skills. To advance their careers, nurse leaders should pursue continuing education programs after graduation. Nurses who want to improve their literacy and skills can enroll in online education programs offered by institutes. Registered nurses can advance their careers by earning an msn degree online, which provides the real-world management skills needed to lead highly skilled teams. These programs help the nurses deal with issues that come with management. It also helps them in understanding the function of business and finance contributing to the healthcare policy.
2. Observe and learn from your peers
Initially, sit back, observe, and listen. Make a priority list after watching and taking notes. Don’t change anything that doesn’t need to be changed. Inquire about what works and what doesn’t in your unit. Be a manager, not a best friend, and treat all your employees equally. Maintain the trust of your employees. Keep private and confidential information private if you have it. Pay more attention to poor performances. People may require training resources to accomplish things. And sometimes, they may refuse to perform while having all the resources in hand. Always seek HR guidance to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
3. Communicate effectively
Poor communication is one of the foremost current causes of adverse patient outcomes in healthcare systems. One of the top causes of preventable deaths in hospitals is due to lack of proper communication. Increased nurse turnover and higher levels of stress and unhappiness are a result of unavoidable errors. Nurse administrators may be required to give positive and negative messages, such as staff changes or appreciation for outstanding performance. The nature of the message, the intended audience, and the desired outcome determines whether the information should be communicated verbally or in writing. Nurse managers should keep in mind the following points:
- Ensure that you pronounce the words clearly and talk slowly
- Avoid slang and jargons
- Mirroring language can be used effectively to respond
- Know your facial expressions and body language
4. Be a visionary
Don’t be scared to take calculated risks. Nurse managers should be able to articulate their vision for change and layout strategies for implementing it. A nurse leader with visionary potential may get limited by a management that is just concerned with the bottom line. However, individuals deserve just as much care. Nurse managers have great visionary potential. If they get the support they need, they can dramatically enhance healthcare and nursing. To be a successful visionary, one must have self-awareness, as well as emotional intelligence. They question the status quo, listen to and encourage others, and work toward a common goal.
5. Demonstrate respect
Nurse managers set the bar high, understanding that their responsibility and honor is to foster a respectful environment where all employees can thrive. They recognize that each employee is an individual with distinct talents and abilities. They prioritize employee satisfaction because they know that excellent building relationships are critical to achieving the desired goals. They deal with conflicts and problems as they emerge and encourage collaboration and open communication. Nurses must fulfill their ethical commitment as the first provision in the code of ethics is about respect. It isn’t optional; it isn’t something to skip if you’re stressed or overworked.
Have an open-door policy and be approachable. Keep in mind that you work with people who are your most valuable assets. Nurturing them will make your job easier. Take care of your employees. Show up with a tray of coffee for the staff after a hectic week on some weekends. Encourage your staff through rewards and appreciation. Encourage the use of emotional intelligence and support initiatives for higher education. Lead them, care for them, and be aware of their needs. They will also support you in return because you’ll become a fantastic nurse manager if you are supportive of your team members.
7. Mentoring and mentorship
As a nurse, there are two key advantages to having a mentor. Firstly, it provides support in a clinical setting allowing for workplace learning. Secondly, it aids in the application of new knowledge. Besides, nurse managers being a mentor, impart their personal experiences to the newer staff nurses. Nurse managers can benefit from working with a mentor to help them in getting promoted to higher positions. Being a mentor involves developing a workable system and devoting the effort to see it through. Staff nurses can work freely and make decisions about their practice and work environment. Mentorship means allowing nurse supervisors to take on leadership responsibilities.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, there is a need for nurses with strong leadership and management skills across the globe to provide professional care to patients. Leadership and management positions in nursing necessitate dedication and an in-depth understanding of the subject. Nurturing essential managerial and leadership traits can benefit both nurse managers and nurse leaders.