- Become a master of number crunching. The budget side of running a nursing staff is one that many clinical nurses don’t pay much attention to, but as a manager you must become business minded when it comes to costs. While your main objective is always quality patient care, the good of the facility you are working for is now also a concern of yours.
- Study up on the procedures. When a procedural question arises, you will be the go-to person for resolution, so you best be prepared with the right answers. You lose credibility as a leader if you provide the wrong solution to an issue or problem. If you don’t know the answer right away, you can still maintain your respect by seeking the answer as quickly as possible (from those key people mentioned above) and clearing up the issue.
- Don’t shun continuing education. The more you learn about nursing, management, and nursing management, the better equipped you will be to handle the position. Take advantage of online courses or any other continuing education you may come across. The world of medicine is constantly changing, and you could lead your nurses through these changes if you stay informed.
No matter what type of work environment, a manager is only as good as the people who are working under them. Build strong relationships that foster loyalty and trust and train your nurses to work the same way you do, and you will find that managing their daily routines and the business side of your unit will be much easier.
If you are not sure if you are ready to tackle nurse management, ask someone who already is to let you “walk” in their shoes for a shift. By seeing what types of challenges they face and the skills needed to overcome them, you will be able to tell if nurse management is the natural next step in your career.