Over the past couple of weeks I have been attending a leadership retreat with nurse leaders from all over the state. We talked about a lot of subjects, but one that kept coming up was who was going to take over for us when we are gone.
Now, I was pretty young in comparison to the other nurse leaders at the retreat. While most of them had 15 or more years of nursing experience and some even had 20 years of leadership experience….I have been a nurse less than 10 years. So, I had not really thought about this much.
It did bring up a lot to think about. Nurses now like working their three 12 hour shifts, maybe pick up the occasional overtime shift, and living their life outside of work. Even some of my new grads don’t even want to work that much, and really don’t want to work nights, weekends or holidays. Having to work these off shifts really interferes with their ability to out and have fun.
My question is, how are we going to prepare the next generation of leaders who will have to work Monday through Friday, ten hour days more often than not, be on call 24/7 and have to deal with the multitude of problems that present themselves each and every day? Nurses before me had no problem because their lives revolved around their work. My generation, for the most part, has learned to balance both work and home life, but the next generation of nurses ensures that their work revolves around their lives.
I am not saying this is bad, but being in management is not conducive to this. When you come to work each day you need to be prepared to stay late, staff or whatever the unit needs. You may have every intention to get out by a certain time. But many times, when that time of the day comes, a new, urgent issue pops up that you need to deal with immediately. And sometimes that issue can keep you at work for another couple of hours.
It is great having my weekends with my kid, eating dinner every night with my family and knowing that I will be home for the holidays. But, that page or phone call at 11:30 at night really sucks!