Hi, I have taken a job as an RN supervisor for a camp in Minnesota for kid and adults with medical and mental conditions. I have been informed that I will be supervising 2 LPN with years of experience on me. I have 2 months as a school nurse under my belt but feel like I might run into some issues with my lack of experience. I have never had any supervisor experience except for working on fundraiser committees. I am looking for some encouragement and advice as I get ready for camp.
May 19, '12
I didn't have a huge amount of experience when I was a camp nurse, and it went just fine! I'd brush up on the biggest issues you may encounter (for me it was Lyme disease and poison ivy). When in doubt, contact the parent/guardian even just to help you sleep better at night. Learn about your local resources, such as outpatient walk-in centers and nearby hospitals. Listen to your gut. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!
May 21, '12
If you earn these experienced nurses' respect, everything will fall in line. Keep and open mind and let them train YOU. They know their professional place; no need to remind them openly. LPNs know they need to work under the supervision of an RN, but nobody appreciates a supervisor who has no experience coming in and presenting a know-it-all, condescending attitude. Not that I'm saying that's how you will be, but in many cases that's how LPNs end up resenting RNs. If they do end up being slackers, you will have to straighten out the work ethic and enforce higher standards, but since they are returning, chances are they did a decent job other years and have earned the camp adminstrators' respect. Just go in there and foster an atmosphere of excellence, respect, fun, and humor. Not only will you work with these people, you will be living with them. Nothing's worse than being in an extended situation where you are miserable, so getting off on the right foot is essential. Good luck, and have fun!!
May 21, '12
My biggest piece of advice...learn from the more experienced nurses, they can be your biggest allies or your worst enemies depending on how they are treated. Camp nursing is great but you really need to know our stuff....
Nov 8, '12
Cloudy Sue, you are a genius! The only thing I can add, is, once I know my nurses know what they are doing, and the schedule is set, I stay out of their hair. I drop in the health center once a shift to say hello and "How's it going?"
My first year I spent micro-managing and trying to be "one of the girls." It was resented. I think they appreciate my confidence in their abilities, so I just tell them to call me if they need me.
Nov 12, '12
CampNurse1, Thanks! I just wish the head nurse I had this summer had recognized my genius!
It was not her first year at the camp, but first year as head nurse, and I was micromanaged the whole time. It had nothing to do with my being an LPN; there were RNs including an NP, but we all felt second-guessed and distrusted. She was a nurse educator by trade and couldn't quite turn off that persona with us. Every thing we did got an analysis with critiques and suggestions. I'm usually appreciative of constructive criticism but it got to the point where I felt she was contrary for the sake of being contrary. In most instances, especially after the first week, there was nothing wrong with the way I did things, they just weren't exactly how SHE would do them.
You sound like you have your management skills perfected, I would thrive in an environment in which you managed. Where is your camp again? I'm searching for a better fit for 2013!