RESPECT staff - they are the people on the floor for the shift dealing with patients, NOT you.
Always THANK them and mean it as they leave.
If there is a complaint take the nurse aside preferably in your office and LISTEN to what they have to say without judement.
COMMUNICATE the good, the bad and the endless ugly -staff want to know what is going on, rumours in nursing affect the nurses and the reason they are there - for patients not managers endless nonsense.
Be AVAILABLE. 5 minutes of your time in the outcome of your shift can prevent a lot of misery for both you, your staff, patients and the dreaded management above you.
Have an open door policy, never let a staff member be afraid of you. Your attitude can make or break your staff. They too, have a life and that life affects their behaviour both on and off the job.
Like most jobs you will have a bully on staff at some stage, deal with it IMMEDIATELY. Don't lose staff because you cannot manage what is happening for your shift.
Staff want to feel SECURE and SUPPORTED, not taking sickies because they can't cope.
None of this really has anything to do with the management above you. It's you supporting your staff they come FIRST - without them you wouldn't have a job or patients.
I work agency - different hospitals everyday. The best shifts are when I am thanked for turning up, providing help and endless support to both staff and managers even though I don't know them and knowing they trust me to look after their patients. The biggest thrill is having patients thank me and the nurse manager pulling me aside and asking me to put my name in to work permanently at the hospital.
Sometimes I think wow, they really want me to do that. And others I think NO way in this world will I step into this hospital.. and it all comes down to - you guessed it the nurse manager and the respect/lack of her staff.