Considering a job in management

  1. Serious Question.... Please help!

    I am a 10 year Med-Surg and PACU nurse. I have worked very hard on my skills and I have always been a more critical care nurse and charge nurse on these units. I pride myself on how I take care of my patients and my skills. I have always loved taking care of people.

    However, I am at the point in my career that I am thinking about the future. Long 12 hour shifts and lots of call and overtime is not good for my littles ones and growing family. I am only two semesters away from finishing my acute care NP but had to drop out d/t being a single mother but now I have a wonderful husband. I do eventually want to finish this but I don't want to just be stuck in a clinic somewhere in an outlying community which is our biggest need right now.

    There are management opportunities in nursing but I am not sold on meetings/ management vs leaving actual patient care. Im looking at all things as an opportunity. Those of you that have been in the situation of choosing management from patient care what are your pros and cons of your choice?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   klone
    I choose to be a hands-on leader, so when it's needed (or even when I just feel like it) I will get right into direct patient care along with the other nurses with whom I work. You can do that as a front-line leader. Once you get into director-level leadership positions, where you're leading several units, that becomes sort of impossible.
  4. by   MBARNBSN
    OP: As the above poster has mentioned/noted, entry level positions can be still hands-on. Since you are still working as a staff nurse, it is an expected concern. However, you need to be realistic. Although entry levels positions can be hands-on in the hospital setting, you have way more work to do then the staff RNs during your shift.

    In other words, at some point you will realize that you do not have time to get all of your work done AND provide direct patient care, which many times is not an option in entry level positions within the hospital setting. Thus, the stress level for an entry level manager who also provides direct patient care is higher and the turnover is greater because the job satisfaction is very low.

    In fact, there are a lot of unpaid hours to keep up with your other work especially if you have direct reports. You think you don't see your hubby and kids now? Just wait. Some entry level management positions within the hospital setting are 8 hour paid shifts with 12 hour to 16 hours worth of work attached and others are actual 12 hour shifts paid on the floors with 16 to 20 hours worth of work attached.

    I highly suggest you reconsider getting a job where you will be providing direct patient care and look at a position where you are able to perform away from bedside, which is ultimately what will occur as you move up higher in management within the hospital setting. However, if being away from the day-to-day grind is really a concern of yours, then finish your NP, take a position in one of those rural places away for 1 year (no biggie... have an escape plan) and then take a position as a manger of a small clinic. Less stress and you can at least be involved with the day-to-day patient support care as needed as a NP.
  5. by   jrt4
    I agree with the above posts.

    Being a hands on leaders is merely aspirational at most organizations. You have a lot of priorities and obligations at the management level. Leaders who are "hands on" too much often find themselves working 10-12 hour shifts anyway. Its important for your staff to recognize that you have a job to do as well and if you are unable to complete your tasks then it ultimately hurts them in the long run. A leaders responsibility is to get the bedside RNs the resources they need to care for patients. Now there may be times that you need to step in and get your hands dirty...I do it on a daily basis but you need to be able to step away from the bedside and let the bedside RNs figure it out for themselves at times so they are not dependent on you to figure it out for them. If you feel you would be unable to do this or it would bring you too much dissatisfaction in your work, I would recommend looking at another role. Now a CNS role might be right up your ally. They typically have a lot of autonomy and are still very much hands on providers.

    Good luck!