How to climb up the ladder

  1. 0
    Hello all,

    I have the upmost respect for you and would value your input. I recently changed paths. I was in CRNA school but decided it wasn't worth it for me. So now, I feel like the world is wide open for me and I can do anything.

    I always have felt that my place would be in management/administration. I would like if you would kindly share with me your ways of climbing up the ladder and moving up. I only know ICU and only worked as a staff nurse. Never had the experience of being a charge nurse or anything else. How did you go about going from an RNs to a manager or a director?

    Thank you in advance for all your input.

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 1
    LTC facilities are always looking for managers, supervisors. Look for one that is well respected and has a core group of head administration. If you have your BSN maybe try going there for a bit, see if you like it, and using that to boost your resume. Yesterday was my first time supervising at our 350 bed facility with a behavioral health and hospital unit. I am a floor nurse, ASN grad in 2010, they asked me if I would be interested and I knew any new experience would be a benefit for my career. G'luck!
    AllAngelsRN likes this.
  4. 2
    Getting a charge nurse position in your current hospital and working your way up from there is a common approach. Some hospitals have programs for mentoring and "growing" managers which can be a big help. Another option is to seek out an informal mentor within your organization, or outside if you happen to know anyone you admire and respect in the kind of position/role to which you aspire.

    Best wishes for your journey!
    llg and AllAngelsRN like this.
  5. 0
    Awesome information friends! I appreciate your input.
    I am starting a few per diem jobs in the next few months. I want to see which ones I like the most. Once I settle I guess I will look for ways to advance. Thank you again for your feedback.
  6. 0
    Definitely start with taking charge.

    Also, volunteer for committees & QA projects
  7. 0
    Awesome! Can one volunteer as a per diem? This is my first time ever to work as a per diem so I am not sure about the rules and policies that govern per diem RNs. Any insights?
  8. 5
    I have a management qualification (UK, so will probably mean nothing to you [HND, one level below MBA]) and while I agree with what the others have said, I want you to understand that I mean this as constructive criticism.

    If you have to ask the question "How did you go about going from an RNs to a manager or a director?" then you are not ready to do it. You should be aware of what you need to do. What qualifications, what experience, what skill set you require. Anything else and you are doing it on other people which will make you a bad manager. You need to show leadership skills and you need to show initiative. Why are you better for a post than others? What will you bring to a position? Why would I want to hire you as a manager?

    When you can answer these questions, and others, then you will know when it is time.

    Have you considered finding a mentor to help? This is a recognised way of gaining knowledge and skills.

    Hope it works for you and I really do mean this constructively.

    llg, elkpark, Orca, and 2 others like this.
  9. 3
    Quote from TJ74
    If you have to ask the question "How did you go about going from an RNs to a manager or a director?" then you are not ready to do it. You should be aware of what you need to do. What qualifications, what experience, what skill set you require. Anything else and you are doing it on other people which will make you a bad manager.
    Well said... I think that far too often a "good nurse" is assumed to be a "good leader" by non nurse admins... and that's not so much the truth.

    Nursing management is ALL about mentoring others to lead (charge/supervisor role) and motivating others to grow. If you haven't experienced mentoring, it will be hard for you to practice and to teach. Mentoring others requires relationship building and social skills. Frequently a "strong nurse" is a very task oriented person who excels at the assigned tasks, but isn't necessarily strong in social skills. If you don't have strong social skills, you will very likely struggle as a manager. The days of the cold corporate nurse leader are over... building a positive rapport, despite giving them bad news regularly, is vital. Find a mentor and experience that side of it before you go trying to teach it.

    Take a look at the Stephen Covey book "The Speed of Trust" and learn LOTS.

    ~ signed by a nurse leader with MSN in Leadership and 5+ yrs experience in leadership roles.
    Last edit by IRF-Nurse on Jul 13, '13 : Reason: added book reference
    Orca, MBARNBSN, and TJ74 like this.
  10. 2
    Quote from IRF-Nurse
    Well said... I think that far too often a "good nurse" is assumed to be a "good leader" by non nurse admins... and that's not so much the truth.

    Nursing management is ALL about mentoring others to lead (charge/supervisor role) and motivating others to grow. If you haven't experienced mentoring, it will be hard for you to practice and to teach. Mentoring others requires relationship building and social skills. Frequently a "strong nurse" is a very task oriented person who excels at the assigned tasks, but isn't necessarily strong in social skills. If you don't have strong social skills, you will very likely struggle as a manager. The days of the cold corporate nurse leader are over... building a positive rapport, despite giving them bad news regularly, is vital. Find a mentor and experience that side of it before you go trying to teach it.
    Very well put. I have known nurses who are great at delivering care, but couldn't organize a trip to the cafeteria. Then there are others who are perhaps not as skilled technically, but they just have "it": That quality that makes them leaders. They see the broader picture of how the unit should operate, and they anticipate problems and develop solutions before some things even happen. My last boss (who recently retired) had a talent for discerning the difference. Some of his promotional decisions left us scratching our heads - until we saw the selected person blossom in the new role in ways we didn't believe they were capable of.

    One skill set is not "better" than the other, just different. This is a good thing, because otherwise we would have either all caregivers or all managers.
    romantic and MBARNBSN like this.
  11. 1
    wow the responses have been an eye-opener for me. I am going to be patient with myself as I just left CRNA school and felt like I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I will take my time to figure out what I am really passionate about and what are my strength and weakness before I make another leap. Having said that, I am going to try to get a charge nursing experience just to get a taste of it and see if it is a fit first then from there I will have a better picture of my strengths and weaknesses in the area of leadership.
    Thank you everyone for your input. The comments have allowed to look at this from a different angle and promoted growth in me.
    TJ74 likes this.


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