How to get into management

  1. I'm a newer grad (2015), have been bedside nursing in the MICU for about 1.5 years. I was a Psw (CNA), for 10 years previous. I lovedd working in home care/community care.

    I want to do something else but I can't figure out for the life of me what I want to do?! I even considered NP, LAW school.... I just feel I'm not meant to be at bedside for my entire career. I'm thinking I'd want to stay bedside no longer than 1-2 more years.

    I'm wondering how do you climb the latter? How do you get into management? I'm taking stabs in the dark here as to what interests me in this career. I feel lost.

    Anyone happy / feel fulfilled with their nom bedside nursing job? What other non bedside jobs are there?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   3peas
    I knew bedside was not for me in nursing school. I was in management within 1.5 years out of nursing school. I'm also older with previous management experience, so that helped me. I learned I like the more analytical/data driven roles in the hospital, so I'm going into research. There are many different roles in the hospital, clinics, and beyond. I would think about what characteristics of a job you like and then go from there. Management involves the almighty dollar and budgeting to the almighty dollar and I'm not about that life. I'm too much of a softy that cares about the patient too much and just doesn't care about the budget. That makes for a horrible manager!
  4. by   Ashley.Hop
    Ya, I would not want the focus of my job to be budgeting and scheduling...I don't necessarily mean being the manager of a unit. I guess I mean anything non bedside related haha.

    Research is very interesting but over my head as far as I'm concerned. Any ideas as how to get into that field? I'd for sure have to refresh and relearn everything about it. Seems daunting.

    Any case managers for community care want to share their experience?
  5. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from Ashley.Hop
    Any case managers for community care want to share their experience?
    At this time, I suggest you learn the role of Charge Nurse to add to your nurse leadership resume if you do not already have past management work experience. If you hate bedside nursing so much you cannot remain 1 more day, then make a lateral move into a non-bedside position and work your way up from that point.

    Keep in mind, case management managerial positons these days requires case management work experience. In the past that was not the case and those departments were not effective. So, become a case manager and move on or up from that point.

    By the way, management options away from bedside are limited for non-bedside positons. Landing a management position in case management, for example, is hard without having a hiring manager whose clique you belong too. Plus, those positions are rare. Managers of case management hang on to those jobs for YEARS! Quality is the same. Very limited in being able to move up, but you can move sideways (like case managers), where you can hopefully expand your skills and network to possibly move up later in your career.

    I too am tired of bedside nursing and have been tired of it for years! In fact, I went into case management because I was tired of bedside nursing. However, the only way I was able to move up in nursing was to accept a bedside nursing assistant department management positon because there were way more of them available and I had related work, education, and charge experience in the area in which I was hired.

    Good luck to you!
  6. by   Jedrnurse
    I get that you don't like bedside- it's become very crazy in a lot of settings, and nurses are not necessarily treated well by hospitals.

    I do have reservations about someone who doesn't like "hands on" nursing going relatively quickly into a position where they'll be telling the hands on people what to do and how to do it though...
  7. by   jrt4
    I went through something similar early on. I had been a CNA/Tech for about 7 years before graduating nursing school. After about a year in I knew that I didn't want to be a bedside nurse for the rest of my career but I wasn't necessarily looking either. I went ahead and started the MSN program for leadership because I knew it would be a more versatile degree than NP. I am thankful that I did that. After about a year and a half of bedside nursing an assistant manager position came open and I took that. It involved about 50% bedside and 50% management which was a nice balance so I could still work to build up nursing experience. I did that for about 4 years before I became a unit manager. I have been a unit manager for about 4 years now and I am thinking about what I want to do next. Management is tough. Sure its not as physically tough as the bedside but you have administration handing down things to you and staff nurses pushing it back up. You are held accountable for things you have little control over. I do enjoy the perks of being a manager as far as flexibility in hours and having control in decision making. I enjoy mentoring and building people up. There is a lot of opportunity in nursing to work in a variety of roles. I would check out informatics as they are usually just looking for nursing knowledge not always nursing experience. If you think leaderhip might be your path I would look to becoming a charge nurse and working your way up that way. Volunteer for shared governance committees...that can be rewarding while you are waiting for the right opportunity.

    Good luck!
  8. by   klone
    Quote from Jedrnurse
    I do have reservations about someone who doesn't like "hands on" nursing going relatively quickly into a position where they'll be telling the hands on people what to do and how to do it though...
    Agree. IMO, an effective manager is willing to roll up sleeves, put on scrubs, and work alongside his/her nurses when necessary.

    If your heart's not in it, you're going to crash and burn. Being a nurse manager is the hardest job I've EVER done as a nurse. If I didn't absolutely love what I do and the nurses with whom I work, I can't imagine how I could be even a mediocre manager, let alone a good or effective one.
    Last edit by klone on Aug 12
  9. by   Ashley.Hop
    I didn't say I don't like hands on nursing. I feel I don't want to be at the bedside in the ICU for the rest of my career. I want to experience other kinds of Nursing. I'd like to case manage in community possibly. I don't know, keeping my mind and options open.

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