Quote from bluesky
I am trying to find a way to express this concern without sounding critical. So well, here it goes...
How come it seems as if so many nurse managers are randomly selected as managers with no formal education or experience? I have witnessed this phenomenon in two totally different places... where they just promote well liked RNs who have been at the bedside for a number of years (and been in charge) to management positions. I know that those of you who have the requisite experience are *awesome*... it's just that those who don't are at best a crap shoot and at worst quite incompetent.
Again, I hope I didn't offend anyone it's just that you would think that they would hold management to the same rigor as the other employees. A nurse can't just start on a unit with no training or orientation and be expected to do a good job, can she?
I have mixed feelings about the subject. I have worked in several hospitals where those promoted to management did not necessarily display exceptional communication, organzation or leadership abilities. They were clearly "well liked" which does not always translate to effective management. "well - liked" indiviuals do not always have the ability to make and enforce the hard decisions, they do not like confrontation and open communication and usually enable the same bad qualities in their staff, they are not always equipped to think long term and thoughtfully about an issues instead of merely react. They sometimes lack the ability to plan actions in steps and to set up systems that measure results. The qualities that make a great nurse do not make a great administrator.
I beleive staff expectations feed bad management. One of the units I worked with was having a meeting regarding qualities they expected in a new manager - comments were she should be supportive, kind, nonjudgemental, "there for me" etc... Not one indivual said organized, competent, efficient etc.. I worked with one manager that I literally saw once a year but the unit was always stocked, my evaluations were timely and payroll was correct, the schedule was out on time. I think in the process of finding someone we like, we forget to look for someone we need
Don't get me wrong, I don't think that you can't be liked and respected but personally I will take a manager I respect any day and your best managers understand that and are not afraid to live by that. I beleive the only way to resolve this is to hold managers to measurable criteria: staff turnover, budgetted supplies, patient survey results. Good managers know how to improve those areas and are willing to plan and implement realistic change to improve them.
Bad management can destroy a unit and undermine morale. I hear a lot of complaints regarding "nursing eating their young" and rude or lazy co-workers. Your best employees recognize that no unit will be perfect but if it is clear that management is enabling and supporting those qualities, you will lose good staff and will be left with a unit filled with poor attitudes and low morale because management is knowingly and unknowingly enabling these indivuals. I am a manager and speak with the knowledge of how accountable we are to making a unit effective. I strongly beleive that outside candidates should be given strong consideration for management positions when there are clearly no qualified internal candidates. It helps to have someone with a track record as opposed to just the nurse who happens to have worke there the longest.