Is management for me?

  1. 0

    Hello all

    I have a major dilemma.

    I am ready to make a move into the next phase of my career but I am not quite sure how to go about it. I am ready to leave the bedside and move into the administrative side of nursing. I seem to be really interested in the legal side of nursing and thought that legal nurse consulting was for me, but it seems to be very difficult to break into and I don't think that I have the personality to sustain a personal business.

    I am also very interested in risk management and patient safety/quality improvement. This is also beginning to look like it is going to be very difficult to get into as well as everyone wants their applicants to come ready made with all of this experience specifically in the field all the while overlooking what years of bedside nursing can bring.

    So I am at a loss...I've debated about the idea of going in to management by becoming a clinical nurse manager. I was thinking that I could use this as a stepping stone to move into the other positions. I just want to make a difference. My problem is that I am not quite sure if I am management material although I have had many tell me that I would be more than capable.

    So I am posing these questions to the group:
    1. What aspects of being a nurse manager do you enjoy the most?
    2. Do you feel that you are able to make a difference in regards to quality improvement/patientsafety/risk management?
    3. What are some of the positives about being a nurse manager?

    I am just so ancy because I am so ready to move on to other things and I feel that I am at a grid lock...primarily because I do not have the experience. I feel that you can only do so much with your resume without over exaggerating.

    I truly appreciate any advice that someone may have to offer. Part of me just feels like I need to step out of my comfort zone and try it. One never truly knows what they are capable of until they are put into that position. Not all good managers started off that way I like to think although some were born to be just that, a leader.

    Thank you for your time!!
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    Well, I am a unit manager of a child psych unit. What makes it rewarding is knowing that i am making a difference in the lives of my kids. Not me directly but my influence in the programming, the staff we hire, the quality. I am obsessed with safety and making our program innovative, and evidence-based. I am constantly striving to have a better program, a better unit for these kids, who average a 5 day length of stay. I love research and I love the fact that I can do it with the kids on our unit.

    That is always the reward, having that influence, directly on my staff and indirectly on the kids. Other benefits: flexible schedule, no holidays/no weekends. If I have to take the kids to the dentist, I can do that and come in late. I'm in grad school and plan to go on for my doctorate; with my schedule I can do this being a unit manager. I don't want to become a director or CNO; I like being as close to the patient level as i can and still be in management. I like being a change agent at that direct level.

    The pay is not a reward, nor are the fires you have to put out, the personalities you have to deal with among your staff. But you just get used to that. In the past few days, I've had to talk to 4 angry parents and deal with 3 staff performance issues. I've had to fire a few people. I have to cover night shifts when I have 2 sick calls and can't find coverage...it sucks, working for free those nights but I just take a personal day later in the week and it all evens out.

    You just get used to the chaos; when I don't have an angry parent or a staff performance issue, I'm pleasantly surprised. I expect these things day to day.

    All in all, I love my job and my staff...most days. You take the bad with the good, you have to be flexible and balanced and be proactive rather than reactive.

    Hope that helps! I never thought I would be in management but now that I'm here, I can't imagine doing anything else. Feel free to PM me for other questions...

    Quote from ANurseDivided
    Hello all

    I have a major dilemma.

    I am ready to make a move into the next phase of my career but I am not quite sure how to go about it. I am ready to leave the bedside and move into the administrative side of nursing. I seem to be really interested in the legal side of nursing and thought that legal nurse consulting was for me, but it seems to be very difficult to break into and I don't think that I have the personality to sustain a personal business.

    I am also very interested in risk management and patient safety/quality improvement. This is also beginning to look like it is going to be very difficult to get into as well as everyone wants their applicants to come ready made with all of this experience specifically in the field all the while overlooking what years of bedside nursing can bring.

    So I am at a loss...I've debated about the idea of going in to management by becoming a clinical nurse manager. I was thinking that I could use this as a stepping stone to move into the other positions. I just want to make a difference. My problem is that I am not quite sure if I am management material although I have had many tell me that I would be more than capable.

    So I am posing these questions to the group:
    1. What aspects of being a nurse manager do you enjoy the most?
    2. Do you feel that you are able to make a difference in regards to quality improvement/patientsafety/risk management?
    3. What are some of the positives about being a nurse manager?

    I am just so ancy because I am so ready to move on to other things and I feel that I am at a grid lock...primarily because I do not have the experience. I feel that you can only do so much with your resume without over exaggerating.

    I truly appreciate any advice that someone may have to offer. Part of me just feels like I need to step out of my comfort zone and try it. One never truly knows what they are capable of until they are put into that position. Not all good managers started off that way I like to think although some were born to be just that, a leader.

    Thank you for your time!!
    MBARNBSN and VivaRN like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you for your reply.
    I too want to make a difference. I am all about patient safety and wanting to make processes as they relate to patients and nurses better. I think that I could do that being in management.
    Did you always know that you wanted to be a manager? I am so nervous about the idea of being "it" when it comes to me having the final say. I would like to think that with experience I will develop those skills. Did management come naturally for you? I have books that I was going to read, did you do that at all?

    Thank you again for your reply!
  5. 1
    No, management was not something I ever considered, though I was an officer in the Navy Nurse corps, lol. When my current position became available and was offered to me, I turned it down initially! But my boss was persistent and I yielded eventually (my big thing was I wanted to continue grad school).

    I'm so glad I took the job, though there are "those days." My kids are both in school and I'm a single mom so the M-F day shift schedule was what clinched the decision for me. I screwed up royally my first year, that's where experience helps. I love being able to have the kind of influence you are describing.

    I did read some books but they didn't help me that much. The book that had the most impact on me is "Crucial Conversations." Highly recommend that one.

    Good luck in your decision-making process. Feel free to PM me anytime for questions, or, if you take a management job, to vent, lol.
    Altra likes this.
  6. 0
    Thank you so much again for your comments!
    I have book that you are talking about...haven't read it yet.
    It's good to know that you weren't perfect when you started...maybe I will keep that in mind if I decide to go that route. I'm thinking I will go for it. I'll never know if I am capable of doing it unless I try.

    Thanks for the encouragement
  7. 1
    I am a site manager for a family medicine clinic which is part of a larger FQHC group of clinics providing pediatric, family, senior, adolescent, psychiatry, OB/GYN, dental, and vision care. I have been in this position for just over a year. I have a dual role as the RN for the clinic as well. I love my job! I love the M-F hours. It works well with my family and my online classes.

    1. What aspects of being a nurse manager do you enjoy the most? The ability to make decisions and implement ideas to better serve our patients. I enjoy being the one that the staff comes to for answers and guidance. I love being able to coach my staff (MAs and LVN) and encourage them to continue with ther own education. I've already lost one MA to nursing school and I have another strongly considering it. My LVN is also planning on bridging to RN next year.
    2. Do you feel that you are able to make a difference in regards to quality improvement/patientsafety/risk management? Yes, absolutely. However, since I am part of a larger organization a lot of the bigger decisions are made above me and out of my control. There is the ability to have more input to those above me. However, I am the one responsible for the clinic and all that it entails - TVFC program, Joint Commission readiness, budget, encounters, staffing, patient complaints, and then my RN duties (phone and walk in triage, direct patient care, etc... I wear many hats throughout the day.
    3. What are some of the positives about being a nurse manager? For me having the dual role, I still do a lot of actual patient care so I haven't lost that aspect of nursing, which is what drew me to nursing in the first place. Though there are days when I spend a lot of time in front of a computer with spreadsheets, audits, reports, and emails.
    For me this is the best of both worlds, patient care and a M-F desk job (even though its a M-F job I am never really "off" - cell phone texts, emails through cell phone and work lap top). The pay is better than what I made a staff nurse. That is a huge plus for me as I drive 45 minutes each way and spend many days driving several hours to and from meetings (our FQHC covers a large area).

    Good luck making the decision. I was a charge and staff nurse prior to this position and I just sort of fell into this position. I don't think I would want to go back to strictly staff nursing again. I'd prefer to stay in some area of management.
    Altra likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from childpsych
    No, management was not something I ever considered, though I was an officer in the Navy Nurse corps, lol. When my current position became available and was offered to me, I turned it down initially! But my boss was persistent and I yielded eventually (my big thing was I wanted to continue grad school).
    I was struck by this comment because it reminds me that the best nurse managers I've known/had over the years tended to not be people who had wanted to go into management, but individuals who had been recruited into it by their superiors (who saw their potential), often over their initial objections.


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