Why does everyone think that mgt is such a bad career choice?

  1. Hello.

    I have enjoyed reading the different posts on this section of the site. I am scheduled to begin an MSN program with a Leadership focus in January. I already have a finance degree and a psych degree (as well as BSN-I was one of those permanent students) and I think that I would prefer to utilize my skills in this fashion. I am enjoying working in the ICU right now, but know that I do not want to do this forever; I feel my greatest strengths lie elsewhere.

    My question is, why are all the nurses I talk to so loathe to go into management? They make comments like "Oh, no one in their right mind would want THAT job" when referencing an open mgt position. I was just wondering what all of your thoughts were on this; as to why nurses at the bedside do not seem to want to take their careers in this direction and possibly move up in the organization.

    Thanks a lot!
    E
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   burn out
    where I work the best way to loose your job is to go into management. In hte last 5 years I have had 5 clinical directors, 4 nursing directors, and 4 CEOs. Managers where I work drop like flies..no job security
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I wouldn't say "no one in their right mind wouldn't want that job." I chose what i wanted to, others should have the same opportunity.

    I personally have zero desire to go into management myself. I like the fact that when i'm home, i'm HOME, and no one's going to call me.

    More power to those that want to go into management.
  5. by   mydesygn
    Quote from 2ndChance
    Hello.

    I have enjoyed reading the different posts on this section of the site. I am scheduled to begin an MSN program with a Leadership focus in January. I already have a finance degree and a psych degree (as well as BSN-I was one of those permanent students) and I think that I would prefer to utilize my skills in this fashion. I am enjoying working in the ICU right now, but know that I do not want to do this forever; I feel my greatest strengths lie elsewhere.

    My question is, why are all the nurses I talk to so loathe to go into management? They make comments like "Oh, no one in their right mind would want THAT job" when referencing an open mgt position. I was just wondering what all of your thoughts were on this; as to why nurses at the bedside do not seem to want to take their careers in this direction and possibly move up in the organization.

    Thanks a lot!
    E

    Multiple Reasons - each one unique
    1) typically salaried positioned - most managers may very well earn less money than a new grad considering the number of unpaid hours that they work.
    2) called at home - may be difficult to make plans or have uninterrupted time at home since you can be called in or called at home for numerous issues
    3) politics - different personalities, lack of professionalism, victim mentality, expectations of favoritism, distrust, dishonesty -- can all create a dysfunctional environment for both staff and management but the ultimate responsibility falls to the manager.
    4) heavy workload -- most managers have a myriad of responsibilities but rarely have assistant or other personnel available to delegate tasks and work to, can lead to long hours
    5) lack of appreciation or support -- one of the nurses I worked with used to be a manager and went back to staff nursing. He said management is a "lonely job" and he was absolutely on point. There are no "friends".

    I could list more. Having been a manager, ultimately I found that the rewards did not outweigh the disappointments. However, some people love management and I admire them. My only advice to anyone seeking a management position is to develop a "thick" skin and to remember success in management is not much different than success in politics, you just have to outlast your critics.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    What I have seen is that mid-level managers, typically unit managers are squeezed from both ends; the staff and the manager's bosses. It would be very hard to please everyone.
  7. by   llg
    Quote from traumaRUs
    What I have seen is that mid-level managers, typically unit managers are squeezed from both ends; the staff and the manager's bosses. It would be very hard to please everyone.
    Yep. Upper level administration holds unit-level leadership accountable for the performance of their staff. The upper-level problems, get "pushed down" the ladder to the unit-level management to solve.

    The staff usually blames their unit-level management for all the world's problems. Staff nurses who have never been in management positions rarely have much sympathy for the manager's problems and are often not supportive of their manager.

    So ... the manager is caught in the middle, with no "friends" except other managers.

    Then there is also the 24-hour accountability for staffing the unit and solving any problems that arise. That often results in a lot of unpaid overtime, phone calls at home, etc.

    That's why I have avoided the "head nurse" role in my career even though my official MSN minor was Nursing Administration. I have always chosen other types of leadership roles, such as CNS, staff development instructor, program coordinator, etc. Those are "leadership roles" without some of the problems of classic management roles.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Yes llg you are so right. My little role as a CNS, as an APN is just fine with me.
  9. by   mydesygn
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Yes llg you are so right. My little role as a CNS, as an APN is just fine with me.
    The facility I currently work at, has 6 open unit manager positions with no applicants for over 6 mos. The management position I vacated had only 2 applicants prior to my accepting the position, myself and one other unit nurse who was never considered viable due to personality issues. At some point, a lack of internal applicants should be a wake-up call to the facility - these positions will likely be filled by outside applicants (like myself). I have nothing negative to say about outside applicants (we often aren't hampered by the status quo in terms of ideas) but it is sad when none of your existing staff will consider taking the management role. If I manage again, I will be very selective and likely will not ever manage a nursing unit. Currently, I am in education and absolutely love my work -- I doubt if I will ever go back. It was a stepping stone and a learning experience.
  10. by   llg
    Quote from mydesygn
    . It was a stepping stone and a learning experience.
    I have known a lot of nurses who took unit management positions for just that reason -- to use it as a stepping stone to somethink else. Especially for a nurse without an MSN, it's hard to get out of staff nursing and into some of the other, unique roles that are out there. By taking a unit-management role for a year or two, they "break out" of the staff nurse role and begin to be seen as a leader. They get training and experience in how the system works and develop knowledge of the institution as whole.

    They also develop relationships with people outside their unit -- people who might be looking to fill an "odd job" position someday. Eventually, they parley that management job into a job as a project coordinator, or research facilitator, or discharge planner, or risk manager, etc. Those jobs often may not pay quite as well, but they often involve less stress and more attractive schedules. They are the types of jobs you can continue to do as you age.
  11. by   DDRN4me
    Hi everyone....
    just wanted to step in and ask for some advice; I just got hired as a Nurse Manager in a residential facility for kids with issues; both emotional and physical...
    the nursing dept has been struggling for a while without real leadership. I am hoping to go in and bring a sense of teamwork and unity ...any ideas? offsite things are not really possible without excluding someone ..so i would like to do some onsite stuff...any suggestions will be welcome!! thanks!!

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