How to get a job in management/administration

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    Just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to get into a nursing management role. I have been a nurse for 3 years and would like to start off as a supervisor, but am wondering what is the easiest way to obtain this role without supervisory experience? My 3 years of nursing have been critical care and I am currently enrolled in a masters program (I have my BSN). I have never been a charge nurse as that opportunity has never presented itself at the places I've worked.

    Are there any places that are relatively easy to obtain a superviosr role in when just starting out? (such as long term care?) any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't really know of any influential people so trying to network my way into a position probably won't work for me.

    Thanks!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    My friend is a new RN with four years of experience as an LPN. She knew that she no longer wanted to ever work at the bedside again or touch another patient, so I told her about a newly-created managerial position at a local nursing home where I work part-time. Although she had no previous management or administrative experience, she got the job immediately. They trained her for the position.

    Since nursing homes are staffed with primarily LPNs, an RN could easily get promoted to management. Also, home health agencies and hospices are always looking for RNs to fill management positions, and many places will train if you have no experience.
    virgo,student nurse likes this.
  5. 4
    I would not recommend a position as a home health supervisor without some serious home health experience. There is the common misconception that it is an "easy job," I assure you that it is not. Ditto long-term care.

    If you haven't been offered a chance at the charge nurse role after three years, I would suggest that you ask your nurse manager why that is, then request it. Most places have a training program for charge nurses that teach you what to expect and how to meet the requirements of the role. Start there before you start looking at supervising positions that you are not experienced with.

    Honestly, if you want to get into management, you must first excel in your field and that takes paying your dues. I hate to see anyone in a management position just because of a degree without having the requisite experience and knowledge base.
    crb613, tiredbeatupRN, Kyasi, and 1 other like this.
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    I was going to suggest a nursing home as well. At least locally it's rather common for new graduate RNs, especially BSNs, to get managerial positions in nursing homes. If not managerial, then they're at least supervisory and seldom deal directly with patients.

    Another mentioned something about home health. There seems to be a lot of turnover in that area locally. I'd suspect that because of that one could get a home health job and move into a supervisory or managerial position in a short amount of time.

    I personally am interested in general administration. Nursing management (house supervisor, etc) doesn't have much of an appeal to me, but things such as finance, compliance, personnel, and so forth interest me. I've dealt with much of that in a previous government, although not healthcare, occupation. Supervising people isn't all it's cracked up to be. You have to understand that to do your job you're going to, at times, greatly offend some of your staff, but that's only one end of the spectrum. Some supervisors aren't comfortable with that. Confrontation isn't an issue for me. I liked supervising, but I really enjoyed organizational leadership, i.e. having vision and driving the organization towards a goal yielding improvement.
  7. 0
    "I was going to suggest a nursing home as well. At least locally it's rather common for new graduate RNs, especially BSNs, to get managerial positions in nursing homes. If not managerial, then they're at least supervisory and seldom deal directly with patients."
    This is not true. Nurse managers/Charge nurses DO deal directly with patients and their families in LTC. In LTC there is no such thing as staying solely in one role. You jump all over the place. In LTC it is YOUR job to know every single resident in detail, to have them know and trust you to come to when they need something. You make rounds twice a day (or you should) and at least check in with each person in YOUR care.

    Sure is true that until you walk a mile in someone's shoes you don't know what their life is like!
    Last edit by NamasteNurse on Jun 10, '11 : Reason: needed to put the first paragraph in quotes from another poster
  8. 0
    Actually, being an ICU Nurse will be helpful. Try for a House Supervisor position. They want someone who can deal with MD's, Surgeon's and ER. They want a personality that isn't easily intimidated, can start peripheral IV's well, and obviously can deal with families, and complaints. The other more conventional step is to
    work as a unit-manager on a med-surg floor for a year or two, then move to House Supervisor. My advice, put in an application, you never know. I also liked the idea of training as charge in your current unit, it's a natural transition.
  9. 1
    I recommend that you make certain that your immediate supervisor understands that this is your goal. Make sure that your goal is discussed at your evaluation. This will set you up to be considered for increasing responsibility as management is "supposed to" help staff achieve their goals.

    Make certain that you have the knowledge base, skill set, and critical thought processes to be a leader and resource for staff. Do some reading about the nuances of managing professionals and people in general. There is MUCH more to it than making out assignments or creating a budget. Always keep in mind that your attitude, actions, and attention to the priorities of your role will dictate the attitude, actions, and prioritization of your staff.

    Good luck.
    tiredbeatupRN likes this.


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