Management on Decline?

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    I am currently only a nursing student -- scheduled to graduate May 2008. However, I was speaking to a few nurses that I know very well (both are in their mid 50's). One is a clinical director here in my current residence, and the other is a Chief Nursing Officer back in Michigan. Both were telling me that I should seriously consider going into management as a nurse. They told me that because I am male, it would actually be easier to get into a management position (I have no idea how much truth there is to that, but that is what they told me). Furthermore, the CNO was telling me that there is a massive shortage of CNO's around the country because lack of interest from staff nurses and other nurse management, and also lack of experience. She was telling me that CNO's usually start out at 100K for smaller hospitals, but their salary can rise well above the 200K mark for large 500+ bed hospitals.

    My question being, why is there such a lack of interest in nurse management? I understand that there is probably a lot of headaches in management (as there is with management in any field). Furthermore, I would think that there would be a plentiful amount of nurse managers looking to get into a CNO position. I understand that they must work their tails off, but a salary that large would be a large incentive.

    Any insight?
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

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    I agree with your friends. It is almost impossible to find nurses qualified for higher level nursing administrative positions. Such positions require many years of management experience as well a graduate education. Few nurses have that combination. It requires many years of full time employment, dedication, and a hard work.

    My guess (and this is only a guess) is that most women interrupt their careers at some point in order to have children -- and then don't want to maintain such a demanding schedule (full time management job plus graduate school) when they have a familty to take care of. That means that not many women make that long hard climb up the administration career ladder that is necessary to qualify for those upper-level positions. Men have an advantage because few have the same demands on their time from family to put them on the "mommy track." It's no different from other industries and careers in which it is unusual to see women in the CEO chair.

    That's just my speculation -- as a 51 year old who has been a nurse since 1977 and been in leadership positions since 1981.
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    Men have an advantage because few have the same demands on their time from family to put them on the "mommy track."

    I'm a single Dad With 3 kids and i am the only support they have period.
    i go tro school full time and work full time and most of the time ican make time for my children, but not always. The above statement just bites my A** if you know what i mean. Please dont speak for all the males out here if you dfont know us.
  6. 3
    Quote from BmtTXLVN
    I'm a single Dad With 3 kids and i am the only support they have period.
    i go tro school full time and work full time and most of the time ican make time for my children, but not always. The above statement just bites my A** if you know what i mean. Please dont speak for all the males out here if you dfont know us.
    I think she was speaking in general. I have heard from a lot of people (both in nursing and out of nursing) that it is hard for women to move up the administrative ladder because of their at-home duties. It is a fact that in most families, women have to take the brunt of "family and mommy duties". There are definitely many exceptions (as in your case). But I don't think she was meaning to offend anyone... just speaking in general.
  7. 0
    The extra education required!
  8. 0
    Quote from BmtTXLVN
    I'm a single Dad With 3 kids and i am the only support they have period.
    i go tro school full time and work full time and most of the time ican make time for my children, but not always. The above statement just bites my A** if you know what i mean. Please dont speak for all the males out here if you dfont know us.
    As another poster said ... I was speaking "in general" ... and NOT specifically about you as an individual. Certainly a single father is in the same bind as a single mother. I realize that. However, the majority of single parents are women, not men.

    Also, in households in which there is both a mother and a father, the mother is usually the one who makes the greater career sacrifices to take care of non-economic family needs. That is very well documented. Of course there are exceptions. In some families, it is very different.

    The issue raised by the OP was about nursing in general -- not about what happens in your individual family. Within nursing in general, the majority of nurses are women and not men ... and a majority of those women make career sacrifices in order to take care of their families, sacrifices that the fathers of their children don't make. That's part of the reason why there is a shortage of qualified nurses available for upper level management positions -- and why the proportion of men who are in leadership positions is far higher that the proportion of men within nursing in general.

    I'm sorry you were offended by my earlier post. I certainly never meant to offend any single fathers out there -- or fathers who are making career sacrifices for their families in general. But I still believe that what I said is factually correct.
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    I think it's a combination of things. First of all, bluntly, not everyone is cut out to be an effective manager. In fact, very few people are. Many try and fail at the entry level. It is very stressful and a salary job and it's NOT just a 40 hour work week. Sure, there are perks to it, but plain and simple, it's stressful. You have to really want to do it I think to be happy with it. And as someone mentioned, the education requirements at the higher levels of management (requiring a Master's) put a stop on it for some people. Heck, we can't even convince nurses to go back and get their BSN, must less anything more. I think the younger generation is seeing the importance, but my staff nurses (many of whom have worked for 10+ years as a bedside nurse) have no desire to go back and further their education, even if someone paid for it.
    SarasotaRN2b and traumaRUs like this.
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    Well, I can say that I don't fit the sterotype.....Fortunately - but unfortunately depending on how you view it.

    I'm female, 37 yrs old, married, no children.

    I'll be graduating with an MBA this June. However, I have only held charge nurse duties in the different places that I have worked in the past. Mostly, 6-7 years ED, 2 years Tele, and 3 years case management.

    Where I currently live, management positions in the hospital are difficult to come by. So, regardless of the education, if you don't have the "mgt experience" you will be over looked unless willing to move....So, I guess that is my next step.....
  11. 0
    Quote from sistermike
    My question being, why is there such a lack of interest in nurse management?
    Because there are so few positions. Most would rather get a MSN that will reliably return money in a predictably short time.

    Because few understand what it costs in terms of personal discipline to get there. Fewer still are willing to pay the price.

    Because to understand how huge and creative a role it can be requires not only eyes to see but an excellent example.

    And just maybe, stealing from the poet Ranier Maria Rilke, a person is a real manager only when he can't not be one.
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    In a recent interview it was brought up that many nurses have a hard time leaving the bedside. Many don't want the headace of dealing with administration either. I think that has a lot to do with it as well. Also, the higher education that has been mentioned is another big deal. I've only been out of school 5 years and will start a master's program in the Fall. I hae a desire to move up & fortunately the opportunities are available where I live. Management and administration facinates me, I want to know what makes the wheels turn. You have to want it and unfortunately, many don't.


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