Young Nurse Looking Toward Management
- 0May 6, '07 by luvbug9956Sorry....this is long!
I am a nurse 3 years out of a BSN program. For two years I worked inpatient oncology and for the past year I have been working in an outpatient infusion clinic. I had a difficult time at first "proving myself" to these nurses that I had earned my way to work this highly-sought-after job. I guess they felt that I hadn't "paid my dues" in the inpatient setting for long enough. Anyway, I have an exemplary educational record (1st in my BSN nursing class), just passed my oncology certification exam, and have very high goals for myself. I love being a staff nurse, but am looking more toward a leadership position. I will be starting my MSN program in August and am looking toward an MSN/MBA track.
Anyway, there is an open Clinical Leader position in the Outpatient Infusion Clinic where I am currently employed. This position entails both clinical and "business" components, including chart audits, scheduling, and payroll responsibilities. According to the requirements, the applicant must have a BSN (I do), have 3 years or greater experience in nursing (I do), and have plans to work toward an MSN (I do). I have been considering applying for the position, but here are my reservations:
1. I am young (26 years old) and still pretty fresh out of school (3 years).
2. I am afraid that the other nurses will not respect me or potentially make my job difficult.
3. I am afraid of rejection or failure (either won't get the job or will fail miserably...)
Nobody that is currently working in the clinic is interested in the position. We currently have 2 serious applicants. One is currently a clinical leader on the night shift on our inpatient oncology unit and, from what I understand, is not truly interested; just wants to move to day shift. He has never worked in an outpatient setting and only oncology experience is the past few months that he has worked on our inpatient unit. The other applicant is a critical care nurse with no oncology experience whatsoever. Our clinic is extremely busy...we have one of the top onc docs in the area and he attracts tons of patients! We see about 50-70 patients per day! I have a very difficult time with potentially hiring someone with NO oncology experience!
As current nurse managers and leaders, what is your opinion? Should I apply for the job? How do I then handle the current staff (if anyone has worked inpatient oncology, you know that it is a dog-eat-dog world for some reason...) Last summer, I was offered a Clinical Leader position in a much smaller Cancer Center at another hospital, and at that point had only 2 years experience! How does the staff typically react to young leaders?
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- 0May 6, '07 by rpbearIf nobody that works there currently wants the position, then they have no right to complain about giving to a younger nurse. I think you should go for it, even if you don't get it, you have gained some interview skills, and maybe some good feedback about what they are looking for. And they will remember that you are willing to step up and take a leadership roll if something else comes up.
- 0May 6, '07 by llg GuideI think you should apply for the position. As for being younger and less experienced than most of the staff, just remember to work WITH them and show that you respect them. Don't get all "high and mighty" just because you get the promotion. Stay humble, ask for the help, and be as helpful to you as you can be. Then they will accept you.
I worked as a staff nurse for 2 years before entering grad school. I was 26 when I graduated with my MSN and took a CNS position plus taught a class in an MSN program. It IS difficult to be a young, relatively inexperienced person in a leadership position ... but it can be done.
Also remember this ... Leadership positions are almost always difficult regardless of your age or experience. There will always be big risks involved. That's why most people are not well-suited for them. If you are wanting to head down the leadership career path, be prepared for the fact that you will always be facing these sorts of challenges. If they are "not for you" now, what makes you think they will be right for you later? Learn to enjoy the challenge -- or at least tolerate it -- or find a less risky career path.
I speak from experience here. I'm dealing with some difficult career issues myself these days, and I am 52 years old and am well-established in my career. It hasn't gotten any easier for me over the years. Every day is still tough.
- 0May 6, '07 by TweetyExcellent advice as always from llg. I don't have anything to add, but my two cents is you should apply for it.
In the meantime, work on ways to get over your fear of rejection. Rejection happens to all of us in our lives, but you won't get anywhere in life without that risk.
- 0May 8, '07 by PedsRNBSNI also think you should go for it. As a young nurse (your same age) who IS in management, I will say that there will be challenges. I worked for three years in an ASC during, and shortly after getting my degree. I too have started classes for my MSN/MBA and, after two years experience received the opportunity to be an ASC Nurse Manager of a multi-million dollar practice. I earned this position because I worked hard and proved myself to the surgeons and upper management as a staff nurse. It has been wonderful and scary, and incredibly challenging. Here are some things to understand going in:
-people WILL have issues with your age-it gets frustrating, but you just have to deal with it) I once had a patient ask a nurse - "who is that 15yr old running around here?" It was ME!!!
-You will NOT necessarily make friends-you will have to change from looking out for your coworkers, to looking out for the business (this does NOT mean to forget where you came from, it is just a different perspective) You have to be really careful how you communicate because it can come across as a your "know it all"
-You will HAVE to carefully manage any friendships.- I can't have my girlfriends over just by themselves, I invite everyone to not appear to play favorites.
- Docs/patients/new staff WILL sometimes look at you like you don't know what you are doing and got to this level too soon. You just have to believe in what you are doing and take as much opportunity for support from others in management within your facility.
I got really lucky. I LOVE my job and it shows. Sometimes I do get a little too "black and white" and I know that is because I am young. I have the best support team, and the older (I am the youngest by at least 20 yrs) managers of the offices really support me and are helping me to learn and grow. I am so glad I got this opportunity-although it is A LOT more work and stress and A LOT more hours and I get to see my husband VERY little now.....but I am loving what I am doing and it will settle down soon.
PM me if you want to talk, I am sure we will have the same frustrations!
- 0Oct 31, '07 by SarasotaRN2bQuote from rpbear:yeahthat:If nobody that works there currently wants the position, then they have no right to complain about giving to a younger nurse. I think you should go for it, even if you don't get it, you have gained some interview skills, and maybe some good feedback about what they are looking for. And they will remember that you are willing to step up and take a leadership roll if something else comes up.
I was going to write you should definitely apply, but I realized that this is an old post (May 2007). So did you apply? What happened?