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A Good Nurse Manager...

Posted

Has 27 years experience.

A good nurse manager is:

  • Organized
  • Quick to respond to communications
  • Fair
  • Gives time off when requested
  • Grants reasonable vacation requests
  • Deals with hostile workplace situations
  • Doesn't feed into tattletale behavior
  • Deals with absenteeism appropriately
  • Is flexible
  • Avoids favoritism
  • Manages to please upper management

I have one of these treasures. I work for a less than ideal, for profit hospital, but as long as my manager stays, I stay.

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience.

I agree.

I will add..Manages to please staff... while still pleasing upper management. I understand that is one of the hardest parts of the job.

And..Manages to be realistic with the whole customer service thing. Doesn't give in over and over again to unreasonable patient requests.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Middle management is one of the most difficult positions. It is extremely hard to find a good mix of staff that are willing to perform at their best and meet all of upper administration's demands. To find a manger who is fair and does not engage in favoritism or promote gossip, that expects staff to meet the challenges, but gives them the means to do so is very rare. To find one who can meet all the expectations that upper administration places on them and to be able to run a unit or several units successfully is a treasure and we should treat them with great respect and let them know we are available to help them achieve what they want for their units. It is much easier to work with staff who are truly interested in promoting their unit and not feeling down trodden with every work shift. Maintaining a positive environment is utterly impossible with staff who are constantly complaining about the circumstances they have to work with. Help your manager meet these challenges, help them be change agents for this unit, don't just be a complainer, be a person of action.

One thing that frequently disappoints me with some managers styles is I feel they need to

Advocate for their staff, like their staff does for patients.

And generate ideas/solutions from their staff, the people who do the actual work. Its horrible when you see a manager implement a new measure/policy/procedure with little to no input from the people who actually do those tasks. Then you get a half assed policy with low compliance/satisfaction, because some numb-nuts who has never done it thought it was a good idea.

They take care of those two things, and im pretty happy

"

  • Organized
  • Quick to respond to communications
  • Fair
  • Gives time off when requested
  • Grants reasonable vacation requests
  • Deals with hostile workplace situations
  • Doesn't feed into tattletale behavior
  • Deals with absenteeism appropriately
  • Is flexible
  • Avoids favoritism
  • Manages to please upper management

I have never had a manager that has all of those wonderful qualities. The present facility I work at now is like a revolving door when it comes to middle managers. The director over the group now discourages any positive interactions of the managers with the staff. They do not even want them to attend a Christmas party with their staff. One manager let it slip that she was told that it was inappropriate for her to associate with her staff. So the mentality of the staff is really to just to in and do their shift and go home...

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

As a former DNS, I tried very hard to embody these lovely attributes, but let me tell you that middle management is one of the most thankless jobs in the universe. You basically catch crap all day from both those above and those below you on the corporate food chain. You scramble to please both and often wind up pleasing no one. Been there, done that, got the claw marks on my back to prove it.

It's no wonder we usually don't last very long at a given facility. I used to be part of a group of mid-level managers who all just basically circulated around the different facilities in the area....."So Mary, I hear you're working at Paradise now! Where did Paula go?" "Paula's at Rolling Hills now. Oh, did you hear that Sally quit Green Meadows? Yeah, I applied there, but then I turned it down and decided to take the Sunny Acres job." And so it goes.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I will add: hires the right people. Life as a nurse is really good when you work with a good group of coworkers who don't need constant "managing".

How about management who have their children working there? I have this at my work. The DON's daughter works there. I have also been made aware that this daughter's grandmother is a resident there. The daughter also told me one day she couldn't stay over cause she had a test the next day. This kind of mix is concerning me. Also considering they post a sign of nurses to write up aides on their phone. How can that happen when the DON's daughter who is an aide is texting as she walks down the hall?

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

SO wrong on so many levels, that is crazy!

How about management who have their children working there? I have this at my work. The DON's daughter works there. I have also been made aware that this daughter's grandmother is a resident there. The daughter also told me one day she couldn't stay over cause she had a test the next day. This kind of mix is concerning me. Also considering they post a sign of nurses to write up aides on their phone. How can that happen when the DON's daughter who is an aide is texting as she walks down the hall?

Emergent, RN

Has 27 years experience.

Sadly, sometimes upper management drives good managers away by overworking them. This just happened to another hardworking, organized, well liked manager in our hospital. They piled on the work by giving her another unit to manage. She had left once before and was lured back with the promise that it would be different this time. Then, they did it again.

A good manager is worth his/her weight in gold.

My best managers (only two in my entire working life of >40 years) were outstanding because, in addition to most of those sterling qualities, they were quick to recognize and were not threatened by employees who knew more about something than they did (and they said so), by giving all of us near-blanket permission to expand our reach/try something new/trial a new program or system, and by sincerely wanting to learn from us what would make work better for us and the patients or customers.

Edited by dianah
Terms of Service

tnmarie

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

...It's no wonder we usually don't last very long at a given facility. I used to be part of a group of mid-level managers who all just basically circulated around the different facilities in the area....."So Mary, I hear you're working at Paradise now! Where did Paula go?" "Paula's at Rolling Hills now. Oh, did you hear that Sally quit Green Meadows? Yeah, I applied there, but then I turned it down and decided to take the Sunny Acres job." And so it goes.

I am just a peon LPN :cheeky: but this is so true in my area. Every year, usually just after state makes the rounds, all the DONs/DNSs quit and go to other facilities in the area. It's crazy. I've been at my current job (honestly, it's awful and I just put in my two week notice) for about 11 months and we have been through FOUR DONs in that time.

I don't envy middle management and you couldn't offer me enough money in the world to EVER do it.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

A good nurse manager: actually has nursing experience! I have worked with excellent and horrible NMs and have to say my favorite have hands on experience in patient care and don't have the inexperience to come to staff with ridiculous requests that could only be dreamed up by someone with an abundance of book smarts who has never cared for patients.

RainMom

Has 7 years experience.

My current manager has a lot to be desired. However, my hope has been reignited after she showed up in scrubs to help out when we were extremely short staffed (first time that's happened to my knowledge - her working the floor, not the short staffed part, lol). She acknowledged afterwards that she was a "fish out of water" in that role & acknowledged that she could not do what we do on the floor. Hoping the experience spurs her on to be that ideal manager we all want. I agree, management can't be easy & I have no desire what so ever to fill that type of position...ever!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

I work for a less than ideal, for profit hospital, but as long as my manager stays, I stay.

So true. There's a wise chestnut that applies to this topic: "Workers don't quit jobs; they quit managers."

A good manager can promote a good work environment, whereas a substandard manager can flip that switch better known as high employee turnover.

MizChelleRN

Specializes in diabetic education, dialysis. Has 12 years experience.

Thanks I needed to hear a lot of these things. I'm a newer manager still trying to find my style.

A&Ox6, BSN, CNA, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics/Psych/QI/Suicide Prevention/Regulatory. Has 11 years experience.

I'd like to add:

-allows staff to work up to their full scope of practice.

-is available for support as needed

-is supportive of his/her staff when dealing with upper management and clients

-encourages continued autonomy and growth

-knows when to let staff go

-understands that diversity of all kinds helps the unit function best

As a nurse manager for about 4 years, I can only strive daily to meet these expectations. Some days I make it and some days I don't quite get there. It is true, as some have said, that this is a hard and often thankless job. I have in the past year received expressions of thanks and encouragement from the nurses who work on my unit. This has made a huge difference for me and some days gets me through the day. If you have a good manager, please tell them! It might be the only bit of encouragement they get for a long time.