Being a Head Nurse

Specialties Management


Specializes in ER, Renal Dialysis.

Very recently, I astonishingly went for an interview and passed! It was never in my dream to finally being 'that' high up and went in just for the sake of trying out. I do fit their paper qualifications and work experience, even though my experience in management is not that much. I've worked for almost 9 nine years majoring in ER and Dialysis. Been a floor RN, a Charge Nurse and currently as a Clinical Instructor in a nursing college. In terms of work experience - I have worked for a total of 4 institutions (nurses these days move a lot!) and have worked overseas. Shifts, office hours, on-calls - I've done all that.

Despite of that, I do not have a post-basic diploma related to the field (ER) even though I've attended BLS, ACLS, NRP, ATLS and a trauma course years back.

My greatest concern is my lack of experience in being a Nurse Manager. I know somebody must start somewhere, but this is an overseas job offer. And there's also the factor of age. I am in my early 30s. And I do look young. I just hope there's no issue with this.

My question is - How do you people start off with being a department head/Nurse Manager?

And what are the things (or pointers) that may help this newbie?

Thanks a lot.

Best wishes to you on your new adventure. The first thing I did when I was new in my position was to find a mentor. A lot of things will be learned as you go, but find out as much as you can about the facility, leadership structure, and of course your department. As you interact with your new staff, treat them the way you would want to be treated. I learned a lot from this book: Becoming Influential, for nurses.

Congratulations on your new position! I'm sure you will find it both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding.

First and foremost, I would spent a lot of time listening. People seem to reveal their strengths and weaknesses fairly quickly. Be available, but not overly so. Be patient. Keep a smile on your face!

Best of luck to you!

Specializes in ER, Renal Dialysis.

Thanks for the reply. And sorry for the late reply of my own.

I started to think back on my experience working under a manager and try putting myself in her/his situation. What I wanted from a leader, and why I value that person much more than anyone else.

I am months from assuming the post (Visa, screening...) so I am gathering input and wisdom from many. Yours included as well. So thank you very much.

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