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Help! I Want a Management Position

Nurse Beth   (601 Views 4 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

15 Followers; 96 Articles; 231,406 Profile Views; 1,934 Posts

Hi Nurse Beth,

I have been an RN for 11 years. 8 have been in the Emergency Department and 5 of that has been as charge FT or relief. I have my CEN and great reviews from my current employer.

I want to advance to leadership/management but I struggle to find the time for even online classes having a young family, so going for my MSN (while it is in the plans for the future) is just not fathomable right now.

What can I do to make myself more marketable for an assistant management position? How do I convince a hospital system to hire me into an assistant nurse manager position if I'm not already an employee of theirs (it seems like internal applicants have the advantage)? Thanks for any thoughts/tips/tricks!

Dear Wants Management,

Your best bet is to land a leadership position in your own hospital to get you started. From there, you'll be marketable as a manager.

You are right, landing this first job can be tough. It's the old 'they want someone with experience, but how do I get experience if they only hire those with experience" conundrum.

Secondly is that there are only a handful or even less of assistant management or management jobs open at any given time.

Those are both things you can do nothing about, so let's talk about you, and what you can do. Getting your master's is a nice-to-do and not a need-to-do at this point. Typically nurses will be working in their desired specialty field while advancing their educational degrees, rather than the other way around. Meaning experience and aptitude with a BSN trumps no experience and no aptitude with an MSN.

You have both a BSN and charge nurse experience, giving you a good background.

Get Visible

I strongly advise you to get involved with any initiatives your hospital is working on to develop and showcase your leadership skills. For example, is your ED implementing ultra-sound guided midlines, external jugulars, intraosseus IVs? Massive blood transfusions? All of these require training and a champion. Policies need to be written and protocols need to be developed. Changes need to be moved forward. I've mentioned practice changes, but there are needed process changes as well.

Help with a skills fair and include pre-hospital EMTs. Does your triage area or your rapid medical evaluation area need improvement? Is throughput a problem? Are you actively serving on your Shared Governance committee?

Consider organizing a community event, such as taking blood pressures at the county fair, or managing a drive to store blankets and clothes for your homeless ED patients. 

Become a change agent. Get active. Be visible.

Make Connections

A benefit of working on a project is that you gain housewide visibility. Every project has stakeholders across the hospital, including Pharmacy, Materials Management, Education and Training. Make connections with key people in other units both inside and outside of nursing.

After working on one or two projects, I guarantee you that you will be well known. Your name will come up repeatedly in higher-level meetings. You become a natural pick for future projects and change initiatives because you have vision and you get things done.

Mentor

Tell your nurse manager you are interested in leadership opportunities. Ask her or another leader to be your mentor. There are benefits to having a non-ED mentor, so reach out to other leaders. Even better, ask your manager to recommend someone or even help make the connection. It shouldn't be hard to find someone-many nurses love to help out and develop other nurses. It's gratifying for both of you.

When you find a mentor, agree on regular meetings to check-in and talk about your career strategies and progress. Try to meet in a spot where you can share a cup of coffee without being interrupted-such as an offsite location.

Education

While it's not feasible for you to advance your formal education right now, you definitely should work on your own professional development. Subscribe to the Journal of Nursing Management or Nursing Administration. You will learn new language and be equipped to communicate about current issues. 

Take online CE courses on change management, quality improvement, and budgeting. Get a good textbook or borrow one from your mentor on leadership and management.

Keep us posted on your progress, I'm excited for you! 

When it comes time to apply for a position, I strongly encourage you to read my book below. It's important that you ace your interview, compose a compelling cover letter and resume, and I can help you do that. There's also tips for bold moves, such as cold-calling.

Serious best wishes to you. If you are hungry enough, you got this.

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

 

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4 Posts; 76 Profile Views

Hi I am hoping for some career advice. I have been a nurse at a group home for a year now and mostly do case management and administrative duties. However, I was offered an position as a nurse educator/infection control specialist at a nursing home. I am wondering if I should take the new position for a change, would it be considered an advancement in my career? The pay is comparable. Thanks!

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Nurse SMS has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 5,905 Posts; 47,109 Profile Views

24 minutes ago, DreamNptobe said:

Hi I am hoping for some career advice. I have been a nurse at a group home for a year now and mostly do case management and administrative duties. However, I was offered an position as a nurse educator/infection control specialist at a nursing home. I am wondering if I should take the new position for a change, would it be considered an advancement in my career? The pay is comparable. Thanks!

Yes, it would be an advancement in your career. Infection control specialist and educator will open more doors to you in the future. These are leadership roles with increased responsibilities that impact the organization house-wide. 

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11 hours ago, Nurse SMS said:

Yes, it would be an advancement in your career. Infection control specialist and educator will open more doors to you in the future. These are leadership roles with increased responsibilities that impact the organization house-wide. 

Thank you for your advice!

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