How to land a nurse manager position


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I finished my MSN in Nursing Administration. I am currently a supervisor in an ICU with 39 direct reports. I have been doing this for the past year or so. I currently have my Adult-CCRN and working towards my NE-BC. When do you know you are ready for the next step? I have just applied to a few manager jobs thinking I am ready and only get as far as the nursing recruiter. Not sure what else to do other than to keep doing what I am doing and just wait for an opportunity.

Dear Waiting,

What to do- you keep actively waiting for the right opportunity ?

CONGRATS on getting your MSN in Nursing administration and preparing for your Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC).

You are doing everything right, and advancement comes when opportunity meets readiness. It will come. Knowing you are ready for the next step can come before an opportunity presents, but be patient.

It could be that the employers/jobs you have applied to are looking for a manager with managerial experience. The first job as a manager is the hardest to land, because of the experience factor.

Consider asking a nursing leader to mentor you. This serves a dual purpose of networking, and letting others know you are interested in advancement.

If you persevere, network, and apply, it will happen.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Specializes in ICU, IR, PACU, CCRN, NE-BC. Has 12 years experience.

Nurse Beth,

I wanted to let you know, you were right. I did go on and get my NE-BC and just as soon as I did received a job offer for an ICU Nurse Manager position. I know the road won't be easy, but life is a journey and I am excited about where it is going.