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Lower Tier Management Jobs

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Bullshit Jobs | Hidden Brain : NPR

I listened to this podcast and it changed my outlook for my nursing career. Apparently, I'm in the sweet spot of lower management that's not accountable to anyone and makes more money than their superiors.

I actually stopped halfway in my MSN in Leadership/Administration program after listening to this. Currently, I'm the overnight house supervisor at 130 bed hospital. Basically, I keep the place from burning down overnight, do a lot of staffing, and collect a ton of paperwork/checklist that will never be reviewed. No meetings, policy reviews, TJC inspections, reports, evaluating staff, hiring/firing staff, etc. I'm very autonomous and quickly learned my most important job is to avoid calling the DON/CEO during my shift.

I'll hit $110,000 this year averaging 45hrs/week. Manager salary is $74,000 and my DON makes $95,000.

I started my MSN program because moving up to DON felt like something I was supposed to do to advance in my career. Now I realize it's a ton of responsibility for less pay. I highly recommend listening to this podcast. It's a funny, but serious look at the managerial waste produced in our bureaucratic organization.

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You make a lot of good points about your salary vs. the amount of unpaid time managers put in to perform duties and responsibilities. And although house supervisors are important and independently functioning nurse leaders for hospital operations especially at night (I did that job too), I hate to break this to you... You are not a nurse manager. Nurse managers, like me, have direct reports. :)

As for salaries, I know of Staff RNs who make the same argument against moving into nursing leadership away from bedside. However, I am a manager because I love nursing and I love being a nurse manager of nurses. :) If I did anything else (and I have), I would not get up to go to work early every single shift. Plus, I would not spend off hours trying to improve my workplace or my leadership skills to perform a better job. Rather, I begrudgingly clocked-in and I was excited to be clocking-out! In between that, I would wish I had a different job and actively looked for something else to do.

By the way, nurse execs in many companies around the country make way more than you make and get bonuses and other benefits and perks to boot!.... But again that is not what is important... It is good for you to do what makes you happy, is a good fit for your life and your personality, and that you are getting paid as well as you think you deserve! Management is not for everybody and not everybody should become a manager. Good luck! :)

Edited by SummerGarden

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We're in agreement on me not being a manager. That was a benefit and the entire point of the Podcast. Supervisor positions like mine DON'T have direct reports. Being hourly, not salary, was another benefit of the supervisor position.

There's also the downside potential of all the work salaried managers should do off the clock.... they simply don't do it. They refuse to work for free and justify it as "knowing their value".

I could make more money in upper management, but when would I get there? I'd have to take a $40,000 pay cut to be a manager. Stay there for 5-7 years for experience before making a move upward for incremental raises. Not to mention wearing a suit to work everyday.

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They refuse to work for free and justify it as "knowing their value"
I was not talking about working for free. Preparing and growing yourself on your own time is doing the necessary homework to better prepare you to do more on the job. It is like doing your homework as a bedside nurse so you are a better bedside nurse.

I could make more money in upper management, but when would I get there? I'd have to take a $40,000 pay cut to be a manager. Stay there for 5-7 years for experience before making a move upward for incremental raises. Not to mention wearing a suit to work everyday.

No, my point is that management is not for everyone and you made it CLEAR it is not for you. Having a title (getting a job of a manger) does not mean you will be a good fit in any way shape or form and that is OK. It is OK to stick to what is good for you and aligns with your attitude and core values. Whereas it is good for the rest of us, who are actually high performers at being managers to continue to do what we do or accept a promotion. :) GL!

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I love NPR and I will check out that podcast, thank you!

Yes, definitely a leadership position that's hourly vs. salaried is a sweet deal. When I left my last position, they put one of the unit's charge nurses into the position as interim manager until they could find my replacement. Knowing how many hours I actually worked, she negotiated to continue being paid HOURLY in her interim manager role (but at the higher manager rate) PLUS OT for anything over 40 hours. She's making bank right now.

In my last position, I regularly worked 50-60 hours/week, plus took home work on weekends (such as the time I spent about 12 hours unpaid over a weekend getting people's annual evaluations completed). In my current position I'm trying really hard to strike more of a work-life balance, so I'm ONLY working 48-50 hours/week.

I'm not complaining - it's what I chose for myself.

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No, my point is that management is not for everyone and you made it CLEAR it is not for you. Having a title (getting a job of a manger) does not mean you will be a good fit in any way shape or form and that is OK. It is OK to stick to what is good for you and aligns with your attitude and core values. Whereas it is good for the rest of us, who are actually high performers at being managers to continue to do what we do or accept a promotion. :) GL!

I don't know if you meant it that way, but your post kind of came off as kind of self-righteous and condescending. I just wanted to point that out in case you were not aware of how your words might be perceived by others.

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I don't know if you meant it that way, but your post kind of came off as kind of self-righteous and condescending. I just wanted to point that out in case you were not aware of how your words might be perceived by others.

Thank you, Klone for thefeedback. In my posts I was trying to be nice and respectful in agreeing withthe OP's choices while discussing my own. In no way was I trying to be condescendingso I will re-read my posts to see how I could have better worded what I wrote.I was trying to say that there is no job or career choice that is a good fitfor everyone and I truly believe that there is nothing wrong with that. The OPis happy with his/her career choices and I am happy with mine.

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I think mid level management is the worst job to have in todays environment and here is why

I was an Executive Director (Nursing Home Administrator) the average salary is about 150,000 annually I worked my tail off and there was one time I calculated I made 39 dollars an hour over a 12 week time period because I was always in the facility cleaning up things that needed to be done. This was my job and this was when I went to troubled facilities to help our organization. I did this continually for about 5 years until I realized I was not making that much, that with all the time spent I was making about half that. Although it did teach me to be a great administrator it also taught me not to be "married" to my job and the time spent in it. I started to delegated all the things I learned over the years to mid level management and continue to do this with my co-workers.

In the military they have 3 kinds of workers/designations

1. Officers who are like the executive director responsible for everything, focus is on the paper trails/audits/reports, policies, procedures, daily operations it is your name on the line so of course you want to look good and you expect good performance out of all those you are responsible for. I get the credit if we are good and the bonus or I get the wrath of corporate if we fail.

2. Enlisted- these are the ones who really do all the hard work, get in the trenches, direct care much like a floor nurse. With enlisted experience you get promoted to supervisor and maybe mid level management where it is expected that you get those reports, scheduling, annual review ready for my review at an executive level. You get heck from the top and from the bottom, and not much pay. If the executive fails you get a new executive, if the executive succeeds then you get a pizza party.

3. Warrant Officers- These people are a special designation. They have the subject matter expertise, are not responsible for really anyone person, the go to person for any issues/fires where they tell you what you can and cannot do and the Officer/enlisted can run with it or not...this position is much like a House Nursing Supervisor and this position is great to be in as long as you are an expert at what you do. You will find this person on some sort of QA board again with no "hands on" feed back/report responsibility/any tasking, they are there for their input.

Being a house supervisor would to me be the perfect position if I am subject matter expert, if I had common sense and good at what I do. My spouse who is CIO of a small computer firm will not manage anyone at any time, he acts like the Warrant Officer at all times. He has a manager who does all the "managerial work" for him and only signs off on annual eval and big picture documentation that have been developed by his guidance (he just checks in once in a while to see the development/project/improvement is going good). Staff go to him for specific question the supervisor cannot answer, management goess to him for his expertise when it comes to decision making. House supervisors to me are like managers, they have the expertise and the "influence" move the company in the direction it needs to go...this is what leadership is about.

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Awesome post! We just had a pizza party last weekend, lol. I haven't heard the phrase "subject-matter expert" since I was in the Navy.

I'm considered the expert as an overnight supervisor, but I don't have that much experience. In my environment, it's a mixture of personality, leadership, critical-thinking skills, and delegation. Anxiety and micromanaging is the downfall of our supervisors and makes it a high turnover position. Here's a common scenario that supervisors quickly get tired of handling:

Me: "Tina, I need to mandate you for 8hrs on 5 South."

Tina: (complains for 5min about our staffing shortages, questions if it's her turn to be mandated)"Why 5 South? I'm on 2 North, can I just stay here?"

Me: "Fine, you're mandated so you get preference. I'll put you on 2 North."

Tina: "Thanks. Sorry for venting. I know it's not your fault. I don't know how much more of this I can take." (she's been saying this for 12 years)

10min before shift change I get a phone call:

Amber: "It's Amber. WHY WAS I MOVED OFF MY UNIT!"

Me: "Tina was mandated so she decided to stay on 2 North."

Amber: (crying)"This isn't fair. I always get moved. I'll just go home if I can't be on 2 North."

Me: "You're scheduled to work. I expect you to be on 5 South at 0700."

Amber: "I'm going to call my manager. This is bullsh*t."

Me: "See you at 0700."

The other issue is dealing with angry psych patients. Restraining a patient and calling the doctor for a sedative injection, and telling a patient they're on a 3 day mental health hold are daily occurrences. A lot of nurses can't handle those tasks so they call me to do it.

You're right about the pay. A significant portion of my pay comes from night/weekend differentials and overtime. I work 80/hr in 2 weeks, but I split it up as 48 & 32. That way I get 8hr overtime while averaging 40hr/week.

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I'm curious. Did anybody listen to the podcast, lol? Hearing your opinions was really the point of the thread.

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Not yet - is it about the book by the same title? I picked that up a couple months ago but haven't read it yet.

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I have a friend (former subordinate, my first level nursing supervisor) who just landed a major management job at a hospital in northern California that pays him over $250K per year plus benefits and perks. I'm sure that my glowing recommendation of him was the deciding factor.

That reminds, me, I still haven't gotten my cut. :)

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