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New Nurse Manager

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donsterRN has 10 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in Cardiac Care.

31,504 Profile Views; 2,558 Posts

Hi everyone. I have just accepted a job as a nurse manager on the short-term rehab floor at an assisted living facility. I am very excited, more than just a little flattered, and completely doubting my abilities and knowledge set!

To you, what makes a good nursing manager? I will report directly to the House Supervisor, who in turn reports to the Director of Nurses. I have never been one to micro-manage people, and I'd like to think that I am approachable, teachable and fair.

So, what would you all expect from your new nurse manager?

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firstinfamily has 33 years experience as a RN.

790 Posts; 5,733 Profile Views

Hey Donster, I had a position similiar to yours for the last year, until upper management decided to do away with unit managers!!! I think middle management is one of the hardest positions, it depends on how much support you have from upper management. My staff really did well under my guidance, I did have to council several staff members over setting priorities, abusing sick time, etc. Always give them your rationale for doing things as I found they respected me more if I could explain to them the whys instead of just asking them to do something. We had frequent staff meetings and I still felt there was a communication gap, so I started a communication notebook on the unit, that way the off tour shifts could see if some matter came up or I needed to inform them about a new policy etc. I did kind of miss patient care, but I was more involved with case management and attended meetings with the social worker, patient and family members, it was a good experience to participate in this type of setting. Try to not take things personal as it will drive you crazy, leave work at work. Make sure everyone understands their job and if possible give them a copy of their job description to clarify any confusion. Keep staff informed, be fair, let everyone know how important they are to the functioning of the unit. There are different Leadership styles, check out some info on them and use this as a guide. Good Luck and congrats on your new position!!!

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tarotale has 1 years experience.

453 Posts; 11,233 Profile Views

manage as if you are one of the staff. i had one manager whom i dearly love, will work under her if she sets her own business without hesitation. she managed like she was one of us. that's the way. good luck!

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SubSippi has 2 years experience.

907 Posts; 12,844 Profile Views

My managers that I loved have the following things in common:

I have seen them in scrubs, more than once, helping out when we are swamped.

When discussing our short comings as a unit, we don't just hear, "You need to do better." Complaints are followed by advice, and a plan. They will often acknowledge that any issues are more than likely caused by a heavy workload, and not the nurses just being lazy.

They thank us for working hard. I've had one who, when a staff member went out of their way to fix a big problem, would write a thank you email and carbon copy the director, and anyone else involved so we would get the credit from higer ups.

They will stick up for the staff when necessary, to both administrators, and patients/family.

If someone is slacking, they don't ignore it.

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donsterRN has 10 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in Cardiac Care.

2,558 Posts; 31,504 Profile Views

This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thank you to each of you for taking the time to share your experiences and to offer your wise words. I'm very grateful!

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 4,800 Posts; 93,971 Profile Views

My managers that I loved have the following things in common:

I have seen them in scrubs, more than once, helping out when we are swamped.

When discussing our short comings as a unit, we don't just hear, "You need to do better." Complaints are followed by advice, and a plan. They will often acknowledge that any issues are more than likely caused by a heavy workload, and not the nurses just being lazy.

They thank us for working hard. I've had one who, when a staff member went out of their way to fix a big problem, would write a thank you email and carbon copy the director, and anyone else involved so we would get the credit from higer ups.

They will stick up for the staff when necessary, to both administrators, and patients/family.

If someone is slacking, they don't ignore it.

THIS. I could not like this more. Don't ever be in a position where you will leave your staff hanging out to dry, and if you are involved directly in the unit, you will see first hand how it runs. You will see if nurses are becoming behavior issues. That undermines the positive culture. So do something about it when you see it, if a nurse comes to you with it--and be direct, to the point, and a plan to change it. The clearer you are, the better it is--and the goal is that the unit succeed as a team (that you are a part of and invested in) to the patient's benefit.

Best wishes in your new endevour!!

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