I am a new RN, BSN and I have several career paths in mind for my nursing future. I followed an ICU Manager and a med/surg Director at a very large hospital during my management rotation and I found myself more interested in management than I thought I would be. I also had a RN tell me during one of my clinical rotations that she could see me more as a manager than a bedside nurse, lol. It is funny what other people see in us that we don't see in ourselves.... The one thing I did not like about the Manager and Director role is that they work SO MUCH. The Director I followed told me that every year she gives away her vacation days to other employees. She also said that in the rare instance that she does take vacation days, she is still working. Does that sound about right?? When I express my interest in management to my nurse colleagues, they all get a bitter look on their face and make comments like "Ugh!" or "You're crazy!". I would like to hear from Managers and Directors out there on why this reaction is so common. Thanks in advance for your advice!
Mar 2, '13
I think it's because we DO work a lot, and because so many managers/directors are clueless nerds who've forgotten everything they ever knew about bedside nursing.
Somehow, I don't think very many nurses start out in the profession wanting to push papers around a desk, make up and then re-do staff schedules at every turn, and take crap from corporate pooh-bahs who haven't an idea about what you actually do all day. It's a lot tougher than it looks to the floor nurses and aides who believe we do nothing but sit in front of a computer playing Words with Friends. Nobody knows about the work we take home with us, the middle-of-the-night panic calls, the hours we literally work for free because we're salaried, the 24/7/365 responsibility for our unit or our facility that doesn't stop when we go on vacation or sit down to Christmas dinner with the family.
I'm not complaining---I love my life as a nurse-director, and I worked hard to get here. But there are definitely some distinct disadvantages, and most of us on the administrative end of nursing know them all too well.
Mar 2, '13
Going into management isn't typically in the minds of new nurses, so maybe that's some of the "why do people look at me like I'm crazy?" you refer to in the title of this thread. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, it is just an observation.
For me the good parts of management are: feeling like I can help others grow in their careers, helping the unit improve in quality and size, and feeling like I can be an advocate for the staff.
The bad parts? Sometimes I cannot help others, or they don't WANT the help, sometimes I cannot get what the staff wants and they see that as a lack of advocacy, and sometimes there are hospital wide things I don't necessarily agree with but I have to support as a manager. In addition, see the post above.
It is definately a mixed bag, and it is a job that never really shuts off. Thick skin is required.
Mar 5, '13
"Sometimes I cannot help ......., or they don't WANT the help, sometimes I cannot get what the (patient) wants and they see that as a lack of advocacy, and sometimes there are hospital wide things I don't necessarily agree with but I have to support as a (nurse)."
Wow. Must be a nursey human interaction thing. I so see myself in your shoes......and you in mine!
I'm peeking around looking for a direction for my next step. Maybe I'm better prepared for this than I thought!
Mar 5, '13
There's nothing wrong with going into management. I was a clinical nurse manager at one point. It is true that you will have no life. I left because I didn't like the company I worked for.
My advice to you is to get experience on the floor first. And while you are getting that experience, go back to school for your MSN in leadership or management. This will help you a great deal. But I do not recommend going into management without working on the floor first.
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May 22, '13
I have worked in LTC/ Rehab facilities and have found the real doers and the real do nothings when it comes to Nurse managers and DONS......some painted their nails all day..(how they did this I dont know) but all they did was walk around and LOOK GOOD in that white jacket.......Other DONS/Managers were real workers....they wouldnt be afraid to get their hands dirty. Its a crapshoot......the whole machine has to work synergistically and if one part is malfunctioning, sooner or later the rest of the machine will suffer and break down.