How do I become a Nurse Manager?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    Nursing is a second career for me and I have an MA & BS from previous education. However, to remain competitive in the nursing field, I completed my BSN (I only needed 9 classes) and will be finished in MAY 2018.

    My strengths lie in the leadership/managerial area and I have been a manager in my previous career (up to 20 employees), and since I've been a nurse, I have been Charge RN during my shifts (currently, as well).

    I am thinking about what I want to do and I am leaning strongly towards nurse manager and/or hospital administration/leadership/upper management, but, I'm not sure how to get there.

    My current school once had a leadership/managerial certificate program for those with Master's and/or RNs; and I've been googling some hospital administration programs, as well.

    I don't know if I want/need another Master's and I really don't want to do a Ph.D/DNP program. A certification program seems feasible, practical, and economical, with a good prospect of return on investment.

    Also, I would like to start/get opportunities to work in the ADN office/position or other management positions. How do I approach this next step of on-the-job-training?

    Do you have any suggestions that I should consider?

    Dear Wants Management Positions,

    To advance into leadership roles, be an outstanding Charge Nurse. Get involved in a committee or two at work.
    Let others know you are interested in management. In other words, become high profile so you will be seen as a
    potential candidate when opportunities arise.

    Have you applied for any management positions? Interviewing alone is good experience as you'll learn what the expectations are.

    I'm not sure how much weight a certificate would carry towards landing a management position. That would depend on the view of the individual hiring manager.
    Certifications without experience are generally seen as just that, although it does show initiative. Your previous non-nursing management experience should be highlighted on your resume.

    I do not know what an ADN office/position is, but if there is such an open position in your organization, apply for it. On the job training starts when you land the job.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,119