difficulty getting into leadership; need input

  1. so much good advice here, so I have a question.

    I have been a nurse for 18years and i have thoroughly enjoyed different kinds of positions...ICU, marketing liason, parish nursing, precerting for insurance companies and being a nurse coordinator for a not for profit. Just 6 months ago I got a MHA/education degree. while I was doing that i worked as a staff nurse in a hospital.

    i got this type of degree so that if i didnt agree wirh corporate america regarding how patients were treated i could go into education.

    I did not realize how hard it would be getting back into a leadership position. there are no leadership jobs available in the current hospital where I work and since the pay was modest I have turned to travel nursing and am curren tly on assignment. so im having to look outside my company and the process is grueling.

    this is the deal: I love patient care and have always focused on meeting my patients needs directly or indirectly. I want to help organizations fulfill their mission by meeting these needs and I want to bring to bear all of my talents and education to make this happen. I cant seem to get 5 blocks into getting into a professional job and so i'm feeling stuck at the bedside. any advice? besides apply, apply, apply.
  2. Visit roberta48 profile page

    About roberta48

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 7; Likes: 1


  3. by   HouTx
    You're probably not going to be very happy with my observation. . . if you are serious about becoming a nursing leader these days, you need an MSN rather than a grad degree in another profession. This is in line with JC and Magnet stipulations. Service-based Nurse Educators may be OK with M.Ed. degrees, but even for them, MSN is still preferred & required for academic teaching positions.

    The 'road' to leadership usually involves a gradual process of taking on additional responsibilities whenever the opportunities arise. This means volunteering for additional responsibilities in the work environment - projects, committee work, task forces, anything that will put you into a position of leading a group of people. This will not only ensure that they higher-ups are aware of your capabilities and positive attitude, but also builds essential leadership skills. Career advancement can be difficult unless you remain with an employer because each time you change, you would have to begin all over again unless you already have enough experience to be hired into a leadership position at the new job.

    I don't see how travel nursing jobs would add any value to building your leadership portfolio since they are staff nurse positions. There are 'travel' jobs (locums) for nurse leaders but those are highly specialized and limited to people with lots of experience.

    In the meantime, I would advise you to increase your own knowledge level in leadership issues such as health care reimbursement, Informatics, Risk Management, Budgeting, Staffing, Scheduling, Human Resource law/issues. There are a lot of self-study programs out there.

    Best of Luck to you, I hope you get the break you are seeking.
  4. by   roberta48
    thank you!!!:spin::spin::spin:
  5. by   roberta48
    hit the enter tab tooo early!
    again thank you. Currently I have 5 classes away from an MSN. it also appears that i am going to really have to start from the bottom up. The travel nurse thing is a higher paying job than my stay at home not go any where gig.

    are there any other comments out there??????
  6. by   elkpark
    I agree with Hou -- every nurse manager or administrator I have known over the years has started out by working her/his way up "through the ranks" of a particular organization over time (then, once you have an established track record in management/administration, you can move around among organizations). Also, advanced degrees in other fields (like an MHA) are never as helpful in nursing as advanced degrees in nursing.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  7. by   MrChicagoRN
    I'm seeing more and more leadership with MBA instead of, or in addition to, MSN

    The degree you have is fine, especially if you have a BSN. My masters is in business management, and I got that to provide additional professional breadth.

    What I see is you listing 5 career areas in 18 years. That averages out to 3.6 years in each areas which may indicate a lack of focus to the prospective employer.

    Join Linkedin, monster, maybe some professional organizations, and start networking. That may get you the attention from some headhunters.

    You may need to change facilities, or even relocate to find what you are looking for.