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Transitioning to management while maintaining my bedside position

Management   (281 Views | 6 Replies)

quittaRN has 13 years experience and specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER.

3,746 Profile Views; 55 Posts

Hello All,

I have an MSN in leadership and management and I have always known that one day I would like to work in management. I would like to one day become a CNO but  I am in no hurry right now. I have a job that I absolutely love and I work in many different roles such as shift leader (aka charge nurse), transport and ALS(delivery nurse). All of these roles provide me lots of autonomy and leadership as well as allowing me to be a resource to my coworkers ( a huge resource). I also take part in many educational and developmental committees that allow me to assist with change and the advancement of my unit. As you can see I have my hand in many pots and I really really love working at my job. I was offered an Assistant Nurse Manager position at my current job multiple times but I love my job so much that I have to turn it down. I did interview for the position and take in all the information even negotiated my pay and schedule but after monitoring the current ANMs and talking with ANMs whose advice I trust and respect. I feel that I made the right decision to turn down the offers. The unfortunate thing is that I work for a well-respected hospital system that offers tons of room for advancement and many leadership and development classes which I am really very interested in. But to be an ANM for this facility and even other facilities within the system would probably make me hate working in leadership because of the demands of the ANM role and what is required of ANMs at this hospital system. I've learned that middle management sucks but upper management is where it is at. But I know I will need experience before I can transition into an upper management position. 

So sorry for this long explanation but my questions is: Since I still really have a desire to work in management but am scared to fully walk away from my bedside position, is it at all possible to take on a management position at a different hospital system while maintaining my current job (part time)? I would hate to leave a job I love only to return with my tail between my legs when/if it doesn't work out. I also wonder if I could work both jobs for a while until I can fully walk away from the bedside. I know I am not ready to leave the bedside but my other roles give me a lot of time to think about the change that I could make as a manager, I feel like I may need to at least get my feet wet. Please respond someone tell me if this is possible. I just need to know if the demands are too hard to work a second job at the same time. Is there anyone that has experience with this?

Thanks in advance

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

6 Followers; 13,247 Posts; 59,365 Profile Views

I have known a few people to do that for a short time -- but no one who could do it for more than a few months.   Your management job is going to want you to be focused on that job and available 24/7 if needed.   Your availability for your bedside job will be limited, making it difficult for you to do much there but work a standard shift on a per diem basis.   The leadership things you do in that bedside position would be difficult to maintain if you can only work at that job very part time.

As I said, I have known people who have worked 2 part-time jobs at 2 different facilities -- e.g. Supervisor at one job and per diem staff nurse at the other, for example.   But in both settings, their time and commitment is limited because of the demands of their other job: so neither job is as "full" as it could be.

I myself work 2 jobs -- full time at a hospital and part time teaching online classes at a university.   It works for me because the online job has very flexible hours and a minimal time commitment.   I am not a "regular faculty member," don't serve on faculty committees, do student advising, etc.   It works because my commitment to the school is only a few hours per week -- and those hours are flexible.

So you are not yet ready to leave the bedside.   That's OK.   There is no need to rush.   Get leadership experience through committee work, etc.   But as you have realized, if you want to move into upper level management someday ... you will have to get some experience in middle management.   When/if you are ever willing to make that commitment, then you will know that you are ready to move on.   Until then, if you are not willing to make that sacrifice for your long-term goals ... that's OK.   Find other opportunities that make you happy.

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quittaRN has 13 years experience and specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER.

55 Posts; 3,746 Profile Views

Thanks so much for this comment it was very helpful and good advice. I appreciate it.

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JRT1 is a MSN, RN and specializes in Leadership.

12 Posts; 61 Profile Views

It sounds like you are an awesome nurse and employee!  

As far as maintaining 2 jobs I don't think that is really doable if you are in a management role unless the role is very much shift work and non-salaried where you aren't taking phone calls outside of work.

I think you need to consider whether or not you really want to be in management.  Management is very demanding and is often not what people expect it to be.  I'd say at least 50% of my time is spent in meetings.  The other pieces of my time are spent putting out fires on a daily basis and trying to manage the staff.  When it comes to projects and that sort of thing I tend to delegate that to people like you who want projects and are energized by it while I monitor and give direction.  

That said there are a lot of people in management who don't really want to be in management.  They do it because they feel like that is the "next step" in their career when really nursing offers so many opportunities.  If you enjoy projects and patient care maybe look into clinical nurse specialist because based on your description of what you like to do that seems like it would fit pretty well. 

I wouldn't let yourself be discouraged by others who are in management.  However, if you believe you would like to be a CNO someday be prepared for 60+ hour work weeks.  Management is demanding particularly inpatient because your employees and one ups expect responsiveness.  Now there are certainly ways to manage your work life balance and some people are better at it than others.  Ive been a leader for over 10 years now.  I used to work 50-60 hours a week but with time I've learned its ok to protect your time a bit and set expectations for your staff (hopefully supported by leadership).  Hope this helps.

 

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quittaRN has 13 years experience and specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER.

55 Posts; 3,746 Profile Views

Hello JRT1,

Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it. That is what I was thinking that as a manager I wouldn't have the time to work another job because it would be so demanding but  I would just hate to go into management and realize that I am not ready yet. So maintaining the two would allow me to choose without losing. I am also worried that I may never go into management if I don't jump on an opportunity soon. Thanks for both yours and llg responses its given me a lot to think about.  

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

3 Followers; 13,430 Posts; 116,322 Profile Views

It's been my personal experience that one is never "ready" to get into management. So much of it is learning on the fly. 

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SummerGarden has 12 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Acute Care, Front-line Management.

3,032 Posts; 36,856 Profile Views

OP:  Yes, you can be an ANM and still hold down a per diem bedside position if your ANM position is also part-time.   Maybe a 24 hour per week position? 

By the way, ANMs can have an imbalance in work-life because of the demands on them, which effects their personal time.  Therefore, although you can work shifts 24 hours per week, you will be expected to work OT if needed (you cannot just walk off the floor when no one is available to handle an emergency or deal with an employee issue that no one else can take care of), take trainings that are related to changes, and accept committee responsibilities while not necessarily getting paid on your days scheduled off.  However, I know ANMs who manage to do both bedside per diem and meet the obligations and demands of the role as an ANM.  Good luck, I wish you well. 🙂

 

Edited by SummerGarden

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