A Career in Nursing Management

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Successful managers are not born. They develop management skills through formal training and years of work experience. To develop successful management skills, you must be dedicated, willing to learn, and obtain work experience. Every manager was in your shoes at one time. Before beginning the process to develop management skills, consider the following:

1. Consider educational requirements. Do you meet the organization’s qualifications you’re considering? Many organizations now only hire managers with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. If you must acquire additional education to achieve your career goals, obtain it now.

2. Assess your business know-how. List your skills and the ones you need to develop. To learn new skills and knowledge, request a book list from a manager. Additionally, take some time to list the qualities separating leaders from managers. For example, managers typically emphasize results and smooth business operations, while leaders work closely with people to improve performance. Become skilled and knowledgeable in both roles and eventually you will have excellent management skills.

3. Improve your communication skills. Good managers have the ability to communicate effectively. Are you a good listener and do you command the attention of others when speaking to them? Do you ramble or are you forward and direct? Do you speak your mind or remain passive? Enhancing communication skills shows a commitment to developing leadership skills, leads to individual growth, and demonstrates respect to superiors and subordinates. After becoming a manager, you must express your opinions to superiors clearly and adequately instruct and direct staff nurses. As you develop leadership skills, you will become a more effective communicator.

4. Develop management qualities. Managing is very difficult, but those who effectively manage others seem to do it with ease. Brainstorm and list essential management qualities, which include honesty, understanding, and directness. If you lack these qualities, begin the process of developing them. For example, if you lack listening skills, begin listening closer to friends and colleagues during conversations and ask a lot of good questions. After some time, you will have more effective listening skills. Once this is done, begin envisioning yourself in management situations. How will you act in these situations? What skills need developed before you can effectively lead others?

5. Display leadership skills. You shouldn’t be concerned about befriending your colleagues. In many cases, developing friendships can make it more difficult to manage others. Those you supervise must respect you to have confidence in your decisions. Although befriending subordinates is discouraged, it’s not license to be rude, disrespectful, or abusive. In order to demand respect, you must exude confidence in your decision-making and leadership abilities. For example, managers willing to grant any request often struggle in leadership roles and overload themselves with extra work. Likewise, leaders must know their limitations. Those unwilling to delegate responsibilities often slow down business operations.

6. Model professional values. Managers must be willing to accept public scrutiny. Managers represent their organizations, so their personal conduct should reflect their organization’s values and rules of conduct. Employees are often eager to closely observe supervisors for personal flaws. As a result, you must be aware of your behavior, avoid making inappropriate comments, and be respectful towards others.

7. Share your goals with your manager. Discuss career goals with current managers. The following are good questions to ask them: What challenges must managers handle? What difficulties did they overcome to be effective leaders? What types of training, books, or other actions will prepare you for a career in management? What other ways can you develop professionally? If your manager is satisfied with your abilities, you may consider inquiring about potential opportunities within your current organization. If you’ve been previously disciplined for misconduct or your manager questions your potential, you might consider looking for management opportunities with a different organization.

8. Seek support. You should seek support during the initial phases of your management career. Many organizations provide mentors while you undergo training. In fact, some organizations hire professional coaches to mentor new managers. Take advantage of organizational resources and tuition assistance set aside for new managers seeking to obtain additional training. Many new managers take healthcare systems, leadership, business management, and finance courses. Leaders are needed throughout the healthcare industry to improve working conditions for nurses and contribute to efforts designed to enhance patient care.

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