Nurses can easily move onto administrative roles in the hospital if they have the right skills and indicate interest in assuming a leadership position. Nurses often come to occupy the management roles in hospitals that same way. Although they can still be regarded as nurses, they get to use their extensive interdepartmental and clinical experience to their favor in the newly-assumed leadership position.
Nurses are crucial to the healthcare system, but the role nurse managers play is a lot more significant when it comes to the smooth operations of a healthcare facility.
Roles and responsibilities of nurse administrators
Nurse administrators, or nurse managers, transition from bedside care to handling daily operations and management functions, including the hiring and firing of staff, development of management processes, training and mentoring new staff. Some of the best nurse managers are adept at the professional development of their team, helping to identify what is mentoring and how it can benefit the staff members, alongside what is coaching, and when the team needs someone to lean in and help develop them.
Additionally, their roles also encompass the finances and budgeting requirements of a facility, patient safety concerns, and meeting of the organizational KPIs.
They often collaborate with doctors or with patients’ families in developing patient-care plans and assist in their smooth execution. As they are representing nurses, they have to voice their concerns to the higher management, so that legitimate concerns of each individual nurse can be tended to.
As mentioned earlier, it is a lot more common to see nurses rising up to assume the role of a nurse manager, but that’s not always the case. In fact, you can become a nurse manager even without prior clinical knowledge.
Their job is so vital to the smooth working of a care facility that to Become a Nurse Administrator, it is imperative that you master a set of skills. A combination of essential administrative skills and clinical knowledge makes for prerequisites of becoming a nurse manager.
Excelling in effective communication
A nurse manager is supposed to work with teams of medical professionals, so having the ability to communicate effectively is absolutely vital to performing the job. Poor communication skills can lead you to run into avoidable mistakes and bureaucratic entanglements with managers from other departments.
Among the scores of responsibilities that nurse managers have to assume are maintaining effective communication with their teams about work schedules, taking them on board about finance and budgeting developments, and discussing their goals and KPIs and performance in a candid manner. Ineffective communication by leaders can create role confusion, low morale, low job satisfaction, leading to a higher attrition rate.
When people are not sure about what is expected of them, they tend to make more errors, which impacts their performance. Apart from being clear about the rules and targets, the nurse managers must also provide timely and constructive feedback.
This feedback should incorporate elements of appreciation and constructive criticism designed to encourage improvement. Today, managers are supposed to have a collaborative give-and-take relation with their employees, whereas, in the past, the employees were supposed to work non-stop for the employers without being able to make them listen to their needs or preferences.
Have a vision
Nurse Managers who have a vision for their department have a better chance of attaining their goal. A strong and a clear vision can attract and retain followers. The leadership should be clear on the vision and on how to bring about guided change accompanied by a proper plan and an execution strategy.
Additionally, it is equally important that all staff members know about the vision and commit to supporting its fulfillment. Once you have people who support your definition and picture of the future, more people will come lending their support.
For developing a true vision, you’ll need to be a visionary of sorts. Qualities of far sightedness, prudence, intelligence, and creativity are what make people visionary. Being visionary is about help other people realize a better future. Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the problems your staff or hospital face. And, instead of accruing more followers, visionary leaders tend to nurture leaders, motivate others to excel, and engage people in the fulfilment of a shared vision.
Be a mentor
Mentoring is an essential skill to master for a nurse manager. Mentors help those working with them find a direction, assign them goals, keep them motivated to achieve those goals, and constantly improve their work.
By being a mentor to other nurses, you will develop a sense of leading-from-the-front in guiding team members. Instead of acting as an overbearing senior, mentoring helps nurse managers to become effective and thoughtful leaders in teaching from experience, encouraging team to stay positive, and in giving effective, balanced, and timely feedback.
Nurse mentors also help new nurses settle into their new work environment, avoid costly mistakes, and inspire them to work independently. When staff nurses have a manager’s support, they feel more confident in carrying out their duties at work, show an eagerness to improve, and feel free to provide innovative solutions in improving patient-care services.
No one likes a micro manager. If you are a nurse manager, let the nurses assume their independence in making decisions from time to time. Provide them with the proper guidance, support, and words of encouragement.
Invest in higher education
What better way to excel in your career than having a desire to learn more about your own field? Going back to school and getting an additional administrative or management degree in healthcare or nursing can be an excellent way to upskill yourself as a nurse manager.
In schools, nurses learn about state-of-the-art healthcare systems, which are geared toward improving efficiency. The leading management programs prepare nurses to deal with the challenges head-on and that also impart them with the necessary skills, such as leadership, mentoring, problem-solving, effective communication, critical analysis and thinking, team building, management, and teamwork.
You also get to learn about the business side of the healthcare system. Apart from that, being a nurse manager will also you put you in a position to make decisions relating to finance and the creation of better healthcare policies.
Advanced degree courses in nursing and health care consider leadership development as their paramount goal, which means the higher your degree, the better leadership skills you can learn during your study years.
Nurse managers are absolutely essential for ensuring smooth administrative operations in all healthcare settings. Their ability to lead, keeps them focused on the goals of increasing staff morale and keeping them motivated enough to ensure that the organizational and departmental goals are achieved.