Being a nurse manager involves more than clinical knowledge, critical thinking, and effective communication. Management, budgeting, quality enhancement, staff relations, etc., are all new responsibilities for nurses moving into management roles.
DNP-prepared nurses must direct staff performance to match an organization’s objectives and goals. Nurse managers who’ve been rethinking their responsibilities in healthcare and even with their colleagues may find the job tough. Registered nurses (RNs) contemplating higher education should be aware of the nurse manager’s function in the healthcare system before making the decision.
According to nursing and management experts, there are several practical techniques for being an efficient nurse manager. These include:
- Open and honest communication
Medical mistakes, nurse turnovers, and low morale have all been linked to poor communication. Low morale, in turn, leads to increased stress, poor job satisfaction, and a lower quality of life. New managers should learn what is important to the employees and provide feedback. Managers should seek advice from superiors and staff nurses to understand organizational needs. The following are important aspects of communication:
- Active listening techniques
- Positivity through body language
- Remarks rephrased for clarity
- Negative messages are avoided
- Get the right education
This is needless to say, but nurses seeking to switch up to managerial roles to lead teams must ensure they possess the necessary qualifications to do so. Courses in nursing management are ideal choices. Aspiring nurse leaders can also enroll in MSN to DNP online courses to fast-track the upskilling process. Terminal degrees are ideal for professionals seeking leadership roles.
- Critical thinking
Critical thinking skills such as analysis, appraisal, reasoning, etc., are vital in making judgments and addressing problems. Nurses do use critical thinking in their daily work. According to one study, excellent critical thinking skills can impact an entire unit. Nurse managers with strong critical thinking abilities foster pleasant work cultures. As a result, the nursing team provides better care to patients.
- Be visionary
In a Nursing Management article, Janet Henriksen advised, “Don’t be scared to take calculated risks.” Nurse managers must be able to articulate their vision for change and lay out a strategy for implementing it. Being a successful visionary requires self-awareness, or the ability to recognize one’s strengths and flaws, as well as emotional intelligence, or the ability to read and comprehend others’ emotions. Henriksen also claimed that nurses with both talents are dedicated to an overall vision instead of self-interest.
- Be a mentor and seek a mentor
Mentors are valuable resources for both newly qualified nurses and managers. Nurse managers can share their experiences with incoming staff nurses by serving as mentors. According to Dr. Lisa M. Aldisert in Becker’s Hospital Review, cooperating with a mentor helps nurse managers shift from nurses to nurse managers.
- Set a positive tone
According to a 2017 study by the independent patient satisfaction firm Press Ganey, nurse managers impact the work environment, safety, quality, and patient outcomes. According to the company’s nursing special report, Effective leadership helps firms succeed in all areas. According to the researchers, nurse managers offer transformational leadership, which promotes nurse autonomy & professional development opportunities. Patient outcomes are improved when nurse managers use proper staffing and teamwork.
- Know yourself
Nurse managers should think of their style of leadership. To begin, focus on your strengths and the distinctive attributes you bring to the table as a leader. The fascinating thing about healthcare leadership is how it differs from to the next. You offer a unique and personal set of leadership abilities to the table. That is something to appreciate. Every nursing manager must reflect and ask themselves, “Who am I as a manager?” Instead of attempting to change who or what you are, focus and build on qualities that motivate your team to succeed.
- Show positivity
Every nurse who has worked under a leader who is unsupportive and uncaring will understand this. Be positive. It’s as simple as that. Don’t be the nurse who is grouchy, furious, and intolerant. It may seem obvious, but will you rather have a manager who criticizes or gets in and says, “Let’s tackle this together?” Yes, health care is difficult. They handle a lot of life-or-death situations, so the stakes are high. But it’s critical to stay positive and enthusiastic about your work. It doesn’t imply you ignore problems or prevent conflict, but how you lead through difficult times has a significant impact.
Additional tips for being a successful nurse manager
Some of the best pieces of advice are by far the most practical:
- Time management: The role of nurse manager comes with additional obligations and demands. Time management is critical to completing the task.
- Recognize the issues: Conflict, like resolution, is an unavoidable part of life. Determine the source of the conflict and address it as soon as possible.
- Take ownership of mistakes: Every new leader makes errors, but blaming others and denying guilt only serves to further alienate the public.
- Learn from the mistakes: You can succeed if you advance to a leadership role. Ask good questions and look for answers.
Nursing has changed rapidly in recent years, particularly in terms of how nurses manage their teams. Nurse leaders now rely on their workforce and team to develop innovative ideas, solve challenges, and bring evidence-based practice. Nurse leaders who truly interact with their team members to solicit their opinions can better serve their patients and provide higher-quality care. The above tips will help nursing managers manage a high-performing team.