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Top Tips for New Nurse Managers: Taking the Next Step in Your Career

Top Tips for New Nurse Managers: Taking the Next Step in Your Career

By: American Nurses Association

Congratulations! You are now a nurse manager and taking your career to the next level.
As you begin this new part of your career, you may be wondering:

How do I get started?
What should I be on the lookout for?
How do I handle any problems that may arise?
Am I ready for this?

Taking on a leadership role in your nursing career requires you to understand the nurse manager’s function in health care. Strong nursing leadership is needed to create work environments that are effective, healthy, and safe for nurses and patients.
Here are some practical tips for becoming an effective nurse manager:

  1. Communication is key
    Poor communication has been linked to preventable medical errors, nurse turnover, and low morale. In turn, low morale leads to high levels of stress, low job satisfaction, and reduced quality of life, according to Kathleen Vertino in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.How can you boost communication with your team?

    • Use active listening skills
    • Avoid negative messaging
    • Don’t just give orders and expect positive results
    • Seek to nurture a satisfied workplace
    • Provide feedback
  2. Serve as a mentor and seek a mentor
    Mentors provide important guidance for both new nurses and managers. Serving as a mentor allows nurse managers to impart their personal experiences to new staff nurses. Working with a mentor provides nurse managers with guidance on how to transition from nurse to nurse manager, says Dr. Lisa Aldisert in Becker’s Hospital Review.

    Having a mentor gives you a sounding board when questions or issues arise.
  3. Set the tone
    In 2017, research from the independent patient satisfaction firm Press Ganey found nurse leaders influence work environments, safety, quality, and patient outcomes. In its nursing special report, the company found that effective leadership helps organizations make improvements in all areas.Effective nurse leaders provide transformational leadership, which encourages greater nurse autonomy and professional development opportunities. When nurse leaders use appropriate staffing and teamwork, patient outcomes are positively affected.
  4. Learn time management
    The nurse manager’s position includes added responsibilities and demands. Time management is essential to getting the job done. Think about handling budgets, time cards, questions, feedback, etc.
  5. Recognize potential problems
    Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but so is resolution. Determine the causes of conflict and address them quickly.
  6. Take ownership of mistakes
    Every new leader makes mistakes, but blaming others and denying wrongdoing only makes the problem worse.
  7. Learn from mistakes
    Advancing to a leadership position means you have the skills to succeed. Ask the right questions and seek answers. Keep moving forward.

Get a complete guide on everything you need to know as a New Nurse Manager and learn how to implement essential nursing leadership skills at our latest workshop, The New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success. Click this link for more information!


“Effective Interpersonal Communication: A Practical Guide to Improve Your Life”: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

“Coaching and Communication with a Diverse Workforce”: American Association for Long Term Care Nursing

“3 Ways to help nurse managers transition into leadership”: Becker’s Hospital Review

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Categories: Career Advice, Leadership / Management

Tags: Career Advice, Leadership / Management

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