A nurse manager plays a critical role in a medical facility. He supervises, directs and leads the nursing staff to ensure the facility offers quality and affordable services. The job is multi-dimensional, fast-paced and has a huge earning potential. This post will give you a list of the steps you need to take to become a nursing manager.
Know Your Roles
You need to know the specific roles you will play once you begin working as a nursing manager. Common duties will include:
• Conduct recruitment and evaluation programs for new staff.
• Provide training to the nursing staff.
• Participate in interdisciplinary actions against those who violate the nursing rules.
• Develop budgets and manage the facility’s finances.
• Oversee the daily operations of the facility.
• Manage paperwork such as health insurance remittances and medical records.
Earn Your Undergraduate Degree
Once you have understood what is expected of you, you will have to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree. While there are many paths you can take to become a nurse, a BSN degree is the most suitable path. For a general nurse, an associate’s degree is enough, but specialists who work in managerial positions need a more advanced degree.
If you already have an associate degree, you can choose to pursue associate-to-bachelor’s degree pathways. Such programs allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree within 18 months. When choosing your BSN electives, make sure you choose subjects that allow you to minor in something like healthcare management or business. This will prepare you for supervisory roles as well as advanced studies.
Get Your RN License
If you are fresh from college, you will have to get an RN license to practice in the nursing profession. An RN license shows proof of your ability to apply knowledge and critical thinking skills in making nursing judgments. You will be required to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to test whether you are qualified to hold the RN license.
Gain Some Work Experience
Once you obtain an RN license, you will have to gain some work experience as a nurse before you are considered qualified for a nursing manager job. Make sure you work in areas that allow you to take up supervisory roles. The more supervisory roles you take, the more skilled and prepared you will be when it is time to apply for a nursing manager job.
Enter a Graduate Degree Program
While smaller hospitals and private facilities will hire managers with BSN degrees, a majority of healthcare organizations prefer those who have graduate degrees and knowledge of different areas of healthcare management and business. A good graduate program should expose you to areas such as fiscal management, planning, legal issues and organizational control functions. The best degrees include Masters in Healthcare Administration or Masters of Business Administration.
Though not a must-have, you should apply for at least one certification to improve your career prospects. The American Organization of Nurses recommends Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) or Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML). These certifications are geared towards nurses who practice in executive roles.
Working as a nursing manager provides you with the opportunity to apply your leadership skills to promote quality healthcare. It is a potentially lucrative job that attracts a good salary and opens more opportunities for career growth. The items discussed above provide you with a comprehensive guideline on how to become a nurse manager.