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What does a Nurse Manager do?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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A nurse manager, also commonly called a nurse supervisor, oversees the activities of a facility’s entire nursing staff. She typically has authority over the nursing personnel on all shifts and in all departments. Each shift has a charge nurse who is generally responsible for nurses during that specific period and then reports to the nurse manager.

In addition to supervising nurses, this manager is also commonly in charge of patient services. She typically monitors the care of the patients as she circulates through each ward. The nurse manager regularly reviews physician instructions to guarantee they are being appropriately carried out by the nursing staff.

Personnel administration is normally a major part of this job. She usually recruits, interviews and hires new nurses. She also commonly conducts performance evaluations, recommends promotions and institutes disciplinary action when needed. If a nurse requires mentoring or guidance, the nurse manager frequently provides it.

Keeping her staff well educated on the latest procedures and techniques in the nursing profession is commonly part of a nurse manager’s job. She frequently develops and implements supplementary training programs to improve their skills. If a member of her staff wishes to specialize in a particular field, the manager typically helps the nurse find the resources to do so and arranges the schedule to accommodate continuing education.

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A nurse manager is normally concerned with educating the facility’s patients and families as well as her staff. She customarily pays close attention to feedback to improve communications and conditions for future patients. Input from her nursing staff on patient care procedures and communications is normally encouraged by her.

To guarantee her nurses consistently provide quality care, a nurse manager ordinarily maintains supply and equipment inventories at desired levels. If supply levels are low or equipment malfunctions, she is customarily the person who resolves the problems. This generally requires good communications with vendors and outside contractors.

Other duties of a nurse manager frequently include analyzing budgetary needs for specific wards and the facility in general. She is also commonly asked to provide suggestions for improving daily operating procedures. Meeting with physicians and administrators to discuss these issues is normally part of her job.

Requirements for this position typically include a bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as a registered nurse license. A minimum of three years experience as a staff nurse is commonly a prerequisite to apply for the position. Background as a charge nurse is often preferred for nurse supervisor job applicants.

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Bhutan
Post 2

@Mutsy - Wow that is a large nursing staff. I think that the additional responsibility could also bring opportunities to learn more about managing a hospital. I would imagine that experience in this area would be invaluable.

You probably even get to participate in meetings that allow you to express input about how to improve hospital and patient care procedures.

I think that one of the challenging parts of the job is keeping track of the different rules that are in place for various units within the hospital because they all have different regulations.

But I think if you can be successful in a job like this you really must feel an incredible sense of accomplishment because it is a really important job.

mutsy
Post 1

I just wanted to say that I have a friend that is a nurse manager at a huge hospital and she says that they are doing more and more work because of all of the budget cuts that most hospitals are facing.

She says that she is now managing about 80 nurses and she puts in about fourteen hour days and is also on call just about every day of the week. One of the things that her hospital is trying to do is have the nurses schedule their own shifts as long as they meet the weekly allotment of hours. So far it hasn’t been a problem.

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