Nurse managers perform essential tasks such as hiring staff and overseeing patient care every day in hospitals across the country. Obtaining an education, obtaining a nursing license, and gaining experience are typically required to become a nurse manager. In most cases, post-graduate work is also recommended.
After completing secondary school, you should enroll in a registered nursing program to begin the process. Despite the fact that there are many different types of nursing programs, most employers prefer to hire nurse managers with a bachelor’s degree in registered nursing. Bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete on average. Classroom-based science and anatomy courses are combined with hands-on clinical experience working with patients in these programs.
Before you can treat patients and eventually become a nurse manager, you’ll need to get a license from your local government after graduating from college. Specific requirements differ from one location to the next, but passing a written exam is frequently required. In the United States, for example, aspiring registered nurses take the National Council Licensure Examination.
The majority of employers will not hire newly licensed nurses without prior experience as nurse managers. Nurse managers must have the opportunity to learn in a real-world setting with a variety of patients in order to properly direct patient care. Working as a registered nurse (RN) in the field also benefits you allowing you to hone your skills. If you need to perform routine tasks while covering for your employees, such as installing ports or catheters, your previous experience as a nurse manager will come in handy.
The amount of experience you’ll need to become a nurse manager varies, but you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills as you work in a hospital or other clinical setting. Consider assisting the manager of your unit or floor volunteering. You will gain valuable skills that you can list on your resume or mention in an interview assisting in the creation of staff schedules or serving as a mentor for staff training. Requesting additional responsibilities also shows initiative, which is a desirable trait for any manager.
Getting more education could help you advance faster in your career as a nurse manager. Consider enrolling in some basic business courses, such as management and accounting, at a local college. These types of courses can help you prepare for some of the most important responsibilities of a nurse manager, such as developing and managing a budget.
A graduate degree in nursing can also help you advance your career. Many colleges and universities offer evening and weekend part-time courses that lead to a master’s or doctoral degree in the field. Alternatively, you could pursue a graduate degree in hospital administration or health care management, both of which are common concentrations for nurse managers.
When you find a management position that you are qualified for based on your education and experience and you are offered an interview, spend some time researching the hospital or facility that is offering the position. Prepare some responses to questions about key aspects of nurse managers’ jobs, such as staffing, motivating subordinates, and developing strategies to improve patient care. You can relax and be yourself on the day of your interview if you prepare ahead of time.