Top Skills Needed for Effective Nurse Managers

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Nurse managers are crucial to a medical establishment. They are responsible for nursing recruitment, day-to-day operations and a host of other duties at their workplace. Their presence is one of the reasons why most hospitals are functioning as smoothly as they should.

To learn more, check out the infographic below designed by Bradley University’s online Master of Science in Nursing program.

Top skills needed for effective nurse managers

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Who is a nurse manager?
A nurse manager directs and coordinates a team of nurses in a medical facility. These managers typically focus on nurse recruitment and retention, as well as supervise a team of nurses on a daily basis. The supervisory role means that nurse managers are responsible for everything concerning the nursing unit, including resources, personnel, patient care problems and budgetary issues. At times, a nurse manager collaborates with doctors regarding patient care and treatment, while also bridging the communication gap between a patient’s family and his or her doctor. Additionally, a nurse manager represents the team of nurses and communicates the team’s ideas, concerns and needs to hospital management.

Average salaries of nurse managers in the United States

As of 2014, the United States had approximately 333,000 health and medical service manager positions, which included openings for nurse managers. In the surgical hospital and general medical industry, there were 112,480 health managers.

As of November 2015, nurse managers in the U.S. made $94,500 annually or $45.43 per hour on an average. The hourly average wage figure for health managers working in the surgical hospital and general medical industry was $54.89 per hour or $114,180 per year.

Nurse managers are growing in numbers each year. In fact, the number of U.S. medical and health service manager jobs are expected to increase by 17 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Top five states where nurse manager work

Nurse managers are spread across the United States. However, their presence is the highest in New York (26,810), Ohio (15,610), Illinois (13,380), Texas (19,240) and California (29,830). These managers work predominantly in hospitals, home health services, government establishments, nursing care facilities and physicians’ offices.

As of 2015, close to 37 percent of nurse managers worked in hospitals and 10 percent each in physicians’ offices and nursing care facilities. Government facilities accounted for 9 percent of the total employment figures for nursing and medical managers, and home health services grabbed a 6 percent share.

Roles/responsibilities of a nurse manager

Nurse managers are expected to recruit, mentor and appraise performance; develop new nurse orientation; maintain a healthy work environment; and monitor and improve patient care. A nurse manager also functions as the representative of nurses and often is expected to talk to the top management on behalf of the nurses they lead.

Moreover, nurse managers are expected to establish and ensure proper inventory of medical supplies and equipment, ensure a healthy and safe working environment, stay constantly updated on patients’ health status and incorporate fresh and proven health care practices for improving patient care.

Top skills needed for effective nurse managers

A nurse manager is someone who often has a multifaceted knowledge of his or her field. This expertise is why nurse managers are often in charge of planning, interacting with patients and families, and managing nurses, as well as a host of other responsibilities over the course of their day. These managers also are adept at working against a strict deadline. Thanks to this all-encompassing skill set, nurse managers are not just restricted to the medical industry but also can serve other sectors. If you’re keen on becoming a nurse manager yourself, ensure you have the following set of skills:

Nurse managers know how to effectively communicate with their staff and patients in addition to the doctors and administrators with whom they work closely. They are expected to be liaisons between the management and nursing teams while ensuring their patients feel comfortable.

Team Player
Nurse managers are accustomed to the dynamics of a team and know how to successfully support them — even in times of conflict. In order to ensure their team is operating effectively, managers also must work to create a sense of trust and togetherness amongst their nurses and staff. By creating a maintainable bond of trust and coordination, nurses and staff will be far more likely to work without conflict.

Positive Attitude
The medical industry is no stranger to tense and stressful job situations. At such times, a nurse manager offers support and strength to team members, if needed.

Nurse managers know how to lead a team of professionals with confidence and decisiveness, especially in times of high stress and tight deadlines.

A nurse manager is willing to mentor nurses whenever possible. Because mentoring plays an essential role in a nursing team’s growth, it is important for managers to guide their team to strive for leadership roles. If another nurse takes an interest in a nurse management role, current managers have the extraordinary opportunity to take those nurses under their wings to teach them how to successfully move up and manage a group of health care professionals.

According to a survey by from 2014 concerning leadership skills, being able to change is the most sought after leadership trait. Sixty percent of existing business leaders believe a successful manager and leader should be receptive to changes in his or her work environment. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said strategic thinking is important. Integrity (48 percent), effective communication (40 percent) and trustworthiness (38 percent) were the other most important leadership skills. Because nurse manager is not much different from a business leader, it is important for current or aspiring nurse managers to acquire these necessary skills in addition to their medical training in order to thrive in their career.


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