NEW YORK NURSE: September 2008
by Eileen Avery, MS, RN and Marlene Gerber, RN, MPA, CNAA
For many nurses, management isn’t a planned career choice but something that suddenly becomes an option due to seniority or attrition in their facility. In many cases, the staff nurse faced with this opportunity has not even considered taking on a management role, and may not be prepared for the challenges ahead. Stepping into the role of nurse manager means reexamining relationships with peers, facing new duties, and learning to provide professional leadership. These individuals will most likely need guidance to develop the strengths they need to advance their facility’s mission and support their staff nurses.
Unfortunately, new nurse managers do not always receive an adequate orientation to the role. Upon being hired, and depending upon the individual’s background, a new manager may be allowed only a week or two to acclimate and learn the various duties of the position.
Educators realize the need for providing continuing education opportunities for new nurse managers. Many professional organizations have also developed ways to guide RNs in management positions. These educational programs are also useful for refreshing long-standing nurse managers. The courses described here have been examined for content and credibility, and all carry continuing nursing education credits.
This web-based program was created by nurses with academic and clinical expertise in leadership and management areas. A selection of 16 courses can be taken individually or in total to enhance nurses’ knowledge of specific areas. A certificate of completion is awarded to the learner after completing a minimum of 70 hours. The program includes an introduction to management theory; several courses that integrate evidence-based practice into the work environment; content on human resource and team management strategies; and support strategies for the nurse manager, team, and facility.
For more information, go to www.nursingknowledge.org and type “nurse manager certificate” in the search box.
This online program was developed as a result of a collaboration between the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Nurses receive skill-building instruction and support through courses created by experts in the areas of leadership and management. This program is appropriate for nurse managers who want to review areas critical to their work environment and is also of benefit to staff nurses interested in a management career.
The orientation program provides a total of 40 CNE credits and consists of three units that cover business management skills, leadership skills, and personal development. It is currently being offered only to institutions, rather than as an individually purchased program. Healthcare facilities that license the program are able to offer it to more than one RN at a time, resulting in cost savings. The AONE/AACN partnership also has plans to develop a nurse manager certification exam, which will allow nurse managers to validate their knowledge and experience. Learn more about the program at www.aacn.org/nursemanager.
Cross Country Education offers an intensive, on-site training course that helps the newer nurse manager strengthen core skills and offers guidance in professional and personal development. The program faculty includes professors, nurse leaders, CEOs, and presidents with nationally and internationally recognized expertise.
The curriculum consists of five modules covering human resources, leadership, financial management, organizational culture, and self-development. Continued mentoring and advisement are available after completion of the program, and includes a quarterly e-mail magazine and monthly online chats attended by faculty and graduates.
The rate for the intensive five-day training includes single accommodations, all meals and refreshments, and course manuals. For dates, locations, and fees go to www.crosscountryeducation.com.
Eileen S. Avery, MS, RN, is associate director of Education, Practice & Research at NYSNA. Marlene Gerber, RN, MPA, CNAA is executive director of the New York Counties Registered Nurses Association and member of the NYSNA Council on Nursing Practice. This article was written in cooperation with the members of NYSNA’s Council on Nursing Practice.
Labor law stipulates that nurse managers cannot be represented for collective bargaining. However, nurse managers can – and should – remain or become NYSNA members.
The Nurses Association, as both the professional nurses association and the largest RN union in New York State, offers much more than collective bargaining services. Access to practice expertise and assistance and easy connection to continuing education programs and research consortia can be especially helpful for RNs moving into management positions. There are options for membership that do not include collective bargaining services. More information is available in the membership section of www.nysna.org, or contact Membership Services at 800-724-NYRN (6976), ext. 285.