In many ways, nursing managers are the backbone of the Australian healthcare system. They are the crucial link between the nurses on the ground and upper management who design large scale change.
Are you planning to become one, or you’d just like more information about the people who play such an incredible role.
If so, you’re in luck! Read on to learn what’s in a nurse manager’s job description.
What is a Nurse Manager?
Nurse managers are registered nurses (RN) who are in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare unit or department, such as a hospital unit or aged care home.
They are responsible for managing other nurses, ensuring the delivery of high-quality patient care, and controlling budgets, like wages and resource requisitions. It’s also their responsibility to stay up-to-date on changes in healthcare regulations and policies to ensure their team is compliant.
How Important are Nurse Managers?
Nurse managers are essential to the healthcare industry. They are a level of middle management that implements high level change within their teams, while also advocating for these teams and reminding the upper hierarchy about the realities and concerns in day-to-day operations.
This is especially true in bigger hospitals where there can be many large teams who all need a nurse manager to hold them accountable and provide them with support.
What’s in a Nurse Manager’s Job Description?
Nurse manager’s job descriptions often feature a mix of hard and soft skills. While hard skills are less negotiable, previously overlooked soft skills are increasingly being recognised as important by employers.
Mandatory hard skills include:
- Team management, including providing support and holding people accountable
- Implementing care policies
- Managing budgets, including rostering and wages
- Being across developments in medicine and healthcare systems
- Liaising with upper management and other interdisciplinary teams
Desired soft skills include:
- Critical thinking
- Forward planning
- Empathy and compassion for patient satisfaction
- Conflict resolution
- Effective communication skills
- Effective time management
- The ability to train others
- Autonomous work ethic
If you possess all of these skills, odds are you would make an incredible nurse manager!
How to Become a Nurse Manager
If what’s in a nurse manager’s job description appeals to you, your next question is probably how do you become a nurse manager?
Well, wonder no more! We’ve outlined the steps to becoming a nurse manager in Australia.
1. Attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
It’ll probably come as no surprise that to be a nurse manager, you need to first become a nurse!
2. Complete Student Nurse Placement
Your degree will equip you with plenty of theoretical experience, but you also need practical experience to become a nurse. This is developed during your student nurse placement, which will involve you working with supervisors in a real healthcare environment.
3. Gain Experience as a Registered Nurse
To become a registered nurse, you’ll need to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Once you’re registered you are now able to undertake higher level duties and complex tasks than an enrolled nurse (EN). This allows you to pursue more specialised nursing careers as well as nursing management.
4. Attain a Master’s Degree
Technically, with enough experience as a registered nurse, you could be successful applying for a nurse manager role. If you’re working in a remote location, or if there is a shortage, your chances of success will be even higher.
With that said, if you want to improve your chances of being accepted into a nursing manager role, you should consider a masters or equivalent post graduate degree. A popular choice is a Masters of Health Leadership and Management which teaches you leadership and management skills to complement your existing nursing knowledge.
Have You Considered a Nursing Agency?
To be an effective nurse manager, you want to make sure you’ve gained enough experience as a registered nurse to feel confident managing other nurses.
One of the best ways to get a variety of experience quickly is to join a nursing agency.
At Nurses Now, our nurses pride themselves on the incredible standard of care they deliver. We are always looking for new nurses to join the family, and you could be one of them!
Be a part of our wonderful environment and set yourself up with skills that will help you later in your career, especially if you plan to be a nursing manager!