Being a Nurse Manager means that your abilities and disabilities will have a great impact on the staff you lead. Staff look to you as a role model. You must be a positive role model for these nurses. They will look to you for guidance in their performance as well.
You can begin your endeavor to be effective.
1. Be knowledgeable: Make it a routine to review all policies affecting nursing roles within your facility. It will not be possible to memorize all policies, especially in large facility, but you should have the knowledge to reach the resources needed to direct staff as issues arise. KNOW YOUR FACILITY'S POLICIES.
As new services are added to the roles of nurses you supervise, make sure you are on the front line of gaining knowledge of these roles. Do your research, using evidenced based practice.
2. Inform: Keep staff informed of changes. Speak to them in person and also listen to feedback.
3. Involve: Involve staff in decisions for changes to meet goals of the unit. The nursing staff that are intimate with the processes of the unit often have great remedies and suggestions. Staffing suggestions are vital, in that, the nurses work with the clinical issues on a regular basis and have also thought about how things can be better maintained. As a Nurse Manager, your role requires you to address many issues and you loose the closeness you once had, when you were a staff nurse. Involving staff can be an advantage in solving issues on your unit.
Involvement also develops staff and provides them with ownership of improvements.
4. Collaborate: Bring the team together to brainstorm ideas.
5. Communicate: Always communicate with your staff and follow-up to ensure communication is successful and instruction is understood. Once I received a message that there was a new requirement of the staff being enacted. My hands were full that day and the new requirement included a deadline. I quickly sent out a email message to all of the nursing staff, informing them of the new task and the deadline. When to deadline arrived, I found myself with no compliance.
What happened? What went wrong? I thought my message was clear.
For one thing, numerous staff members, did not have a chance to read the email. Those that did, were uncertain to some degree, of what exactly needed to be done. I struggled the whole day to meet the deadline, which was by COB(close of business). The staff were frustrated with me because they felt pushed now to be complaint in a short time. I loss some credibility in this instance. You do not want to do this.
Communicate changes in person.
6. Coach: Ensure you are coaching your staff in their performance. Give feedback for improvements and give staff time to make improvements in their performance.
7. Respect: Truly a key element. Demonstrate respect for all staff. You will work with a variety of personalities, cultures, beliefs, etc. Showing all respect will yield respect.
As a Nurse Manager, you do have great responsibilities and numerous tasks, but you do not have to do it all alone. A poor Nurse Manager neglects to include staff in appropriate levels of improvement, do not develop their staff, poorly communicates, demonstrates a lack of respect, and does not coach staff to improve in thier performance. Results: poor staff morale, more work for you, and a negative impact on patient care.