5 Duties of a Nurse Manager

The duties of a nurse manager ultimately depends on the health care department and organization, but most nurse manager share similar duties. Nurse managers usually have a bachelor’s or master’s degree related to nursing science, management or administration.

Clinical Care and Practice

Nurse managers collaborate with nurse executives to establish, enforce and update nursing care standards. They evaluate compliance by reviewing staff performance. Nurse managers identify and research protocols in order to keep nursing staff informed and better serve patient populations. They facilitate the effective provision of support and administration services essential to patient care and programs. Nurse managers maintain safe environments for patients through positive health teaching, comprehensive family support and staff assessment mechanisms. They may develop team goals and departmental objectives to enforce institutional values and missions. Nurse managers teach staff how to deliver patient care in culturally sensitive manners.

Unit Management

Nurse managers participate in the overall planning process for their units. They use report data, staff input and patient satisfaction surveys to establish client-based services and staff recruitment and retention goals. Nurse managers enforce and update effective care delivery plans within their assigned areas of responsibility. They must quickly and compassionately respond to patient concerns and family complaints with sensitivity. Nurse managers usually conduct morning and weekly meetings with the management to address equipment, scheduling, objectives, staff concerns, performance metrics and improvement activities. Nurse managers may teach developmental supervisors how to lead and mentor employees.

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Human Resources

HR duties include staff development and HR administration. Nurse managers hire, educate and evaluate staff. If necessary, they must coach, discipline and terminate low performing employees. Nurse managers work with Human Resource Managers to counsel, correct, discipline and terminate staff. They usually educate staff in new policies and procedures. They identify and recommend potential successors to their role. They provide staff with opportunities for growth and development by arranging appropriate education and training. Nurse managers create and maintain supportive working environments for all staff, interns and volunteers. They establish unit metrics and track goals to measure the effectiveness of retention strategies.

Operational Performance

Nurse managers may develop, prepare and monitor supply, personnel and equipment budgets. They work with accounting staff to support financial goals and policies. Nurse managers implement long-term staffing schedules in order to ensure adequate daily coverage. If necessary, they may request more staff in accordance with established staffing standards. They may measure and monitor costs, position vacancies, turnover rates and operational performance metrics. Nurse managers promote high levels of professionalism through academic pursuits, continuing education and private certification goals. They must demonstrate self-development by keeping current on a variety of clinical management topics.

Standards Compliance

Some nurse managers must maintain knowledge of regulatory and professional standards of care to ensure proper compliance. These include CMS, IHI, CAP and JCAHO. In order to accomplish this, they will create quality, review, performance and improvement monitoring programs. For example, these may be used to instruct existing staff or implement revised standards. Nurse managers may use data methodology and statistical tools to produce corrective action plans. They do this to ensure that care is continually incorporated into clinical practices. They may enforce standards related to revenue collection, government report, information systems and fiscal responsibility.

The duties of a nurse manager also include relationship management. Nurse managers promote staff empowerment of through collaborative approaches, encouraging innovation and promoting positive relationships of mutual respect. They may participate in interdisciplinary committees to meet staffing needs.