Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree have reached a pinnacle because there are no further qualifications in their field. This makes them highly sought after by hospitals, clinics, and medical organizations hoping to fill a leadership role. They are also needed in university and college healthcare faculties, as the ongoing nurse shortage adds extra urgency to training the next generation of medical professionals. DNPs are key participants in the healthcare system of the future, whether they work in a clinical or academic setting. Their practical experience and advanced knowledge mean they are valued as leaders and health policy consultants, as well as in patient care.
Training for a career in advanced leadership
Registered nurses who want to have a more significant impact on patient care, can take ownership of their careerswith terminal qualifications. So why get a DNP? It’s a major step, but nursesshould consider Walsh University to study for the Doctor of Nursing Practice.Thiscomprehensive program can be completed in just five semesters. It is an affordable option thatpresents an opportunity for nurses to train whilethey work, and there are six specializations to choose from. Once they have graduated, many career pathways are open to a Doctor of Nursing practice. Here we are going to look at an average day in the life of a practitioner inone of those specialties, a nurse manager.
Early morning meetings
The majority of nurse managers work twelve-hour shifts, and if they are due on shift in the morning, 7 amis a common start time. The day usually begins with a series of meetings with colleagues in various departments. Some of these will be members of the senior leadership team, but others will involve professionals from a range of tiers. Depending on where people are located in the hospital or the surrounding area, the meeting could be conducted in person or via video link.
Over time, nurse managers work to make their daily meetings as lean and efficient as possible. Therefore, instead of arranging regular meetingswith the same people who then have meetings with others to share the information, communication takes place up and down the chain of seniority. This ensures that everyone involved in a care team knows and understands what action needs to be taken, whether it involves departmental action or the treatment plan of an individual patient. Their team meetings usually include one with the management team, one for updates on projects being run, and one with clinical colleagues who discuss care quality.
Nurse leaders frequently work as consultants in their own hospitals, coaching all levels of staff on issues such as patient safety and outpatient care. The project meeting will involve viewing and discussing requests for help from other departments and concluding what action should be taken.
The clinical huddle will be made up of other nurse managers, as well as care managers and nurse executives. This will be one of the most hectic meetings as people discuss how the day’s operations are organized and any other workflow issues that must be resolved. It’s a chance for the people who work on the front lines of care to speak up about any concerns they have and share their views with the leadership team. They might explain how they plan to solve a problem and look for support, or ask for suggestions from their colleagues.
Management meetings involve any member of the hospital’s healthcare team who reports to the facility’s Chief of Quality. The idea of these meetings is to share knowledge and responsibility, so a single person does not have specialized skills which they alone possess. These sessions also present an opportunity for the senior team to escalate any problems they have been unable to remedy.
In each meeting, the most pressing needs areprioritized, whilelong-term strategizing and problem-solving are left for less busy times.
All levels of healthcare staff are expected to take part in professional development. Nurse managers might be involved with educating their facility’s chiefs about boosting organizational reliability or teaching new nurses about the value of teamwork. Continuous learning has always played a key role in healthcare, but the extent ofrecent changes makes it especially important. The field of healthcare has been transformed by science and technology, meaning that direct patient care, documentation, and testing are all affected. Nurse managers provide ongoing training to keep their colleagues up to date and see how they are finding their new tools and if they need support in any area of their practice. Instruction tends to be delivered in various forms, including participatory lessons and formal training.
Leading a participatory learning session
These are not formal sessions and often involve directed patient care, sothey take place in a nurse’s normal working environment. The nurse manager might deliver training on using new technology, maintaining and cleaning equipment or effective note-taking. However, they may also work with nurses who want to refine their skills in a certain aspect of patient care, such as life support, child protection. or information governance.
Formal training sessions
A formal training session often takes the form of classroom learning, where the nurse manager delivers the lesson to the nurses in their department. However, nurses spend much of theirtime interacting with each other and taking part in group work. This encourages them to share their knowledge and learn from each other, as well as the nurse leader. An element of conference-style learning will also be included, with the nurse leader delving into a topic in more detail on subjects such as risk assessment or taking blood safely.
Late morning – human resource management
A considerable amount of a nurse manager’s time is spent recruiting and training new nurses. They manage the training schedule and professional development of their team. By the late morning, they might begin work on monitoring staff satisfaction levels. This might take the form of designing and distributing a staff questionnaire or analyzing the results from past feedback. With this data, nurse managers can start to put procedures in place or schedule training depending on the requests and suggestions they have received.
Nurse managers always try to hire people cost-effectively and then strive to ensure they feel satisfied in their roles. This means the facility can plowits funds into training and patient care rather than recruitment. Therefore, the NM will always seek to fill any roles which open up in their unit with serving staff. By developing the skills of their nurses and then promoting them internally, nurse managers enhance their employee’s loyalty and keep effective teams intact.
Finding solutions with the help of each team
Working alongside staff on the ward, they will seek to improve the systems which are currently in place. These might relate to the way staff shortages, overcrowding, or emergencies are dealt with. The nurse leader will speak with the team to support the efforts which have already been made, review the breakdowns that have already occurred, and seek solutions in collaboration with a unit’s staff.
Another key aspect of the NMs’human resource work is behavior management. Depending on the issue, they might need to act as a coach, empathize with the person in question or use discipline to deal with a more severe problem. NMswill always strive to engage with staff in a supportive way and nurture open lines of communication. A nurse who demonstrates frantic behavior or seems overwhelmed could negatively impact patient care. Therefore, a nurse manager will deal with the situation appropriately through warnings, action, or retraining.
Lunchtime – a chance to rest and recharge
For some nurse managers, there is a temptation to get things done in the office when they are on a break. Therefore, some will answer emails and reply to phone queries whilehaving lunch. However, to keep their energy levels up and tackle stress, many eat a healthy lunch and then take 30 minutes of exercise.
Early afternoon team events
Toward the end of the day, a nurse manager may host a team event. These interactive sessions can be educational, but they are also effective when it comes to uniting the unit and supporting more effective teamwork. When nurses know each other well, they are more able to work efficiently, whether they are caring for patients or problem-solving. By creating team activities, therefore, the nurse manager aims to improve the job satisfaction of the people on their team and enhance the health outcomes of patients. Moreover, having fun with colleagues can be a great stressbuster in the middle of a stressful day. Here are some of the events a nurse manager might present.
Gratitude and positivity
To build a culture of recognition, a gratitude circle amongst healthcare workers can be an effective choice. The session involves everyone sitting in a circle and taking turns to give thanks to another person. This also helps to create a sense of camaraderie and appreciation in a busy unit.
Similarly, a nurse manager could suggest an hour of positive affirmations for an afternoon team-building event. This involves a group of nurses sitting together and taking turns to speak. The phrases they use could be as simple as ‘I am ready for the day’ or ‘I feel strong’. Or, they could include a statement of intent, such as ‘I will show my patients compassion today’. This supports the collective positivity of a team but also helps nurses manage their feelings when dealing with very sick and frightened patients.
Challenging the team’s skills
A popular role-play game, mystery diagnosis, is another good team-building exercise that provides a learning opportunity. The nurse manager will start by selecting one person to be the physician and one to be the patient. The nurse playing the role of physician leaves the room, and their colleagues come up with a complaint. When they return, the ‘patient’ discusses their symptoms and the ‘physician’ has a set amount of time to identify the condition. Nurses can improve their communication and critical thinking skills, as well as build stronger team bonds.
Late afternoon check-in sessions
Nurse managers have regular one-to-one meetings with the members of staff in their team.They use the time to ask about the person’s well-being and their feelings about their role. These sessions constitute a safe space in which an individual can present the concerns they cannot share with their colleagues. Although nurses are subject to performance reviews and appraisals, these meetings are separate. In a one-to-one, the nurse manager will discuss the nurse’s career aspirations, formulate a plan for their personal development and give feedback on their achievements so far.
As these sessions are so important, nurse managers may also spend time in the late afternoon preparing for future one-to-ones. They know their attitude sets the tone for what is to come and has a major influence on what a nurse feels able to share. They read reviews of each nurse from their line manager and prepare a list of open-ended questions to get the conversation going.
Time for home
In their spare time, nurse leaders socialize with family or friends, as well as enjoytheir favorite hobbies – just like any other healthcare professional. However, as they have worked for a terminal qualification, their level of expertise is in high demand when it comes to teaching. Therefore, many nurse managers also spend time away from their facility as adjunct professors at nearby universities. As such, part of their spare time could be spent designing a syllabus and teaching plan for new nurses.
A commitment to lifelong learning and workplace improvement
Nurse managers dedicate each day on the job to positive and responsible leadership. They strive to keep their team and their patients safe whilecommitting to a workplace culture of continuous improvement.