Usual duties for a nurse manager

Supervise nursing units

Nurse Managers are an essential component for healthcare units as they manage nursing units in hospitals and clinics. Their work includes directing nurses, oversee patient care and make some budgetary and management decisions. Unlike other nurses, they do not spend their days screening patients or checking vitals but instead establish work schedules, coordinate meetings and make personnel decisions. It is important that a nurse manager has mastery of the budgeting process and adjusting for acuity. Apart from nursing staff, a nursing manager can be responsible for personnel in other disciplines. In addition to nurses, a team under a nursing manager may consist of assistive personnel, therapists, technicians, social workers, pharmacists, front office staff, clergy and other persons contributing to patient care.


Nurse Managers play a mentoring role, especially to young or new nurses. They regularly supervise less experienced nurses who require close supervision to offer suggestions and advice on the way to improve the quality of care they deliver. The pep talk also helps to improve the quality of care that they deliver, the way they interact with patients and hospitals. They also guide the veteran nurses hence must be available to guide nurses who require feedback regarding their job performance or insight into difficult cases. If questions arise regarding treatment of patients, it is usually the responsibility of a nurse manager to make the final decision or consult a patient’s physician for the second opinion.

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Set goals and direction

Together with clinical leaders and frontline managers, nurse management teams help in setting the goals for their organization and the direction to follow to achieve. The team sets the way for consistent practices and holding workers to account across the organization. Nursing managers as part of the team evaluate the results, encourage and monitor performance at department and unit level.

Resolve conflicts and enhance leadership

An effective nurse manager is someone who sets clear expectations for nurses working in their unit. They inform them what the organization expects them to do, outline guidelines on how they should behave towards colleagues, patients, and their family members. However, conflicts arise occasionally among members of teams that usually work in harmony to achieve clear set goals. It is a responsibility of the nurse manager to defuse conflicts before they affect patient care or harm the team. Good nursing managers solve conflicts by calling involved parties for a conflict resolution meeting. They initiate a discussion about the disputes and create plans to resolve the disagreements for the mutual benefit of individual nurses, their team, and patients.

Attend to patient inquiries

When patients, members of their families and close acquaintances have any issues with the quality of care, it is usually the nurse manager who listens to their concerns and provides solutions. Complaints arise because hospital clients may feel that nurses are rude or providing sub-par care or might simply be unaware about who should play which roles. A nurse manager should take time and listen to the concerns even when the complainants are irate especially a patient is irate and respectively answer the questions. They must demonstrate that they take the concerns seriously and will see to it that nurse and other staff improve the quality of care.

A nurse manager role requires leadership skills, a good understanding of hospital operations and patience. Nurse management is a stepping stone to an executive and management role

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