Today in the chart

5 Ways Hospitals Can Redesign Leadership and Manager Roles to Attract Younger Nurses

Nurse managers play a crucial role at hospitals by leading the nursing staff and handling their administrative needs.

Nurse managers play a crucial role at hospitals by leading the nursing staff and handling their administrative needs. Their experience with bedside care uniquely positions them to do so. Today, baby boomers fill most of these positions, but younger nurses will need to step up as they start to retire. This transition might not happen naturally, as millennials and gen-X nurses are wary of managerial roles. They associate them with increased stress, a wide range of responsibilities, and “organizational politics,” according to a report in the American Journal of Nursing (AJN).

To combat this attitude, administrators and nurse managers must rethink the role’s duties and an individual’s path to getting there. Here are a few places to start via the American Organization of Nurse Executives and AJN:

Promote young nurses with potential

The depth of a nurse’s experience should be less critical than natural leadership skills or an aspiration to lead to fill these roles. The other skills can be taught and learned.

  • Offer, and pay for, professional development opportunities

Create a mentorship structure in your workplace, facilitate networking, and prioritize younger employees’ career growth. Reimbursing employees who pay for their professional development, including tuition, conference attendance fees, and certifications, can also attract nurses to manager roles.

  • Try out shared leadership models

Younger generations, especially millennials, don’t like authoritarian leadership and prefer more collaborative environments. Shared leadership relies on the wisdom of the group as a whole to establish standards of practice and continually improve them. In addition, this approach encourages the entire group to feel responsible for its success, alleviating some pressure on the individual manager.

  • Support employees’ work-life balance

Most nurses usually take three 12-hour shifts a week, whereas managers often work eight-hour days five days a week and are on-call 24/7. The increased time commitment can be a significant deterrent, so offer flexible scheduling, work-from-home days, and opportunities for nurse managers to continue to care for patients if they want.

  • Acknowledge hard work and give constructive feedback

Professional environments that promote praise and recognition have higher retention rates. So encourage nurse managers to support their employees, for example, through regular, meaningful conversations. Not only does this reduce the likelihood that nurses will quit, but it could also motivate them to advance their careers more quickly. Younger generations are moving away from traditional work structures. It’s crucial that HAs and current nurse managers address these new professional expectations to keep care at their facilities running smoothly.

Subscribe to our M-F newsletter
Thank you for subscribing! Welcome to The Nursing Beat!
Please enter your email address