There are few career choices as flexible and as rewarding as nursing. From pediatrics to geriatrics, hospitals to home care, and field nurse to nurse manager, nursing opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. 

Most new nurses—RNs and LPNs— begin their careers as field nurses, delivering direct patient care. Whether they are dressing a wound, taking a temperature, or dispensing medication, field nurses are the lifeline of the health care industry. They can be providing high-tech, complex care one minute, then soothing the fears of a frightened patient the next. Some nurses find this type of care the most meaningful, and are happy to spend their careers in this role. Others, however, want to advance their careers into other areas including clinical leadership. Being a nurse manager is often the next step for those interested in leading a team.

Learn more in our interview with a Nurse Manager >> 

What do nurse managers do?

Typically, nurse managers oversee a team of nurses, mentoring and helping them to provide the highest level of care to their patients. With their broad clinical knowledge and skills, they offer advice and guidance to their team; collaborate with other nurse managers; communicate with physicians and other health care providers; ensure that a patient’s plan of care is followed; and so much more depending on their setting and responsibilities.

They must have strong leadership qualities, yet be compassionate, understanding, and flexible. They use the knowledge they learned as a field nurse combined with management skills to create the perfect foundation for their role. In a home health care environment, for example, responsibilities may include,

  • Conducting initial assessment of a patient’s health condition to determine what services are needed to care for them at home

  • Developing initial plan of care with patient’s physician and family

  • Updating and maintaining the patient’s clinical record

  • Mentoring and supporting field staff, which may also include home health aides, therapists, and other caregivers in addition to nurses

  • Following up and performing ongoing re-assessments to ensure that the care is appropriate as needs change

  • Addressing and supporting the patient’s clinical concerns

  • Ongoing collaboration with physicians and other health care providers

  • Supervisory visits to observe clinical proficiencies of the field nurse while with a patient

  • Developing the staff to help them pursue the next step in their career

Most employers look for nurse managers with some experience in a managerial role, which could include being a charge nurse or supervising home health aides or certified nursing assistants. BAYADA typically looks for candidates with at least two years of leadership experience.

Additional qualifications may vary depending on the role—a pediatric nurse manager may need pediatric-specific experience; a home care nurse manager may need experience in the home setting; or a nurse manager who oversees complex cases may need trach/vent experience. While there are job-specific qualifications, all successful nurse managers should be organized, flexible, compassionate, and understanding—and have the passion and commitment to inspire a team to be and do their best every single day. 

If you want to lead a team with a shared purpose of helping people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity, apply today!

A Home Health Care Agency

About the Author

Founded in 1975, BAYADA has become a trusted leader in providing a full range of clinical care and support services at home for children and adults of all ages. With more than 350 offices and 26,000 employees in 22 states and 7 international countries, BAYADA has remained true to its mission of client service by finding, training, and supporting employees who take pride and joy in healing and helping.

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