How to Get New Nurse Managers Up to Speed

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , August 16, 2010
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  1. Provide time for orientation. For the first two weeks, new managers should spend time as a staff nurse observing and learning the unit and not spend any time on management tasks.
  1. Plan the first 30 days. “Give them a piece of paper outlining ‘here’s what I expect in the first 30 days of you on the job,” says Cohen.
  1. Provide manager support. Directors should schedule 30-minute meetings twice a week with new managers. “That means no texting and no e-mail while they are talking,” says Cohen.
  1. Learn leadership principles. New managers who are promoted from within the organization must make a difficult transition from being “one of us” to “one of them.” New nurse managers need to learn that it’s not being liked by the staff that counts, but how effective they are in their role.
  1. Find a mentor. Being fresh to the role can leave managers feeling like they are on their own. Find a mentor who can offer support and encouragement and help them find their way.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at

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