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What is Nursing Management?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Nursing management is a branch of the nursing field which focuses on managing nurses and patient care standards. An effective nursing management program is critical for most facilities which use nurses, such as hospitals, clinics, and residential care facilities. People in this field often have both nursing and management experience, and they have typically received special training to prepare them for employment as managers and supervisors.

People in the field of nursing management can supervise nurses and nursing programs in a variety of ways. Some supervise entire facilities, delegating duties to individual departmental supervisors. When a manager looks after the nursing staff at an entire hospital, issues like consistency, standardized procedures, transfer protocols, and cooperation are often an important part of the job.

Individual supervisors handle specific departments, such as radiology or the intensive care unit. These nursing managers are responsible for maintaining staff in their departments, assigning nurses to specific cases, and overseeing patient care to ensure that it remains at a high standard. They may also be involved in the creation of nursing plans for specific patients, coordinating the efforts of the nursing team to keep everyone abreast of developments in the patient's condition and medical care.

Pursuing a career in nursing management usually starts with going to nursing school to acquire clinical skills before attending additional management training. Being able to understand the work of nursing is extremely important for a nursing manager, and many people in this field have experience as working nurses which they utilize when they make management decisions. Management training addresses specific issues such as dealing with employees, setting behavioral standards, and handling the legal issues associated with supervising people at work in a hospital environment.

It is extremely helpful to have a good idea for detail and an ability to work well with others for a career in nursing management. Nursing managers are responsible for the activities of the nurses under their supervision, and they must be able to interact with patients, families, and other hospital staff in a wide variety of situations. Having an eye for detail is also very valuable, as is the patience to do a great deal of routine paperwork.

The term “nursing management” is also sometimes used to refer to a nursing plan, a detailed outline of the nursing interventions which will be used to treat a specific patient. In this sense, the term refers to assessing a patient's condition, formulating an approach to treatment, enacting the treatment, and following up on the results of the treatment.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Moldova — On Jan 02, 2011

BrickBack- Some nurses prefer to work strictly with patients while others seek nursing management courses in order to obtain a nursing leadership and management position.

Many of these nurses want to supervise other nurses and develop their team to execute the best care possible.

This position also offers some training and orientation regarding new procedures and new medical devices that the hospital will be using.

In addition nursing healthcare management requires appropriate level of staffing and ensuring that the patients have enough nurses on staff to take care of them properly.

The nursing supervisor may need to see patients if the team is short handed or if the patient load becomes excessive.

By BrickBack — On Jan 01, 2011

Nursing management skills requires an attention to detail as well as strong interpersonal skills. Nursing leadership management often requires an advanced degree and many nurses actually have an MBA in nursing administration.

Management in nursing requires assigning patient cases to various nurses and developing additional care procedures for advanced medical directives.

Following up to ensure that the proper care has been offered to patients as well as maintaining a record of all of the cases assigned to the supervising nurse.

Nursing management skills also requires the ability to inspect assigned cases and dealing with any legal aspects that may arise from the job.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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