Six Skills You Need To Become A Good Nurse Manager

Six Skills You Need To Become A Good Nurse Manager

One of the leadership roles that nurses can step into is that of a nurse manager. Typically, a nurse manager can either be in charge of an assisted living facility or a hospital. Moreover, They manage a team of medical assistants and nurses who provide 24/7 care to patients. It is a pivotal role in the nursing field with the morale, flexibility, and functionality of the entire unit dependant on how nurse managers lead and manage it. Firstly, nurse managers should be able to communicate with other people. The job requires hiring new nurse staff, connecting the higher administration team with lower-level staff, conducting performance reviews, and enforcing clear and concise communication between departments.

So, if you are aspiring to become a nurse manager, you have your work cut out for you. To succeed as a nurse manager, you need to have a particular set of skills and immense nursing and organizational knowledge. With that in mind, let us look at a few skills every nurse manager must have to succeed in such a role.

A thirst for knowledge and acquiring new skills

Nursing requires professionals to remain up-to-date with the latest techniques, methods, and certifications to provide quality care to their patients. While this is more accurate for bedside nurses, it is also the case for nurse managers. After all, every nurse manager started as a bedside nurse and transitioned into an administrative role. Hence it is vital to obtain as much knowledge as possible about the practice as a whole.

That said, an easy way to brush up your nursing knowledge for a managerial position is to obtain higher education. For instance, you can find many DNP programs online that will allow you to enhance your nursing knowledge while performing regular duties. These courses are a better option than traditional learning since they enable you to create a flexible schedule and utilize your time and resources more effectively. Moreover, you can also take up short courses on healthcare management and leadership to supplement your training.

Practical communication skills 

You will succeed in a nurse manager’s role if you can easily communicate with everyone on their team clearly and concisely. Moreover, do not forget that effective communication is not only about telling others what to do. It is also about listening to others as well. Therefore, feedback from junior nurses who want to express their concerns must be considered and understood to eliminate any differences during task delegation.

Furthermore, good nurse managers should build excellent rapport with staff, physicians, administrators, and other individuals to ensure that their healthcare facility operates as smoothly as possible. That said, to avoid being blamed for favoritism and biases, you must try to convey your message and information during group meetings. Moreover, communicating with your staff in a group setting also reduces the chances of misinformation that might arise from rumors.

Good leadership skills. 

Being familiar with the difficulties and struggles that nurses deal with daily allows you to create a positive work environment for your staff. Moreover, nurse managers have to use their skills to supervise while ensuring they aren’t micromanaging. After all, your team should never feel intimidated by your presence and should be able to do their jobs freely. As a leader, it is your job to motivate them to do better. Doing so allows your nursing team to achieve better outcomes.

Some nurse managers are scared to lead and guide a team of nurses on the right path as they are afraid to displease administrative officials and healthcare leaders. However, suppose you’re able to stand tall and lead your team according to healthcare policies. In that case, you and your team will conform to the norm, resulting in improved patient outcomes.


Undying compassion for their patients is a vital trait or skill that every nurse must have. However, nurse managers must display this skill even more since you have to be compassionate towards your staff’s woes. Also, most of your nursing staff will try to mimic you, and if they see you showing compassion to patients and them, they will proceed to do the same. Doing so will ensure that patients receive excellent quality of care while allowing nurses to go about their duties with little to no fuss. On the other hand, if you do not show compassion and empathy, your team will also behave similarly, drastically reducing patient satisfaction levels. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

Excellent interpersonal skills

Since you will need to coordinate with other departments within the facility, you must possess good insight into different functions, including patient appointments their health issues, insurance, employee hiring, etc. Moreover, you must also learn to liaise with medical equipment suppliers, pathology labs, and other healthcare facilities to improve patient care. In this case, a nurse manager’s excellent interpersonal skills come in handy for practical and no-nonsense collaboration at both high and low levels.

Be self-aware

A successful nurse manager is always aware of their nursing team’s and their own feelings. As a result, they can quickly acknowledge the anxiety involved in working under stressful conditions and work environments, seeking help and support whenever needed. Moreover, they are also able to accept that something is wrong. After all, even the most potent healthcare workers need support and advice from time to time, especially when they’re faced with an unfortunate situation or a crisis.


Even with the skills and characteristics of an excellent nurse manager mentioned above, there are tons of skills, certifications, and educational requirements needed before qualifying for such a job. Furthermore, interested candidates need to put in some clinical practice hours as experience is a must-have instead of a nice-to-have in such a healthcare subfield. That said, if you’re ready to take on such a challenging role, you must ensure that you at least possess the skills mentioned above to become a successful nurse manager.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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