1. King, Sharon BSN, RN
  2. Cox, Paula BSN, RN, PCCN

Article Content

Don't come up short

Thank you for publishing "Save Our Ship: Steering Clear of a Manager Shortage" by Janne Dunham-Taylor, PhD, RN, in the June issue. This article gives a perspective as to why there's a nurse manager scarcity. It's predicted that an estimated 75% of current nurse leaders are planning to retire between 2010 and 2020. As an administrative supervisor of a large metropolitan hospital, I see how nurse managers throughout my organization have to cope with the stressors of their role without proper training or education. I believe direct care nurses don't see the role of nurse manager as an attractive job, and the current nursing shortage will also contribute to this situation.


Beneficial advice to offer institutions is to grow their own nurse managers and provide a nurse manager internship for future nurse leaders. When you provide a culture of engaging leadership, you produce confident and effective leaders. It's important for senior leaders to assume the role of providing managers with the proper training and support to aid in their success and increase the attraction to the manager role. Sometimes an organization needs to spend money to make money. Again, thank you for publishing this article.


The article "Save Our Ship: Steering Clear of a Manager Shortage" by Janne Dunham-Taylor, PhD, RN, in the June issue really sparked my passion. I've been a nurse manager for the past 13 years and understand the value of the nurse manager to the organization and to the nurses that he or she leads. The nurse manager's role demands a rigorous schedule coupled with extreme stress related to staffing, call schedules, recruitment, and retention. The position isn't well compensated and remains mostly underappreciated by organizations. Recognition of a job well done is rare. This study identified the fact that recognition is lacking at the facility level, which minimizes the value of the nurse manager. It describes strategies to lower the workload and the need for succession planning as baby boomers retire.


One such strategy at our facility has been the addition of a nurse educator to assist the efforts of the nurse manager. Daily initiatives arrive in the nurse manager's inbox that must be relayed to bedside caregivers, such as new products, changes in procedures, and new initiatives. The educator assists with the creation of flyers to assimilate this information, which can relieve the workload of the manager. This strategy has just become a reality in my world and has favorably impacted the workload that I manage. I'm forever grateful for the efforts of our administrative team.


The role of the nurse manager can be rewarding for staff and the facility. Efforts should be focused on revising the demands made of nurse managers. The addition of the nurse educator role is a hopeful strategy.


Sharon King, BSN, RN


Paula Cox, BSN, RN, PCCN