1. Warshawsky, Nora PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
  2. Cramer, Emily PhD


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the role preparation and competency development of nurse managers.


BACKGROUND: Approximately 70 000 nurses are retiring annually. This represents a significant loss of nursing leadership wisdom. Few systematic studies of nurse manager role preparation and competency development have been conducted.


METHODS: An electronic survey was completed by a national sample of 647 nurse managers managing 964 patient care units in 54 hospitals.


RESULTS: Findings suggest that nurse managers rate themselves as competent for the 1st 6 years as a nurse manager. They begin to reach proficiency by year 7. Experience had the strongest association with nurse manager competence, followed by graduate leadership education.


CONCLUSIONS: Nurse executives need to evaluate the bench strength of their nursing leadership talent pool. They need to develop policies and strategies that promote nurse manager competence.