1. Campbell, Gladys RN, MSN

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Q I've received applications from both nurses and radiology technicians for a new manager position in a busy cardiac cath lab. If I hire a technician instead of a nurse, is that a bad thing?


Your question really asks: Is one of the required criteria for this job that all considered applicants be licensed as an RN? The first place you should look to answer this question is in the current job description for the role. These criteria should be defined through your organization's human resource documents and incorporated into the position description. If your unit manager position description and your human resource policies allow you to hire a nonnurse, you should consider that option. By looking at all qualified applicants, you'll potentially find the best new manager for your unit.


When conducting interviews, include an interview team of staff members from your unit, orient them to the required criteria and competencies of the job, and hear their input as to what's most important to the team. An open and honest discussion about the pros and cons of selecting a nurse manager for this role should be facilitated. If a nonnurse is truly unacceptable to the team, then it will become clear in the interview feedback. I would never recommend hiring a manager that doesn't have the full endorsement of your staff.


If you choose to hire a nonnurse, you must orient this new manager and your nurse team members to the oversight authority for the nursing practice that occurs in the cath lab. The oversight for nursing practice in your cath lab could come through dotted-line accountability to any appropriate supervisory nurse in the organization. This might be your nursing division director for cardiovascular services or even your chief nursing executive. The individual who's accountable for this oversight must be introduced to both the new manager and the nursing team members in the cath lab, and all involved must understand their roles, responsibilities, and relationship to each other.