- 21 November 2018
- 4 min read
The challenges of transitioning from nurse to home manager
The transition from nursing to care management involves a steep learning curve. Nurses must retain their empathy for patients, but within a business environment. Mark Redmond examines the challenges nurses face when making the move to home management.
Many care homes, especially smaller ones, are started by nurses.
At this point the nurse is forced to consider the two hats they need to wear. They are still the person wishing to provide quality care.
But they have also become the other one - the home manager - that needs to keep an eye on spreadsheets and rotas and CQC requirements.
Managers must work at the intersection between leading and inspiring staff, and managing service provision.
Be the change you want from your manager
We’ve all been there. We’ve sat in staff meetings or sporadic supervision sessions and thought about our managers… thinking ‘I could do your job’.
On the whole we’d probably be right - or almost after a bit of hard work.
The question is how do you get from being a good nursing care worker to becoming a successful home manager?
When you think about it, the actual steps to take for that transition are not quite as difficult as you might think….
… if you are prepared to put in a lot of additional work, take on extra responsibilities and spend some of your own time doing a course either whilst at work or at college or university.
The first step for anyone wanting to make the transition to home management is to visit the Skills for Care website, that is focused on supporting managers.
This site has a raft of ongoing info and ideas to get you started and supported in your first job.
There’s more to home management than staff meetings
These tools are an excellent start, but let’s face it, being a care home manager is more than dealing with the issues that we might see from our managers in a staff meeting or a one to one.
Management and leadership is so much more – encompassing financial, legal, networking, mentoring, publicity. It requires a thick skin, a quick brain, and an ability to enable staff to commit to your vision of the service.
So, on second thoughts maybe making that shift isn’t easy as it seems!
Learn from other managers - and get talking
My first tip is to stop seeing your existing manager as a threat or a problem, and start seeing them as an opportunity.
Sit back and ask yourself why they are making the decisions they make. If you have supervision make the most if it, asking your supervisor to be your mentor.
You don’t have to love your manager to turn them into someone you can learn from.
Think about how your manager relates to staff. In making transitions from staff member to staff leader, one of the most difficult things is to negotiate the changes with work colleagues.
You are no longer a peer but a manager who might have to hold them to account. How does your manager do that? How do they manage the rota?
My second tip is to get out and start talking to other managers.
Build a network of supportive people around you who are dealing with the same issues you face.
Remember a transition to a care home manager role doesn’t have to be done alone.
But it is something that needs to be done with planning and consideration.