Nurse unit managers oversee all aspects of operating a unit within a health care facility, from supervising nursing staff to monitoring patient care; extensive clinical experience, prior administrative experience, and training in both nursing and management (is a plus); need strong communication skills, diplomacy and the ability to take leadership of any situation. Nurse unit managers must be licensed as Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurse, and have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
DUTIES: Nurse unit managers handle all supervisory duties for the unit, overseeing registered and licensed practical nurses, nursing aides, medical clerks and support staff. They set work schedules, delegate assignments, assign tasks and evaluate employee job performance, as well as disciplining employees who don't fulfill their job requirements or provide inadequate patient care; establish employee policies and procedures. Nurse unit managers often mentor less experienced nurses, offering clinical and career advice; set goals and standards for the unit, and may hold regular staff meetings in which they give directions or discuss areas for improvement.
Nurse unit managers establish standards of nursing care for the unit, applying evidence-based standards and health care research; monitor patient care to ensure it meets the facility's standards, and review patient records to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of the care provided by the unit. If a nurse has a question or concern about a patient's care, the unit manager may consult the patient's physician or recommend treatment options. Unit managers not only monitor overall care, they may review an individual patient's case, especially if it's complicated or if the patient is not responding to treatment. They also address questions or complaints brought forward by patients or their families.
Nurse unit manager ensure the department is well-stocked with medical supplies, including medications and equipment. They represent the unit's interests, consulting with senior management if the staff has questions or concerns, recommending changes and improvements, and offering the unit's opinion regarding proposed changes or decisions under consideration by the facility's leadership staff.