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What Do Nurses Want from Their Managers?

What Do Nurses Want From Their Managers

During a given day, nurses work with patients, patients’ family members, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They also work with managers. A great manager can help a nurse achieve job satisfaction and be successful. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a manager can reduce a nurse’s job satisfaction and ability to succeed.

High-Quality Leadership

Not surprisingly, high-quality leadership is at the top of the list of what nurses want from their managers. An article from Nurse Together explains that this factor is so important that “numerous studies on job satisfaction [show] that high-quality leadership from an experienced nurse manager is a crucial factor in reducing staff turnover.” Leadership styles vary from one manager to another. The article explains that managers may have an autocratic, democratic, or bureaucratic leadership style. Sometimes, managers may use a little of each style: “Most nurse managers will use some version…or switch between them as the situation dictates.”


“Nurses look for leaders who demonstrate integrity, speak the truth, and walk their talk,” according to What do Nurses want from their Leaders? from Emerging RN Leader. This may be referred to as authenticity, which is termed a “fundamental building block of a healthy environment according to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and their research on transformational leadership style.” What is more authentic than leading by example? In Nurse Management Skills: 6 Tips for Improvement, a Nurse Together article, author Sue Heacock explains that nurses don’t just look to their managers; they also look at them. If managers lead by example, their nurses can respect them and learn from them.

Supportive of Career Goals

Some nurses want to stay in a particular unit or a particular hospital for the long term. Others have a long-term goal of moving to a specific department or even a different hospital. In an article for Scrubs Magazine, Rob Cameron explains how an unsupportive manager left him feeling “disheartened and disillusioned.” With his organization undergoing many changes, Cameron let his boss know that he was “interested in moving up the ladder.” Explaining his goals, he asked her to support him and mentor him. The response was far less than he expected. It “really just shot me down.” Cameron, like many nurses, wanted support and mentorship that would help him move toward his career goals, but his boss offered nothing of the sort. Are you ready to find your ideal work situation? At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we understand that you work hard. We know how important it is for you to have support from your managers, and we want to help you find the environment that will move you closer to your long-term career goals. Give us a call at 310.436.3650 so we can get started today.