When a hospital is looking for a qualified nursing manager for one of their units; the first thing to start with is the job description, which includes information from the person this position report too and what they are looking for in this position, information from the physicians whose patients are in those units for their wants and needs from this manager toward their patients, number of physicians working in those areas, number of units and beds under this position, number of employees under this position and types of patients in the units. Salary range and relocation assistance are important figures when trying to find the perfect candidates.
Look for qualified candidates with strong nursing experience due to the fact that nursing managers often have to step in and care for patients. A nursing manager that is hands on with patients gains respect from their staff.
The health system needs qualified nurse managers who are effective at problem solving. They must listen to what nurses say, pay attention to what is happening in their units, and gather all relevant facts before making decisions. The staff is much happier in an environment where their participation is valued.
Look for candidates applying for the right reasons such as moving to a place they want to reside long-term or looking to move up within the health system. It is important to look for candidates with excellent nursing experience in the areas required by the position that show a strong record of keeping their positions for at least three years. For example, a management nurse with five years experience in managing an oncology critical care unit would be great for a management position at cancer centers and for Director of Nursing positions (Director of Critical Care or Nurse Director of the Cancer Center) but would not be an ideal candidate for a cardiovascular critical care manager position. Often when nurse managers are promoted to Nurse Director positions they will be working in areas in which they don’t have great experience but with the right managers and supervisors under this position so the patient care is not compromised.
They are so many different nursing management areas in the health-care business—critical care, intensive care, emergency, surgery, oncology, cardiovascular, cardiology, labor & delivery, women’s services, pediatrics, neurology, neuroscience, orthopedics, radiology, home health, etc. The future of finding qualified candidates will become more difficult as the number of available management positions grows daily.
The health system needs to be committed to providing only the top qualified candidates that are interested in relocation and living in your city. The health system might interview 200 quality candidates and find just four stellar candidates for face-to-face interviews. Human resources needs to do all the legwork and screening of these 200 candidates to provide only best candidates for their health systems needs and to not waste the health system's time and money by bringing in too many candidates for face-to-face interviews when only a few of those candidates are actually qualified for their health system needs! References are very important. The person to whom the position will report to should contact some of the references to gain insight as to whether the candidate is capable of handling the position’s needs.
Ideally this should be done before the candidates come in for a face-to-face. In face-to-face interviews, the health system needs to have the right people involved with the process who have strong and positive feelings toward the health system. Poor attitudes and the surfacing of negative experiences discourage candidates from taking positions. That type of information that should be giving the candidate from the person they will be reporting too, so they understand what health system is looking for with person running these units!
It is important to understand candidate’s thoughts about the units right away. Are they interested in the position and if so when would they be available if hired? Do they see anything wrong with these units? To close the deal keep interviews as close together as possible so the health system can make a timely decision and not lose out on great candidates due to time-lag.
David Langmas, The Langmas Group, Inc., Bend, Oregon, www.langmas.com