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Assistant nurse managers play an important role in helping nurse managers with their day-to-day tasks. They help to ensure the proper operation of health care facilities and other medical centers in which they are employed. To become an assistant nurse manager, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and several years of post-graduate nursing experience, but the exact educational requirements vary by facility.
Performing Administrative Tasks
Nurse managers are among the busiest health care professionals. Since nurse managers are often swamped by numerous responsibilities, assistant nurse managers play crucial roles in providing administrative support. Assistant nurse managers help their managers oversee the daily operations of their units or facilities and ensure that the entire nursing department runs smoothly and effectively. Some of the administrative tasks an assistant nurse manager may take on include assuming responsibility of the department in the absence of nurse manager, helping prioritize tasks for other nursing staff and dealing with staffing issues and problems.
Ensuring Proper Patient Care
Ensuring that all patients receive proper and efficient care is another important responsibility of an assistant nurse manager. This is an area of responsibility that can cover a wide range of duties, such as assisting with patient care, relaying patient information to doctors and communicating with other health care professionals about a patient's care. An assistant nurse manager may also provide information about care and treatment to patients, help nursing staff address patient problems and resolve patient complaints.
Assisting With Human Resources
Under the supervision of their nurse managers, assistant nurse managers are usually involved in recruiting, hiring and training nursing staff. They also play an important role in staff retention. An assistant nurse manager may provide coaching and counseling to staff about any problems or concerns they have. She helps to address staff issues or concerns that can affect job performance. For example, an assistant nurse manager may try to work with employees to resolve issues on a one-on-one basis. But she may also refer staff to the employee assistance program or other appropriate resources if she identifies interpersonal conflicts between staff or behavioral problems in individual employees.
Training and Educating Staff
Since a nurse manager can be overwhelmed by a variety of administrative responsibilities, an assistant nurse manager sometimes takes on the task of training and educating staff. This can mean performing orientations for new staff, coordinating and leading regular staff training sessions, and conducting weekly staff meetings. Assistant nurse managers identify needed training areas and meet with administrators and staff educators to discuss and develop training seminars in these areas. They may also be involved in coordinating internships or preceptorships for nurse trainees.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Health Services Managers - Summary
- Lippincott's Nursing Center: What Do You Do? Perceptions of Nurse Manager Responsibilities
- The Permanente Journal: Nurse Empowerment From a Middle-Management Perspective: Nurse Managers' and Assistant Nurse Managers' Workplace Empowerment Views
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.