Would it surprise you to know that President Obama’s health care law goes well beyond simply providing insurance to those who don’t have it? Indeed, the Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as ObamaCare) contains an entire litany of new regulations that will affect everything from who receives care to how services are bought and paid for.
A good example of the burdensome regulations applies directly to nurse management jobs. There is a provision in the law requiring medical facilities to allow breaks for employees who are also nursing mothers, in order to allow them time to express milk. For a nurse manager this presents a whole new set of problems.
For instance, the law states breaks must be “reasonable” in terms of length. But who decides what “reasonable” is? If one nursing mother can express her milk in 15 minutes while another takes 30, there will be questions about fairness and equal time. Then there’s the question of workers who have babies brought to the workplace to nurse rather than expressing milk and putting it in the refrigerator.
Just this one little regulation is already causing a lot of headaches for nurse managers. It provides further evidence that the health care overhaul is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Nurse Management Jobs Still Worthwhile
Despite the changes in the healthcare regulations, don’t be discouraged if you want to get into the healthcare field. Nurse management jobs are still very attractive for a variety of reasons. They offer excellent pay, a good working environment, and room for professional advancement.
Furthermore, working as a nurse manager brings with it a measure of personal satisfaction by being able to help make the lives of patients better. By your willingness to put your best foot forward your nursing staff will be encouraged to do the same and your patients will benefit.
You and Your Staff
To excel as a nurse manager requires a way of thinking that’s slightly different from what you did as an active floor nurse. In other words, before moving into management your primary focus was your patients. As a nurse manager you’re still focused on patient care, but you’re more focused on your staff as the vehicle to provide that care.
Nurse management jobs are therefore more about encouraging the success of your staff. When you’re nurses are doing well, so will your patients. When your nurses are not performing up to standards patient care will suffer.
Nurse Managers also have the added responsibility of representing their staff before upper management and other members of the healthcare team. This requires a certain amount advocacy which some nurse managers find difficult. Nonetheless, it’s part of building a solid team.
In the United States there is currently a significant shortage of nurses and nurse managers. There are nurse management jobs available in big cities, small towns, and through temporary staffing agencies. If you’re qualified and want to work, it’s out there for the taking.