Common Mistakes New Nurse Managers Make

Author: Bells Breakthrough Leadership Coaching LLC |

Blog by Bells Breakthrough Leadership Coaching LLC

Congratulations! Your hard work and skills have landed you in a nurse manager role.

In your new role as a nurse manager, you're responsible for creating safe, healthy work environments that promote patient engagement and support the work of the health care team. As a team leader, your role is imperative to creating a professional environment that fosters a culture that facilitates optimal patient outcomes and professional growth.

However, transitioning into a management role can be both rewarding and challenging. Further, being new to this job can put you at risk of falling for pitfalls that could drag you down.

Here is a list of new nurse managers' most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Thinking you must have all the answers
Nurse managers are expected to make decisions and solve problems as part of the job. Nevertheless, if you are a new nurse manager, don't expect to have all the answers, especially to staff problems. Rather than attempting to solve all the employees' concerns, it would be better to empower staff to deal with their issues.

2. Micromanaging
Micromanagement is yet another one of the mistakes that are easy to get caught up in when you are a first-time manager. You need to avoid the temptation to be a micromanager! A telltale sign of a rookie manager is always stepping in and redoing the work their team members are assigned to do. Doing too much can lead to burnout. Help your team by giving them resources, education, and guidance.

3. Time management issues
Most new nurse leaders probably make the most common mistake of believing that an open door policy means your door should always be open. During this time, you may feel it is crucial for you to be constantly available and not set any boundaries around your time. With this approach, you will be continuously interrupted and find it challenging to get your work done.

4. Not setting clear expectations
While taking up a leadership role is exciting, I have seen many inexperienced nurse managers failing to communicate adequately with their team. I mostly hear them say things like, "Why should I have to tell them the obvious?" Just because something is obvious to you as a manager doesn't mean it's obvious to others. It's wrong to hold people accountable for unstated expectations.

5. Putting too much on your plate
You can't expect to do everything, so don't hesitate to ask for help! A sure sign that you're a new manager is that you haven't yet learned how to delegate or ask for help. Being a manager can be challenging, but you shouldn't have to struggle every day. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, speak up and ask for help!

To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to Sarah at Bells Breakthrough Leadership Coaching LLC. I am a certified professional leadership coach focused on helping outstanding nurses become influential and impactful leaders. As a leadership coach, I help leaders build relationships with their teams, uncover leadership gaps, and correct them, increasing employee engagement and achieving business goals.

My services are available across Southlake, Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Plano, Frisco, Decatur, Weatherford, and the United States.

Get in touch with me today!

To learn more about how I can help you, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here or call us at (214) 546-3127 or email me at