Skills for a successful transition into Clinical Nurse Management

February 26, 2019

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) found that there was two times more turnover among nurse managers than with clinical nurses. They conducted a study involving 18 CRNA’s to determine why turnover was so high and what knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and resources could help support a CRNA’s success after transitioning into a management role. The study participants were asked several open-ended questions regarding their role and experiences as CRNA managers. The results showed that the most common barriers to transitioning into management were lack of defined responsibilities, lack of preparedness in conflict management and lack of training. 61% of interviewees had no previous management experience and “fell” into the role – this group was less likely to have received adequate training and organizational support. Interviewees, of whom 89% had over 6 years of clinical experience, stated that the most valuable resource was mentorship, and the most important skill was people skills. Overall, study participants shared that a successful nurse manager can clearly define their role, has support from their organization and mentors and is able to spend the majority of their time devoted to managerial duties.  Despite this perspective, 76% of managerial CRNAs spend at least 50% of their time devoted to clinical duties.