so you’re not a real nurse?

Yes I am a nurse. No I do not directly care for patients. This is something that has been hard to explain to the average person who is not in healthcare. And honestly, many times other people IN healthcare don’t understand the role. My own grandma is still confused.

I am proud to be a nurse. I think most nurses feel this way. It’s a difficult yet rewarding job, and in general nursing is viewed as a meaningful, noble profession. Usually when the random person asks me what I do – I say I’m a nurse. People understand what that means. Once specifics start to get asked – I know I’m in for the confused look and questions that make me feel like a fraud.

Nurse = care for patients. When a person finds this isn’t the case, the next question is typically: so what do you actually do? This is a tough one to answer! What I DON’T do would be a shorter reply.

I would bet that the responsibilities of a nurse manager span farther than managers in many other industries. The shear amount of direct reports is much greater. I am responsible for 80+ staff members.

Officially I have to keep up with competing priorities such as budgets, patient satisfaction, scheduling, staff satisfaction, performance management, hiring and firing, process improvement, patient outcomes, and ensuring compliance with multiple regulatory bodies – CMS, Joint Commission.

Unofficially I am a chaos coordinator, therapist, fire fighter, life coach, and what sometimes feels like a mom to toddlers. I have no children of my own but I think I will be well prepared for it.


One thought on “so you’re not a real nurse?

  1. In a time when the administration of health care is being handed over to people who wouldn’t know the living from the dead (and many of them, I suspect, don’t much care as long as the money flows in), I’m grateful that a nurse is in charge of nursing still.


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