Stay in the know.

Join our free nurse community to get updates on trending questions and the topics you care about

I am a RN with 5 yrs of bedside hospital experience and 1.5 yrs of phone triage/admin work. I want to get into management, but I keep getting rejected when I apply and never called to interview. Any suggestions on how to make the next career step?


November 26th, 2022

Have you worked as a full-time charge nurse? Having done that is definitely a pre-requisite and if you’re having trouble being considered for a charge position, talk to your current manager and let her/him know that you’re very motivated to train for that role, even if it’s on a PRN basis as they need fill-ins.

If you can manage a unit in a calm and professional manner, keeping emotions and personal opinions and most importantly, GOSSIP, out of your working practice, this will shed a lot of positive light on you. Working in management takes a special temperament and definitely a mature mentality.

Lead by example, never expect another nurse or tech to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself, NEVER gossip bc it causes loss of credibility and a general negative atmosphere, treat patients, visitors and staff with respect at all times, and above all else, put patient care and their families first. Communicate w staff and keep patients and family informed of their plan of care at each encounter. Knowledgeable patients rarely need service recovery.

Nursing is all about baby steps. We all start at the bottom and then get promoted when we’re ready for the next challenge. You’ll get there!

July 24th, 2022

My advice would be to take a house supervisor or assistant manager position first. Always stay current in practice, I am a Director and still work shifts on my unit when I can - that keeps my skills, builds trust and always makes me feel like I’m not stuck in management if I change my mind. Good luck!

August 11th, 2022

My first question is do you have your BSN? If you do then perhaps your resume should describe the management skills that you have used and which ones, would meet their needs for the position you are applying to. I don't know which positions you have been applying for, which would make a big difference. Going on the assumption that you have your BSN What are they looking for? 1.5 years with phone triage is not sufficient, as they would want to know your experience with staffing, employee management, evaluations, and more.

July 24th, 2022

What degree do you have? Many leadership roles require BSN or MSN now. Do you have leadership experience in your current role? It doesn’t have to be an official title but are you participating in committees where decisions are being made or developing protocols or solutions to problems? If the answer is yes, then you may just need a resume makeover to highlight those informal leadership activities. Good luck!

August 10th, 2023

What is your education? Have you gotten your BSN ? Also, if I were you, I would get a job as a staff nurse at whatever type of unit you want to charge. Management is alot more than just bossing people around and if you do that poorly and people quit you could cost the hospital alot of money. Once you've been off bedside nursing for more than a couple of years you may even have trouble getting a bedside nurse job. If I was the hiring manager I would look at what you've pursued in education and job choice to get in Management and you are getting close to being out of reach. A position as a House Supervisor would help. Why would you take a job as a phone triage nurse if you want Management?

March 18th, 2024

Best to stay at bedside. That’s what they want from nurses. I have over 20 years of bedside nursing, then took a remote nurse abstractor job. After 12 years I tried to get back into patient care and was told I was not qualified. I am a nurse for 33 years with a MSN and have a license to practice nursing. Bottom line—MONEY— the hospitals get rid of the long term nurses that are not at the bedside. These nurses can be replaced. The hospitals want new nurses so they can pay them less. I also want to say you never lose your basic skills of bedside nursing. It’s like riding a bike. I can understand their concern but orientation would take care of that. So nurses beware—stay at the bedside if you want to keep your job!

April 18th, 2023

You will need to network with those in management including your current manager. In my experience it isn't what you know but rather WHO you know :-). Also look outside of the hospital for business opportunities such as insurance companies and workman's comp.

February 5th, 2023

Go up the ladder within a specific unit. Staff RN then charge RN then clinical manager and maybe director. Or go into a house supervisor position which sees the organization globally and from there you can get into another admin position if desire. In the house supervisor position allows one to network and get to know middle and above management including CEOs. All of it is not easy but great experience. Additionally get your masters in administration, education, or informatics. An alternative is a business degree.
Good Luck.

May 9th, 2024

Seek employment in Utilization Review/Case Management/Discharge Planning. Also seek out Organizations specifically for Admin Nursing i.e. ABQAURP. Quality Management. Best of Luck...a rewarding career.

March 18th, 2024

Your competitiveness is highly dependent on the type of unit you wish to manage. If you are applying to any management role, you may not be qualified as the other poster noted, due to a lack of charge RN experience.

However, do not discount that you are unqualified. Certain units are notoriously less selective than the standard hospital management roles. For example, if you wish to manage and lead in a a SNF, nursing home, home health care, hospice, private duty, or similar, they may still strongly consider you. Smaller rural/critical access hospitals might also willing to overlook the lack of charge experience if you interview well and have solid references (e.g., preceptor, quality improvement projects, etc. in lieu of charge experience). Be warned however, that these areas typically pay less and offer worse benefits packages than larger academic centers.

To put this another way: You may also consider your education and qualifications. Many unit managers hold a BSN and 5 years of nursing experience PLUS specific demonstration of increasing responsibilities. This does not always have to mean that you worked as a charge, but it frequently does mean that this is the case.

Some areas of nursing will specifically ask that you have an MSN and/or MBA. If you work in a very well-regarded prestigious institution, they may not even consider anyone with less than 5 years of nursing plus at least an additional year of charge AND some sort of masters degree. Sometimes working for government leads to the same: HR must check yes to either MSN or MBA or MHA to even consider you.

March 1st, 2024

Consider reaching out to colleagues that have management experience for referrals. You also might want to submit referral letters. Mock interviews help

February 4th, 2024

Stay positive and persistent, each rejection is an opportunity to learn and grow and consider transitional roles gradually. Seek feedback from hiring managers or supervisors on areas for improvement and work on addressing any weaknesses they identify. Consider educational opportunities pursuing further education or certifications in healthcare management. Don't give up.

December 27th, 2023

You need to be in a charge nurse role and take on additional duties. Work your way to assistant manager or if possible manager in a unit where you’ve been working. It can take time, but it is doable. Also, work on your BSN and/or MSN. That will open more doors.

December 10th, 2023

The first thing that is a really good idea to have is your BSN. If you don’t have that, get into a bridge program. As soon as you get that, it opens up a lot of doors. Also, make sure that you have your ACLS/PALS/NRP (if applicable). Make sure you have strong references, others charge nurses/NPs/MDs if possible. Be open to working extra hrs and possibly a crappy schedule to be a charge nurse depending on where u work.

October 16th, 2023

Unless you want to move up in management on the triage line of work, you might want to go back to the hospital floor at least per diem, or PRN. At least a day a week. Look for opportunities to serve your team. And moving forward into your education in leadership, if you have your BSN, then work towards your MSN. The best leaders are those who want to help their teams grow, to be the best they can be, so they can take the best care of their patients.

October 1st, 2023

Make sure your resume is worded toward the management position. Emphasize the skills that are are focused on management. With 5 years in hospital you have managed, staff, patients and families. You have educated in all those areas as well. Narrow down what speciality you want to manage in. Hospital, home health, Senior living? Best wishes in your search. On the flip side how did you get into phone triage and did you enjoy it?

July 3rd, 2023

What is your current environment you are working in? And is it the same area that you want to manage in? There are lots of things you can do - just depends on the circumstance. Do you need to begin networking? I highly suggest wherever you are excel there - take on more responsibilities, offer to lead a meeting or training, take efficiency classes/conflict management classes/etc, lead by example, as another has said don’t gossip - ever, be an advocate for both your patients and your co-workers! Good luck

June 29th, 2023

As a newly retired.nyrse

June 5th, 2023

Many questions... I am guessing you have at least a BSN. Next is any experience ie charge RN. Are you looking elsewhere? Much is still about who you know not what you know. Is your phone triage your most recent work experience? No people skills in this role. What type of mgmt? Do you want it for the $$$ or headache?

February 1st, 2023

It is unlikely you will get hired in leadership without experience. Your best bet is to speak with leadership at your current job and look for growth opportunities there.

January 8th, 2023

Hello there! We are hiring for Assistant Nurse Manager if you are interested. Please let me know. Thank you!

December 12th, 2022

I would suggest a couple of things. One, make a move to a specialty area, ED or ICU to get critical care experience. Having that can open MANY doors esp in the way of management. I also would suggest taking some management classes to add to your resume or going back to school to get your masters in business or in nursing administration. I have been a nurse since 1997 and went right into the ED out of school as I had worked as an ER tech and a floor secretary along with working on my towns ambulance service as well. I also got my SANE certification and worked sexual assault cases for a few years and did a little home care while my kids were small. I always kept up my ER job perdiem and finally left in 2014 when I got a job as a house supervisor position. I had many years under my belt and felt this was a great stepping stone towards becoming a manager someday. I am still working a a supervisor as dept management is a 24/7 responsibility. I have one younger child at home and one in college so once the younger one is able to stay alone and fend for herself more, I hope to start looking for an ER manager or assistant manager job. I wish you the best and hope that these suggestions help!!

December 12th, 2022

By