Nursesí perceptions of preparedness for acting as Nurse Unit Managers: A cross-sectional study
Manion, A and Griffin, PEJ and Van Dam, PJ, Nurses' perceptions of preparedness for acting as Nurse Unit Managers: A cross-sectional study, Collegian Article ePub ahead of print. ISSN 1322-7696 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Background: The Nurse Unit Manager role is vital to achieving outcomes in health care. Although research
shows that Nurse Unit Managers feel underprepared for the role, little is known about the experiences of
senior clinical nurses as they move into the role. The perspectives of these nurses are important because
their perceptions of preparedness will likely affect their experiences, impacting patient and organisational
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the development opportunities available to potential nurse
unit managers in an Australian health service, the effectiveness of these and nursesí perceptions of preparedness for acting in the role.
Methods: A largely quantitative approach was used to collect cross-sectional data via a survey-based
study design. The study examined the experiences of senior nurses who had acted in the Nurse Unit
Manager role, across four domains aligned with the roleís position description.
Findings: Overall, participants reported feeling unprepared for the Nurse Unit Manager role, which negatively affected their experiences. Participants reported a deficit in support and structured development
opportunities provided to potential Nurse Unit Managers. Where education was received, participants reported feeling more confident and prepared.
Discussion: The findings suggest that education, mentorship and experience in acting in the role contributed to nurses feeling prepared and confident about transitioning into the Nurse Unit Manager role.
Further research should be directed to the development, implementation and evaluation of structured
development programs that encompass these aspects.
Conclusion: This study indicates that strategies should be implemented to improve the preparation of
potential Nurse Unit Managers.
nurse manager, professional development, education, leadership development