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5 Ways to Become the Head Nurse

Steve Berman | NursingLink

5 Ways to Become the Head Nurse


5. Be Patient

It can take several years to become a head nurse, even if you take care of the first four things on this list. Generally speaking, becoming a head nurse takes a combination of skill and tenure. You need to be good at your job and show that you’re in it for the long haul. So if you want to get promoted to the top spot, but the only option available is a much smaller promotion or a transfer to another department, take the smaller promotion or the transfer in stride. Persistence is key to becoming a head nurse, because it’s one of the great qualities that those selecting head nurses are looking for.

To be a head nurse, it isn’t enough to just be a good nurse. You have to show that you command the respect of others. You have to be able to give honest assessments of your fellow nurses without fear of hurt feelings or losing friendships. You have to have a strict eye for detail, because if anything goes wrong, the head nurse is the person who gets the blame. That’s the price that comes with the money, power, and respect that head nurses achieve.


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