Work life balance for nurse managers

We have seen a lot of interest in nursing staff burnout lately, both through searches that find this blog and our other blog (, but also in the media and healthcare blogosphere in general, and in nursing forums and social networks. It is obvious that the economy and change in working conditions for nurses is taking its toll and nurses may be nearing the tipping point, when their physical and emotional health concerns outweigh their financial concerns. Let’s face it, people can only work 50-60 hours a week for so long.

But this post is about you the nurse manager. How many hours are you working? Are you sacrificing your work life balance at the expense of your emotional and physical well being? If you are, stop. You may be hurting patient care just as much as your burned out staff.

How? As a their manager, your nurses take their behavioral cues from you, so if you are stressed and burned out, that is going to impact them and the patient care they give. It is pretty simple:
Happy Manager + Happy Staff = Happy Patient

And we all know that happy patients come back to your hospital and recommend you to their family and friends, increasing hospital revenue and making your hospital CFO and CMO happy. Plus when hospital revenue is up, so many other good things happen, new programs that help patients can be implemented, additional staff can be brought on to improve nurse to patient ratios and so many other side benefits that come with being a financially sound hospital.

So the real question is how do you achieve that work life balance as a nurse manager with so many people relying on you, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your employees? That is where you have to get creative. And where this series should help, over the next couple of posts I will be bringing you a series of articles to help you find work/life balance as a nursing manager. Stay tuned.

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