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  • Writer's pictureLeanna Coy, FNP-C

Ouch! The Pain Points of a Nurse Manager

Focusing on the big daily concerns stressing nurse managers

Woman in a while blouse sits at a desk next to a window working on a calculator while writing on papers in front of her laptop
Nurse managers juggle pain points on a daily basis

As a nurse and nurse practitioner, I have worked closely with nurse managers at various levels, from being overseen by a nurse manager to collaborating with them. This extensive experience helps inform my writing as I clearly understand the pain points nurse managers struggle with. Let me share some of that insight.

Staff retention

Turnover for nursing staff is problematic for many reasons. First and foremost, a facility cannot provide the quality of care most organizations strive for without the needed staff. Second, turnover is expensive. The cost of onboarding and training is high, not to mention the potential cost of overtime or locum coverage until a replacement nurse is hired. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing turnover increased from an average of 13% to 15% and is an ongoing problem.


If you haven't heard, being a nurse or any other healthcare professional is stressful. Burnout is a real thing affecting millions of nurses and health professionals daily. Nurse managers must balance their staff workload with mitigating burnout from the mental and physical stressors of the job.

Patient experience

Patients have expectations with their healthcare. Everyone wants the best care for themselves and their family members. When this does not happen, the nurse manager deals with problems that arise. Nurses, as a rule, do their best to provide the best care. However, nurses are just people who have the same challenges in life as everyone else, and sometimes, they have a bad day that can affect the patient's experience. The nurse manager must deal with problems as they arise while staying mindful of both their staff burnout and retention issues. This becomes quite the juggling act.

Compliance and regulatory burdens

There are so many rules and regulations to keep a clinic, hospital, or even just a nurse advice line up and running. The nurse manager is tasked with ensuring the facility remains in compliance with these regulations at all times. This involves a lot of work on protocols, checking supplies, monitoring equipment, and tracking staff licensure, among other things.

Budget constraints

Everyone has a budget, and it seems these budgets get tighter every year. Supplies in the healthcare industry are often quite expensive and must be updated frequently. Many supplies are sterile and have an expiration date that must be obeyed, even if it is just an unopened plastic tube. (This is one of those rules under compliance). Add staffing, maintenance, and upkeep costs to the nurse manager's overflowing plate of expenses.

Supply chain issues

This problem became a major issue during the COVID-19 pandemic when most people became aware of healthcare facilities' difficulties in obtaining essential gloves and face masks. Supply issues continue to cause havoc for the nurse manager when stocked medications, vaccines, and other supplies are on indefinite backorder.

The work of a nurse manager is extensive with many pain points they juggle on a daily basis. When preparing B2B content for nurse managers, knowing the common pain points will help guide how best to address them.

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