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I’ve been turned down for management positions because of my lack of budgeting experience. How do I overcome this roadblock?


Dear Donna,

I am a registered nurse with 23 years of experience and a strong clinical background. I have held numerous charge positions, but I want to advance into management. To prepare myself, I have obtained a master’s degree in nursing and health care systems administration as well as nursing education. I am still running into roadblocks due to “lack of budgeting experience.” How does one get “experience” without an opportunity to do so?

Desperately Needing A Change

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Desperately Needing A Change,

It sounds like you need a mentor! Please read “Gearing Up For Management” at and “In Search of the Right Mentor” at

Join and get active in the American Organization of Nurse Executives ( Go to local chapter meetings and get on a committee. You don’t have to have a management position to be a member. It’s a great place to find role models and mentors and to nurture your dream of getting into management. Besides, when there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those successfully doing that thing.

Very few new managers have budgeting experience, and it is easy enough to learn. That one point should not be an obstacle unless you allow it to be. If necessary, volunteer for an organization, association, or social service agency where you will have an opportunity to learn budgeting and financials.

When what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to try a new approach. Do more networking with those already in nursing management, find a mentor even if you’ve never done that before, and continue to move forward toward your goal. You can definitely do this.

I’m rooting for you!

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


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By | 2008-08-22T00:00:00-04:00 August 22nd, 2008|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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