I am in my late 50s. I have an MSN. My work history includes CMS/state surveyor for 10 years, manager of quality and director of operations at a home care agency plus many years working in dialysis and critical care. I don’t have solid management or performance improvement training, for example, Lean Six Sigma. My brief foray into management was a disaster as my vice president was not interested in mentoring and I floundered.
I am presently working in risk in a position that is basically task-oriented and I am so unhappy. I have tried pro-actively to demonstrate I can do more than I am assigned but am hitting a brick wall. My department will not send me for any additional training. How can I get the management training I crave so I can end my career on a high note? I know I have another 14 of years of high-quality performance to give but am hesitant at my age to venture further.
Craving Management Roles
Dear Craving Management Roles,
If you rely exclusively on your employer for your career development you will be in a sorry state. You have to take the bull by the horns and be pro-active in getting where you want and deserve to be. Your age is merely in the mid-life range. You potentially have many years of living and working ahead regardless of your retirement plan. One can build an entire career in 14 years, so don’t hold back.
Join and get active in the Association of Nurses Executives. This organization is open to any nurses interested in leadership and management. Become active in the association by getting on a committee or running for office. Not only is this a way to gain leadership and management experience, but it is also a good way to get to know other nurse leaders well, and for them to get to know you. When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. Plus, this is a good way to find role models and mentors. Read “In search of the right mentor” for tips.
Regarding the Six Sigma Lean training you crave, consider taking it on your own. Find a school that offers it, inquire about financial aid and pursue it. Don’t wait for your employer to make it happen. Make it happen on your own. Education is never wasted. And once you retire (if you ever do) you might even want to consult in the area of quality and risk management since you have such a great background. This would certainly help to support that.
It is said that when we are on our death beds we don’t regret the things we’ve done but rather the things we didn’t do. Don’t live with regret and despair wondering what might have been. Work toward your highest potential and go after your dreams while you are able.