Chapter 29: Managing Your Career


Chapter 29: Managing Your Career
Yoder-Wise: Leading and Managing in Nursing, 6th Edition


1. A new graduate is seeking a new position in nursing and wants to “sell” herself effectively. The best strategy is to:
a. Create a résumé.
b. Practice interviewing.
c. Call the personnel offices.
d. Create a curriculum vitae.
A résumé provides a customized overview of details of your professional background that relates specifically to a position for which you are applying. Résumés advertise your skills to a prospective employer.

REF: Page 550 | Page 551
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

2. A nurse manager has been employed in the same facility for 20 years and has held the same position. This career style is known as:
a. Linear.
b. Spiral.
c. Steady state.
d. Entrepreneurial/transient.
Career styles that are marked by selecting and staying in a role throughout a career are characterized as steady state.

REF: Page 547 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

3. The nurse executive at the local hospital began working there 20 years ago and has risen to the highest designation in nursing. This career style is known as:
a. Linear.
b. Spiral.
c. Steady state.
d. Entrepreneurial/transient.
The linear career style, as described by Friss (1989), refers to vertical advancement in an organization and is of interest to those with a desire to gain organizational knowledge and different perspectives on nursing.

REF: Page 547 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

4. Before beginning her own nursing agency, a nurse worked with other temporary nursing agencies in nine states. This career style is known as:
a. Linear.
b. Spiral.
c. Steady state.
d. Entrepreneurial/transient.
The entrepreneurial/transient career style, as described by Friss (1989), is appealing to nurses who enjoy variety in experiences.

REF: Page 547 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

5. A young male nurse began in nursing as a staff nurse at a hospital. After 3 years, he moved to a home healthcare agency. After 2 years, he was promoted to a managerial position and now has returned to another hospital as a new director of nursing. This career style is known as:
a. Linear.
b. Spiral.
c. Steady state.
d. Entrepreneurial/transient.
The spiral career style, as described by Friss (1989), involves an in-and-out and up-and-down approach to opportunities.

REF: Page 547 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

6. A unit manager recently graduated as a clinical nurse specialist with a focus in gerontology. She applied to take a certification exam. Certification is designed to recognize:
a. Basic knowledge in a specified area.
b. Advanced practice in functional roles.
c. Special knowledge beyond basic licensure.
d. Continued competence as a registered nurse.
Certification is an expectation in some settings for career advancement in advanced practice or in specialized areas and goes beyond basic preparation.

REF: Page 559 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

7. Which of the following situations is most likely to result in a productive, whole work situation?
a. Amy, RN, 5 years of experience in the emergency department. Amy accepts a position working with older clients in a home health agency because she has relocated and this is the only full-time position available.
b. Adam, RN, 8 years of experience in various nursing positions, including that of a nurse manager. Adam accepts a new nurse manager position because he has a family and wants more regular hours. He is most comfortable working in direct client care.
c. Louise, RN, 10 years of experience in an emergency department. She accepts a position as a case manager in home health care, working with older clients. She especially enjoys working with older adults and wants to take on leadership and management challenges.
d. Courtney, RN, a new graduate. Courtney is getting comfortable with delivering nursing care as an RN. She is offered a position on surgery as a permanent team leader. The unit has had a great deal of turnover recently, and only limited mentorship is available.
The whole of any work situation is composed of two elements: person and position. A productive, whole work situation results when a person’s talents and strengths are successfully blended with expectations of the position. Of the situations described previously, the one most likely to result in a productive, whole work situation is that of Louise, who, although her experience has not been in home health, is interested in both the roles and the responsibilities of the position, as well as the target group being served. She also considers the group being served as an area in which she demonstrates strength.

REF: Page 545 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

8. A nurse is applying for a new position. This position is one in which she will serve as a liaison between a hospital and a school of nursing. The nurse has to update her résumé to include her teaching experience. The goal of creating a curriculum vitae is to:
a. Have a listing of facts about your professional life.
b. Provide potential employers with information about where you are in your career.
c. Respond quickly whenever a position becomes available.
d. Be certain you can recall facts for a prospective position.
A curriculum vitae provides an all-inclusive but not detailed listing of your professional life. This approach allows a prospective employer to find the most recent information quickly and gain a sense of where you are in your career.

REF: Page 550 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

9. To develop a curriculum vitae, or résumé, a nurse must develop a personal data file. The goal of a personal data file is to:
a. Create an opportunity to be interviewed.
b. Have a listing of facts about your professional life.
c. Have a tool in place for marketing yourself.
d. Create a document that lists your skills.
A personal data file enables storage and recall of career-specific details that can be retrieved and shaped for a specific purpose using cut-and-paste approaches rather than creating whole new documents.

REF: Page 549 | Page 550 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

10. An experienced staff nurse applies for a distinct position of patient advocate at a new clinic. Based on the various tools available to her, which of the following should she bring to her interview to best present her skills?
a. Résumé
b. Annual evaluations
c. Portfolio
d. Patient advocacy project
A portfolio enables prospective employers to view evidence of significant achievements and responsibilities that would be pertinent to the position.

REF: Page 553 | Page 554 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism

11. During performance appraisal interviews, Joanne’s nurse manager notices Joanne’s excitement when she talks about how she has helped patients on a rehab unit understand the complexities of their regimens. When Joanne’s nurse manager asks her about her career path plans, Joanne says that she wants to become a nurse administrator. The best response to Joanne would be:
a. “Nursing administration is rewarding. What experiences would help you along this path?”
b. “You do not appear excited about nursing administration. Unless you are excited by that career path, I wouldn’t advise going in that direction.”
c. “You seem to find teaching others very rewarding. Have you considered that as a possible career path?”
d. “You are too inexperienced to consider administration. Work for a few years, and then consider administration.”
Joanne evidences excitement about teaching patients, and although administration could be a rewarding path for her, education might be a better option for her to consider. Looking at job aspects that are rewarding is helpful in determining which career direction to pursue.

REF: Page 545 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism

12. Knowing your professional strengths is important to:
a. Finding your fit in positions and a career path.
b. Maintain a professional status.
c. Act in a manner that is legal and ethical.
d. Understand the role expectations of a position.
Being aware of your strengths is critical in determining what you will bring to a position and can be used to find your fit and possible career path. Knowledge and experience are important in maintaining the privilege of belonging to a profession and of behaving ethically and legally.

REF: Page 545 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism

13. You are offered an opportunity to take a temporary leave from your position as a nurse manager to lead a technology implementation project. Which of the following reasons for accepting the opportunity is most consistent with developing a solid career path?
a. You are pressured to do so by your supervisor.
b. The organization has no other suitable candidate for the position.
c. You have limited knowledge of information technology and no real interest, but this will increase your knowledge.
d. Accepting a position outside of your established skill set may establish you organizationally as an innovative, adaptable leader.
Although giving into organizational or supervisory pressure may bring an enhanced learning and organizational profile, what is to be gained needs to be assessed against your career goals, interest, and aspirations. Increasing and expanding your skill set within defined career interests is a valid reason to consider a chance opportunity.

REF: Page 561 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism

14. Steady state styles would be most likely in which of the following situations?
a. Small hospital, in an isolated rural setting, with limited hierarchy
b. Large urban teaching hospital
c. Health network with several organizations
d. Travel nurse agency
Steady state career styles (career-long commitment to a particular position) are more likely in rural settings, where commitment to the community is high and alternative career opportunities are limited.

REF: Page 547 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism

15. On your curriculum vitae, which of the following is the recommended approach for listing employment and educational history information?
a. 1979 RN Diploma
1985 BScN
2002 MN
b. 2002 Mount Rush Health Center Staff Nurse
1997 Cedar Falls Clinic Staff Nurse
2007 Kilkarney Rehab Center Case Manager
c. 2007 MN
2005 BScN
d. 1997 Sturgeon County Hospital Head Nurse
2002 Sturgeon County Supervisor
2007 Sturgeon County Director
Information that is included in the body of the curriculum vitae should always be in reverse chronological order so that the most recent and, presumably, most relevant job information appears first.

REF: Page 550 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

16. Which of the following needs revision on a résumé or CV?
a. John Jones
87 Highway Drive
City, MI 79110
[email protected]
b. M. Howes
Anyway Highway
City, MO 77700
(H) 777-777-0000
e-mail: [email protected]
c. Dr. L. Jones
99 Carway Drive
City, NY 84003
(H) 999-999-0000
(Cell) 999-000-9999
d. Tanya Jones
67 Honeywell Drive
City, MO 66907
[email protected]
When including Web or e-mail addresses, it is important to use addresses that are not overly casual or that communicate personal information.

REF: Page 550 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

17. The primary difference between a résumé and a CV is that a résumé:
a. Reflects your skills, knowledge, and background in relation to a specific position.
b. Offers a detailed listing of positions held and where positions were held.
c. Includes a long and detailed explanation of academic and work experience.
d. Provides contact information and focuses on your background, in general.
A résumé is a short, customized overview of your professional life that relates to the qualifications of specific positions and how you are able to match your background to the qualifications that are desired. Provision of contact information is common to both the résumé and the CV. Résumés are more effective if details of particular positions that have been held are highlighted as compared with a detailed listing of positions held.

REF: Page 550 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

18. A functional résumé focuses on:
a. Experience and skills gained in positions.
b. Positions held and specific roles in the positions.
c. Academic qualifications and achievements.
d. Relating skills and experience to qualifications in a specific position.
Functional résumés highlight skills and experience gained rather the details of specific positions. As with résumés in general, skills and experiences are customized to create an image of an individual in a particular position.

REF: Page 551 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

19. A cover letter and a résumé together should be no longer than ________ page(s).
a. Two
b. One
c. Four
d. Three
Two pages is recommended for a résumé and one for a cover letter.

REF: Page 551 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

20. During an interview for a manager’s position, you find the supervisor and staff unfriendly. Responses to questions are met with vague responses. After the interview, you decide not to pursue the position. What follow-up, if any, is most appropriate?
a. There is no need for you to do anything further. You likely will not be offered the position anyway.
b. You should file a complaint with Human Resources about the supervisor’s lack of interviewing skills.
c. You should send a thank-you note to the interviewer, indicating appreciation for her time.
d. You should call and leave a voicemail, indicating your disinterest in the position.
Even if you are disinterested in the position or think that the interview has gone badly, an appropriate follow-up is a thank-you note to the interviewer. This recommended follow-up creates a positive impression and may leave open the possibility of future interactions.

REF: Page 552 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

21. A well-written letter of resignation is critical to:
a. First announce your intent to resign.
b. Formally signal discontent in your current position.
c. Maintain a positive relationship with your former organization and colleagues.
d. Fulfill your legal obligations as a departing employee.
A well-written resignation letter outlines your intent to leave the organization and your appreciation of the organization but should follow an initial meeting with your manager to first discuss your intention. A well-written letter maintains a positive relationship with the organization.

REF: Page 552 | Page 553
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

22. In preparing for a fair interview process as a hiring manager, you should:
a. Put water out for the candidates.
b. Ensure that you know the names of all candidates.
c. Dress comfortably and professionally.
d. Prepare a schedule of questions to be asked of all candidates.
Although providing water, knowing names, and dressing appropriately sets a professional and respectful tone for the interview, developing a schedule of questions to be asked of all candidates is important for gathering comparative data and ensuring equitable treatment.

REF: Page 554 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

23. To enhance team leadership skills for your team leaders, you arrange opportunities for:
a. Certification.
b. Continuing education.
c. Graduate courses.
d. Volunteerism.
Continuing education provides systematic learning opportunities that augment existing skills and knowledge for delivery of quality care and advancement of career goals. Graduate and certification courses provide advanced knowledge and skills.

REF: Page 558 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism Skills

24. Professional associations:
a. Set regulatory requirements and establish entry requirements for nursing.
b. Offer graduate programs for clinical and career advancement.
c. Provide opportunities for career networking and support.
d. Are open to all individuals who meet the criteria for membership.
Professional associations are frequently, although not always, voluntary groups whose members provide leadership in issues and policies of interest to nurses. Professional associations also offer networks of nurses with similar interests.

REF: Page 548 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism


1. Thomas has been a nurse in your ICU for 10 years. In facilitating Thomas’ professional development, you would focus on (select all that apply):
a. Certification for the ICU environment.
b. Discussions about how Thomas can fit with role expectations and relationships.
c. Possible specializations within the ICU environment.
d. Encouraging him to lead changes that leave long-term impacts after his retirement.
Thomas is a mid career professional. As such, you would expect him to be interested in honing areas of expertise (such as leadership or developing a deeper expertise in a particular area of ICU nursing) as opposed to gaining skills necessary for his work environment such as certification or becoming comfortable with his role and relationships in ICU, which would be critical to an early career nurse. Legacy building is characteristic of mid career professionals.

REF: Page 546 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

2. An example of a career is (select all that apply):
a. Employment in short-term contract jobs in business, nursing, and whatever is available.
b. Involvement in an area of practice that is regulated.
c. Continuous employment in the same position and the same arrangement for 20 years.
d. Moving into and out of nursing positions in various cities while pursuing travel and education that develop understanding of global health.
Career refers to progression of skills, consistency, knowledge, and/or status. This movement through nursing life is predicated on having a vision of a career as opposed to a series of jobs. Career styles can be defined as linear, steady state, entrepreneurial, or spiral. Deepening skills in one area is an example of a steady state career style, whereas moving into and out of positions in various cities can characterize an entrepreneurial style. Involvement in a regulated field defines a professional interest but not necessarily a career.

REF: Pages 545-547 TOP: AONE competency: Professionalism