"Excellence" awards

  1. Please bear with me, I need to vent. The hospital I work in for the last 15 years decided a year ago that a good way to "retain" good nurses was to start giving out excellence awards. They were to be given out at two times a year. In November they gave out the first bunch. In our unit, 4 nurses received the award. One of the nurses elected herself. We were all shocked and appaled that someone with her performance issues would receive such an award (with a $1200 bonus). Two people were so angry that they quit. Many people felt that the awards didn't address things like preceptor-ing, working extra when needed, and willing to go the extra mile. Our supervisor said to all of us, fill out the awards and send them in. Many of us, me included, felt that electing ourselves was not in the spirit of the award. But, as a frequent charge person and a "leader" in the unit, I encouraged people to fill them out for each other. Not to ***** and gripe here, but I am a preceptor, I work about 1 double a month, come in about 1 time a month extra. I have been asked to be on just about every committee in the unit and have been asked to chair 3 of them now. During one committee to bring health care assistants into our unit and have them help with patient care, I had my telephone calls monitored by another RN and reported to the supervisor (she just threw the information out) and had grossly unfair and unsafe assignments to the point that my supervisor had to intervene. I singlehandedly obtained a computer for our unit to use, a digital camera for us to take pictures of the babies and do continual upgrading of the software. Oh, did you guess? The second group of awards was handed out today and I didn't get one again. My supervisor gave me a card and told me that my peers do recognize my good work, but that the "committee" didn't read her review. One of the nurses who got it today elected herself (another one). This is a nurse that in the five years I have been in the unit at least 10 parents have asked that she not care for their child. She is the nurse that has been counseled at least once for being "rough" with babies. She is the nurse that abandons all of her primaries the moment they are extubated.
    Do I sound hurt and angry? You bet. Anyone need a good NICU nurse who is willing to go the extra mile? I'm ready to move on.
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   prmenrs
    You'd be MORE than welcome to come to San Diego. I don't get how they're doing those awards, either. Sounds counter-productive to me! If you decide to make a move, let me know!
  4. by   NursePooh
    originally posted by p_rn
    unfortunately the self servers are everywhere. i worked with a gal who dodged desert storm by having an abortion and claimed she was too ill from her miscarriage to be sent. she got away with it. she then used the time on a military scholarship to continue school for a degree.
    wouldn't her pregnancy have been enough to keep her out of desert storm?
  5. by   maryb
    Unfortunately, this sort of thing is very pervasive. In an effort to "keep nurses" management invent things that most of us could care less about. Like most people, I like recognition for a job well done, but I've never seen one of these nursing excellence awards go to the appropriate people. In my experience, it has been managers, educators, and the suck-ups that get those awards. (Yes, I'm a little rabid on the subject. )
    The point is, management is doing "things" that still don't address the issues of your "ordinary" bedside nurse. How about raising salaries to draw more nurses? Or (gasp!) raising standards to draw more nurses?
    I would rather work in a facility with high standards (and the tools and willingness to do what it takes to meet them) and median pay than a facility with low standards, a poor attitude toward employees, and high pay. Been there, done that, got the tshirt. It isn't worth it. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find such a facility. Many hospitals and nursing homes claim high standards, but are unwilling to listen to staff about needed changes to meet those standards, or to staff adequately for those standards. And I've heard more than once (and read it in these bulletin boards) managers stating that "nurses are a dime a dozen." My comment to my former employer was that "it's time to spend your dime, here's my notice."
    Answers? I don't have any. Maybe nbicurn, you should send this url to your management team in a memo, encourage them to take a look at what nurses really think, if they dare.
    Hey, do you suppose we could get a section for hospital administrators? Let them sign on and tell us all their "great" ideas for solving their staffing problems, then let us tell them what we think of the idea? Wouldn't that be great, if they would actually listen?
  6. by   Tiara
    This type of competition created by administration and management fuels the discord between nurses. Nurses are already stressed to the max and underappreciated. In my opinion, most hospital nurses are desperate for someone to notice that they are breaking their backs to do their work. When you pit nurses against each other in this manner, you are asking for problems. In my opinion, nurses are treated like kindergarteners and these little competitive games only feed into that. They are not fair or accurate; they are biased and childish. I would not be concerned about this stuff.