Having your Mother as your Nurse Manager

  1. I am a CNA/Unit Secretary/Telemetry Technician on the Med/Surg Wing of a local hospital. I have been employed there for 6 months and love it so much that I am applying to nursing school in August. My Mother, who I would say I have a close relationsip with, has been employed at the same hospital for over 20 years. She is an RN who has 15+ years of ICU experience, Med/Surg experience, and 3+ years of experience in the Case Management/Utilization Review Dept. She recently was offered a position as Asst. Director of Nursing in the Nursing Home adjoining the hospital (and run by the same company). She accepted the position and has been in this position for approx. 4 months. Within the last week, the Nurse Manager position of the Med/Surg Wing has become vacant. My Mother is unhappy in her current position and has applied for the Nurse Mgr. position. The position is between her and 1 other person, however, if she were to get the position, I would have to transfer o a different dept. I don't want to transfer to a different dept., but on the other hand, I don't think my Mother should miss out on the opportunity if offered because I work on the Med/Surg floor. She possibly could be the best candidate for the job and quite frankly, loads of co-workers feel the same. No one has approached me about the possiblitity of transferring to a different dept., but I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. Any advice would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated!!!!!

    THANKS - SHINYEMERALD
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   MollyJ
    Try not to worry ahead of time: your mom might not get the job and might not take the job if it is offered. Clearly if she does, you have two choices: Stay on the unit OR tranfer out of the unit.

    Now when I read the title of you post, "Having your Mother as your Nurse Manager," my initial reaction was NOT! No way. However, this seems to be a temporary position for you, as you are on your way to other things, school etc. Still there will be problems with being an employee on your mom's unit and they will without a doubt put pressure on you and your mother and potentially the unit. To name a few, co-workers may feel you are treated preferentially, you may feel you are entitled to different treatment by mom/manager, you may disagree with unit based decisions your mom makes, people might coerce you to coerce your mom (TONS of opportunities for triangulation with you and mom as corners of the triangle).

    Stay: Pro? "These things won't happen to me." I only plan to be there four/whaterver more months until I get into school. I don't think this mature staff will coerce me. I take criticism well from my mom and others and her acting in her supervisory role won't bother me. I can leave if I see things aren't working out.

    Go: Pro? Leave on a happy note before I find out the the things in the above paragraph weren't entirely true. An opportunity to broaden my pre-nursing school experience. It would de-complicate things for mom as she established her manager role in that unit. In the future, after ten years as a nurse, whether I stay in this unit or move on will probably be a very minor fact in my job history. Obviously, they've increased your job responsibilities steadily [monitor tech]. Is there another unit in the hospital where you could apply those skills and again learn more about nursing (ie the ED or the OR?)

    Write your own pro-con list for both possibilities and see what strikes you. Only you can make this decision.
  4. by   NurseRachet
    Is there some rule in your facility that prohibits you working for a family member? In our hospital, we have a nurse that works on a unit that is supervised by her sister. It doesn't seem to be a problem.
  5. by   BethD
    I have been ther eand done that on a few different occations. often when my mother has been short staffed and she knew I was free and would help out.

    lets see, I worked as an CNA when she was DON at the nursing home

    I work as a HHA when she was HHA Manager

    I worked as a HHA scheduler when she was manager.

    I did HHA supervision for her

    I've worked as a nurse in the same company where she was HHA manager.

    OH ya and 15+ years ago I was a candy striper where she was DON of the Hospital.

    She's probablely been harder on me than the other workers but she's always fair. I got more grief from coworkers than other manager or from her.

    Just look at the relationship between you and her. can you take critasism from her without getting pissed and can you talk to her well enough to tell her if you think she's treating you differently?

    only you know your relationship. some can handle it other can't.

    good luck

    BethRN
  6. by   Sharon
    Dear Shiny Emerald,

    Been there, done that, had the wounds, health insurance claim forms and tee shirt. Four months before beginning Nursing School my mother and the Nursing Director asked me to transfer to the unit she managed due to a nursing shortage in the late 70's.

    I did survive. I learned a lot especially about how to be assertive with various health care professionals. I was held to a much higher standard then other staff. It was a for a few months and I survived. I never would have gone back to work under my mother after entering nursing school.

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