Head nurse pain?

  1. Has any one out there in nursing world stepped up from a floor nurse/staff nurse position to a Head Nurse position and then couldnt stand it and went back to their staff nurse,floor nurse position.?
    If so , what made being HN so bad? Why was being HN so painful?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Mary Dover
    I did it. After working for a couple of years as a staff nurse, the NM position on my unit came open. I applied and got it. I HATED, HATED, HATED it. I worked more overtime that year than I think I ever have. There are several reasons I HATED it, for example, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, as well as extremely protective of my nursing license, as I'm sure we all are. I would somehow allow myself to feel personally responsible for the actions of every licensed and/or certified staff member on the unit. And it became too much of a load to bear when I realized that some didn't hold themselves accountable for mistakes or bad situations that could have been prevented with good planning.
    The most valuable lesson I learned that year, was that not everyone holds themselves to the same standards of professionalism. The most valuable thing I learned about myself, was that I don't need to be in a position to supervise people who don't - I don't need to be in a supervisory position at all.
    Even when I think about it now...I look back and ask myself where I failed at it...but see - that's my little personality quirk. I have a need to FIX things, and that's just not always possible, especially where the personalities of others come into play.
    OK OK, I just want to be liked.....is that such a bad thing??
  4. by   nightingale
    Mary:

    That is not a bad thing.

    B.
  5. by   DAISY MAE 1
    It's great that you tried, and it's ok that you went back. At least
    you now have more understanding about yourself, and what
    you want in nursing. You also know now that being a supervisor
    is not just sitting on your hindend doing nothing like most people
    think. A lot of what management is these days is being legally
    responsible for everyone elses actions and that is very stressful.
    Some know it alls think they know everything but all they do is
    put everyone elses licenses on the line. Daisy Mae
  6. by   Fgr8Out
    Sheesh...

    Being CHARGE Nurse is a PITA lately.

    I am NOT a "bossy" sort of person, but I do take my responsibilities as Charge seriously... in-so-far as making assignments and taking patients is concerned. It doesn't make me "popular" when I'm calling Admitting to tell them "yes, we have some beds that opened up, what sort of admissions to you have?" But hey, empty beds mean empty paychecks, no?

    So, our unit is small and often we have to float a licensed staff member to our sister unit. Generally we're sending our LPN, because we have to have 2 RNs, minimum. Not my rules, I assure you. The LPNs we have hate feeling as if they are being put upon, and I can understand that. But, again, I don't have a choice in the matter as a rule.

    I had a choice last night, and offered to float for just a few hours near the end of my shift. This would have made it easier for the LPN, because she could do her entire shift without having to change assignments. I was working 12's and only the last 4 hours would have been changed... I was pretty easy going about saying I'd be more than happy to float.

    The LPN (ever the martyr) insisted she'd go, that in fact, she wanted to go and enjoyed the unit she'd be floating to. Of course, when she came back to finish her shift here, she did nothing but complain about "having to float yet again." I politely reminded her that I had offered to go, and her complaining was without grounds. I also explained that even though I was charge nurse, I didn't set the policies and I was merely following the directions given to me by the Nursing Supervisor.

    I guess she didn't like that. She turned to me and yelled..."you're NOT our boss, you're NOT the f'ing boss of this unit" and other words along this line of reasoning (or lack of reasoning).

    I was taken aback, of course. I just sort of stood there, trying NOT to laugh, because her whole manner was too comical for me at that moment (at the end of my shift and work week and long day). All that I could think of to say was, "your comments have no place in this discussion... do you have any other questions on my report on our patients? If not, I'm going home."

    I don't really recall what she mumbled as I went to my locker to get my things and leave. I DO know that I try very hard to be fair to everyone... I frequently ask for input from all the nurses/cna's on our unit because I like the team aspect our small group affords. But when I have someone like this gal go off on me, it's difficult not to want to become some hard-nosed b**** and say "hey, I'm the one making the decisions, what I say goes." (although I realize that would get me nowhere).

    OK, so I'm rambling now and completely off track. My apologies. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that being in ANY position of authority, however small... brings about a certain amount of animosity among certain people... it means developing some thick skin, while at the same time trying to remain flexible and pleasant.

    Wanna bet this LPN will be talking to me when I return to work, as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth next week? Damned passive aggressives......
  7. by   oramar
    The first time I heard another employee use bad language on a manager I was floored. I have also seen employees use posture that implied that they were about to give someone a beating or even go so far as to say it. Just amazed me that this behavior is tolerated. Have been very unhappy with bosses in my time and told them what I thought but never once have I used bad language or made threats. So many managers seem to think I was such an awful employee just because I told them my opinion. Noooo, the bad employees are the ones that curse you head to toe, get personal and threaten to wait for you outside. A nurse who says "this policy endangers patients" is just doing her job. I honestly think that the really threatening people got away with more because everyone in managment was frightened of them.
  8. by   Agnus
    My gosh. I have a hard time imagining that you have such immature children wroking in you facilities.

    I went from an LPN to RN. More responsibility = more stress. Now I have also taken on the job of charge nurse = even more responsibility = even more stress.

    We take turns being charge. my day right now is Fri. (my 2nd day in a 3 day week.)

    It is easier not to be charge. As charge I must be aware of everything that is going on. I put out fires and am the problem solver. I do all admissions and then carry that patient for the rest of the shift plus my other patients. I attend meetings. I keep my people informed of what is up. Keep management informed. Advocate for staffing etc. and on and on.

    As a staff nurse, I don't have to do anything but care for my patients. I offer and help out others where needed, and do pitch in in when someone else's patient is in a crisis. However, I can put on blinders to most things and don't have to feel like everything is my responsiblilty. If someone elses patient goes bad and I not charge well of course I help but I don't feel responsible. I act more in a helper and support role.
    As charge I have more work more responsibility and less compensation in proportion to what I do. (we get a whole dollar more). As charge I deal with other nurses' patient's families doctors etc.

    I realize I have to make unpopular decisions and demands of the staff. I remind myself this is not a social club, poeple may not like me for my decision. That is OK. I can get over a need for everyone to think I'm oh so nice. I am fair. Fairness is recognized and respected. If I were to try and please, everyone all the time I would be easily manipulated and eaten alive.

    Nope this position calls for me bieng a grown-up and putting aside my desire to be liked all the time.
    Ofcourse I dont' like it. I want to be liked. But as I said I find that in the long run I am respected more for fairness and people do like me for that, and they do not try to manipulate me. oh and I get to practice my diplomacy.

    I make sure I come to work on Fri. especially, with a good attitude, calmness, and an organized mind. I actually have to plan and think about attitude before I even leve the house.

    Now I have to ask why you asked
    Last edit by Agnus on May 15, '02
  9. by   Agnus
    oops, Mary Dover, I did not read your post before I posted. No there is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. Please don't take my thoughts as being directed at anyone here. It is a damn tough job. I don't want to stay in it for ever. I just think I have some things to learn by staying in it for a while. Who know maby it will grow on me.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 15, '02

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Head nurse pain?