Losing our Unit Manager

  1. Our Unit Manager handed in her notice last week. This woman has worked in our hospital for over 20 years, starting out as an LPN. She has been an asset to the hospital all of her career, and is well respected by her staff. She has supported us and worked along side us for many years. It was not unusual for her to wear scubs to work and take a patient assignment. She fought for adequate staffing and better wages. I knew that she had been frustrated with upper administration for a long time, though. Three years ago we got a new DON, and she has been giving out UM an even harder time. I guess she finally decided she could not take it any longer, and accepted a teaching position at a local university.
    Our entire unit is upset, and a few of the staff are talking about leaving, too. I am one of the ones who is thinking about leaving. I have worked there almost 19 years, and hate to give up the benefits I have accrued, and the seniority, but I am completely disillusioned with my place of employment. There have been so many changes over the past few years, that it is not even the same place any more. I hate to start over again at my age, but I am becoming more restless by the day. Sometimes I think I should stick it out and see what kind of replacement they find, and other times I think I should just get it over with and leave. I have talked to the manager of the ICU in another hospital in our area, and she has made me an offer. I just am not sure about what to do.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   night owl
    I don't think any facility isn't what it used to be with all the changes that have occured. At my place we often speak of the good ole days and how we were able to give the care to our patients, how team work was just a given, no one hardly ever called out sick and going to work was actually fun. I stay at my facility because of the years I've put in. Starting somewhere else for alot less than what I'm making now is not an option for me. I have senority over almost everyone except about 5 people. So I just stick it out and put up with the cr@p. I can't say I'm not happy there, but everyone has their days. I'm sure a new facility would have problems just like every other place. But for you, that's a decision you're going to have to make yourself. I wish I could help you more.
  4. by   Pretzlgl
    I think I would wait it out - see who will be hired as your new UM. Administration may hire someone who will do exactly as they want - or you may get a new, but great UM. Every facility does have its problems - so just wait a while longer and if it gets worse, then think about moving on.
  5. by   sjoe
    Your DON seems to have made it clear that people such as your present UM are not valued at your facility any longer. There is no reason to believe that a similar kind of person will be hired as a replacement, is there?

    I'd start looking around for other opportunities, in case you decide to move on--which, odds are, you will be doing. If your UM was willing to give up 20 years of seniority, this is a rather strong message. IMHO.

    If I were in that situation, over coffee or a lunch (on me) I'd ask your outgoing UM where she is going and whether she would like to take me along with her, as I enjoyed working for her, etc. It couldn't hurt and would at the very least be a good opportunity to show her some appreciation for the battles she has fought for all of you--a VERY thankless task in most cases.
    Last edit by sjoe on Nov 18, '02
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    My unit manager is the greatest person. I would be very sad to see a great person like that go. It gives me chills to think about it (mario begins to shiver and hunches toward the screen)
  7. by   tiredernurse
    I was in a similar situation about a year ago. After our director resigned it was downhill from there. I couldn't wait it out because she was a great advocate for the staff and morale was shot. I also was a friend & knew how heartbreaking it was for her to resign after 7 years with the hospital. I gave my resignation about a month after she did and new doors have been opened for me. Others soon followed. I think it was a loud and clear statement to the corporate office. The CEO and others in UM are now looking for jobs. Sometimes you just have to put your money where your mouth is. I don't regret my decision but do miss the good ole days.
  8. by   Tweety
    I just love my manager too. She made a racist statement and that was the beginning of her downfall. She was extremely staff supportive. (Almost too much so, her core staff's poop doesn't stink if you know what I mean).

    Her replacement has a completely different style. Very quiet and laid back. So far nothing has changed in the way I do my job. That's what important right now. She's just an interim and I'll wait and see if I like the new manager.

    I would consider how is new management effecting the way you feel about the job itself.

    No amount of pay and benefits is worth too much aggravation, as you manager has demonstrated. My fear is jumping out of the pan and into the fire. So I'm staying put.
  9. by   dynamicfigure
    I agree with what everyone has said. There is much to consider in what you are planning though.

    With years of experience it is quite easy to land another job and the options abound (just ask your old UM...). The dark side of it all is that once you leave one employer it is twice as easy to leave the next... and so on and so forth. Today there is not such a thing as the illusive "great nursing job". All positions will have their challenges and there will be good managers above you as well as poor one's. It is important to weigh what you would do if you walked out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak. I would also weigh what kind of benefit's that a new firm can offer you compared to what your years of tenure have gleaned you today. Unfortunately, with most nursing pay scales being what they are today (high introductory pay rate's, with minimal pay raises as time goes by), a good deal of tenure is not necessarily going to mean that you have the highest paying job in town. You may have the best schedule, vacation, or flexibility due to your years of service though so it is important to look at the entire package that a potential employer would offer you.

    In the end it comes down to a personal decision by you and what you think is best for your future. I would just try to put emotion aside and look it objectively before making any rash moves that you might regret latter.

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