New nurse in ADON position. Advice needed.

  1. Hello all!

    I am a new RN (within the past 6 months) and I work at a long term care facility in a small town. I worked there as an LPN while I was in school and when I graduated the ADON position became open and I took it. My biggest struggle taking on this job has been the transition. I was always a supervisor to the nurse aides when I worked the floor but now I'm also the supervisor to the nurses. My boss tells me I'm a very strong supervisor and my supervisory skills are good but I can't help to feel like I'm inadequate. I question myself A LOT. Does it ever get better? It's difficult for me too because a lot of the nurses I supervise I used to work with on the floor. Some are disrespectful to me and I'm always afraid of saying the wrong thing and it not being professional. What is the best way to handle those situations? Some days are good for me and others are horrible. There are many days I think about looking for another job. Any DON's or ADON's out there that can give me some advice or a little encouragement. It's very difficult for me when I walk into the break room and everyone gets silent. You automatically know they're talking about you. It's very hurtful. I never realized how mean and malicious staff were to their bosses until I became one. Before this job I would have never spoke to any of my bosses the way some of my staff do me. I feel like I'm stern in some situations and I handle it well but there are some where I'm just speechless by their behavior in general. I literally have to bite my tongue on a daily basis. Any help out there?
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    About gerRN23

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 5; Likes: 2


  3. by   Nascar nurse
    That stinks. People can just be so mean.

    As I have always said, one of the most important things you can do as a manager is to always praise in public and criticize behind closed doors. If I were you I would pull those staff members that are being rude to you (individually) behind closed doors and have a "friendly" little conversation (I would have the DON in the room as a witness and support for you). Simply ask them "I'm trying very hard to make a smooth transition for all of us and it would seem that it isn't working well for you based on _____ - whatever behavior your seeing. We need to make this work for all of us and I would like your ideas of how we can better work together".

    Make them own their own behaviors and make them part of the solution. Ya never know, sometimes people come in with great ideas or horrible misunderstandings that you never considered in the past. At the very least they will understand that you will call them on any future problems and they will not continue to get away with it.
  4. by   amoLucia
    WOW!!! You've been hit with a triple whammy! Old LPN to new RN, same staff AND new management title. Lots of change!! I think you're seeing how the stronger new scope of RN practice with your new managerial responsibilities are hitting a brick wall as you deal with the old staff. But you are the authority've moved beyond being friends with your old coworkers, esp your previous peers. You are on a different branch in the mgt chain-of-command tree (and there aren't too many leaves there). Your job description is very different now. Don't take it personally but it'll never be the same as it was with them. Easy for me to say 'just move on' and focus on your new responsibilities. Nascar offers very good advice. Staff will come around in time. Try to stay friendly but low key. Be fair and realistic and across the board with all (staff will be looking for favoritism). It should get better. Good luck.
  5. by   meecetckr
    It might be time to move on. I too had a similar situation. I began working at a nursing home as a CNA, and then became an RN. It was difficult at first, but after the staff seen that I was on their side and was able to help with problems they came around. Eventually my CNA's began to hate when I was off. I also maintained a strictly work relationship with my staff. Keep your head up and hopefully it will get better. If not maybe it's just time to move on.
  6. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Only 6 months of experience and you're the ADON? Yikes. That could be part of the problem.
  7. by   achot chavi
    Personally I think it was poor judgement on the DON to make you ADON, but I have to believe that she had her reasons. You got some good advice on previous posts, criticize in private etc. As ADON you will have to develop thicker skin and dont depend on ur coworkers for social or emotional support. You are there to do your job and it sounds like the DON is happy with you. Regarding the CNA's - it is understandable that they are jealous and instead of looking to you as a role model, they prefer to take the lower road. You worked hard for your RN and your position and you deserve it, but not everyone will see it that way and that is their problem. If you show that it means nothing to you, it will stop. When I took over ADON, I was brought it from the outside and had the opposite problem. The staff had banked on one of the head nurses becoming ADON and were disappointed that their friend didnt get the position. Like I wrote, develop a thick skin and remember the only approval at work you need is from the DON.
  8. by   tyvin
    Well; your there....I would go out on the floor more and really follow some of the RNs. See what they do. I think that would be my biggest beef with an LPN turned RN now my boss who had never walked in my shoes. Above all you are the boss not their friend. You are not there to win smiles and have tea parties. Being hated really comes with the territory some time. Start to know what your staff does. Who does the MDS, who does the meds, wound care, ect... Whose good with what, do your RNs have individual responsibilites for wound care, pain management, ect... Who is tracking what. What model are you using or are you people winging it.

    If you are not familiar with any of it get familiar with it. Hold your head high and carry on. I would much rather be the ADON then on the floor.

    Also; all previous posts are right on...take the advice, especially with the went to school, your an RN now, time to act like it...thick skin comes with the territory.

    Do you have monthly nursing meetings for everyone to vent/get together...any awards, stuff like that.

    Above all don't will get better.
  9. by   tyvin
    Don't the managers have a different break room... How can anyone relax or vent to each other when management is eating with them? Just an idea...staff need their time to relax and don't need management listening to them when they should be able to talk freely with each other. You're on a different level're not any better, you're managment now.

    Even as a charge I can remember I made many changes that weren't welcome. The place was a shambles and management let me do anything I wanted to get it back in shape. I never ate with my staff...the silence was deafening everytime I went in. Then I realized that they couldn't relax around me...who needs that, so I ate in my car. The point is that staff need a reasonable expectation of privacy during their breaks.

    You don't have to come up with "professional" come backs or advice every time some one disrespects you on the just tell them to follow you to the office or if it isn't a good time have them come in to the office soon but don't let the disrespect go. Deal with it immediately and according to your facilities P&P.

    You've got a good job; keep it, there aren't that many out there right now.
  10. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Wow....I've never worked in a place where management had a separate breakroom! That fosters division not team work.
  11. by   achot chavi
    CCM I can agree with you, but know that logistics play a certain amount in the structure of each facility. I think it is a miserable idea to send the ADON to eat in her car. When you make managerial choices that are unpopular is exactly when you have to take your breaks with the staff, as CCM wrote, "to foster teamwork". I know my staff will see things on their level, and I want them to see things on my level.

    BTW GerRN23, you wrote "I never realized how mean and malicious staff were to their bosses until I became one. Before this job I would have never spoke to any of my bosses the way some of my staff do me" ......Perhaps that is the reason you rose above the rest and are sitting pretty in your position. Perhaps it is a positive reflection on you that has put you in the quandry you have presented and perhaps you need to stop seeing yourself through their eyes and expect them to see you (and the work you all do) through YOUR eyes!!
  12. by   lumbarpain
    I see you came up from the ranks and are familiar with the facility you worked in but as an LPN only. Question long have you worked at this facililty? How well did you get along with the higher ups and auxillary staff at the time.? If the relationships were good and things were done when you were a Lpn there, you should be able to glide into this position with some ease(although 6 months is very slim pickens)....but the road ahead will be quite a change.....putting it are in a different class are a boss, resentment may follow with some, but if they like you and you dont seem too harsh/arrogant/or strict you will gain some favor. You wont have your usual jovial relationships anymore because you represent a different type of authority. This I can say to you, if you feel like you dont have the confidence, are questioning your abilities EVEN THOUGH you are getting kudos for performance, you may highly benefit from taking an Assertive behavior course for yourself. This will help you speak correctly to your staff and provide you with the uplifting self esteem you will need now. It comes down to this question to ask yourself.....Am I here for the proper/safe care of my patients, and helping my staff as much as possible? Or do I just want to be an American Idol, gaining popularity with the staff out of just being Mrs. Niceguy. If its a popularity contest you want.....then this job isnt for you. Always remember too, If you have a good working relationship with the DON, this is essential also. She should help you also with the transition. IF not...then I would look elsewhere for another job.
  13. by   gerRN23
    Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I truly appreciate it and some comments really lifted my spirits. I know I have a great opportunity and I plan to stick with it after hearing from all of you. Days will be hard but that is part of it I suppose. I'll keep you all update on my journeys ahead in this new job! Thanks again to all.
    Last edit by gerRN23 on May 31, '12 : Reason: My previous post wasnt long enough

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