The Unwritten Laws Nurse Managers Live By - page 3

by rntj | 23,469 Views | 79 Comments

1. Always believe the worst about your subordinates, no matter how glowing a reputation or history of competence they may have. Never give anybody the benefit of the doubt. 2. Never praise or give an "attaboy", and always... Read More


  1. 1
    Wow, I have actually never met 1 manager like that, not even a director or chief. I also work for a magnet hospital.
    MrChicagoRN likes this.
  2. 6
    I was very blessed to have good managers in my nursing "formative years". Yes, some were a little harsher than others, but I always knew they had my back, and that was the bedrock of a mutually respectful relationship. Most of them were always visible, and never hesitated to get elbow-deep in poop when somebody was becoming swamped. They had more autonomy then, and their "higher-ups" usually came from the same nursing culture, meaning that they spoke the same value language, making the solving of conflicts far less stressful.

    The corporate culture with ensuing attempts to instill a marketing and profit-making culture into the hospital seems to have done in this type of manager, and we're all the worse for it.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Jul 10, '12
    All4NursingRN, jadelpn, tewdles, and 3 others like this.
  3. 0
    I have a phenomenal manager, nothing like you describe. the one i had before was amazing as well
  4. 4
    Quote from Kimberlina
    ETA- I just finished a different healthcare career where I was a supervisor. It sucks. I wouldn't judge too harshly unless you've been in those shoes. I had the best intentions, and my employees just sucked all the life out of me.
    Ain't that the truth! It's a constant struggle to find the line in the sand. The floor staff demand I help them with their work at the drop of a dime. They run to my boss crying that no one helps them (somehow they forget all about all the family members I try to stop at my door before they even get to the floor so I can field all the complaints and anger or that I was just there on a Sunday night playing an aide because so many of them had the stomach flu, etc. Keep in mind - this is salary so Sunday night was for no pay and the boss says I can't take comp time for it either) so they run above my head to complain to my boss. The boss is then on my butt thinking I should be on the floor even more - but within days I'm in trouble for not doing reports timely. The bosses answer is to just work more hours (forgetting that I'm already in the building everyday a full 2 hours before he even arrives).

    L.I.F.E. suckers for sure. But in the next breath, I'll tell you I love my job.
    hilife_RN, tewdles, not.done.yet, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    I suggest you look for employment elsewhere.

    I have had a number of good to great nurse managers, and about two who sucked. The good ones were mentors, and let me not forget that THEY HIRED ME and gave me the gift of employment and experience.

    And you DO have power: it's called the exit interview. If enough employees are disgruntled and jumping ship, the exit interviews WILL tell the story (eventually). Vote with your feet...

    I have had some management experience, and I can tell you it is a whole new ball game. As a staff member, you mostly manage yourself (and pts., and relationships w co-workers), but as a manager, you see the whole picture. The absenteeism, the passive aggressiveness, the numbers, the payroll, staff resistant to organizational change, etc.

    There ARE good managers out there. And they make a tremendous difference. So find another job, with someone who is a LEADER.
    They do exist, I promise!
    Better to do that than be stuck in a position and be miserable.
    Good luck!
  6. 3
    Quote from rntj
    1. Always believe the worst about your subordinates, no matter how glowing a reputation or history of competence they may have. Never give anybody the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Never praise or give an "attaboy", and always discipline for any minor infractions. Floor nurses are not allowed to be human.

    3. Always wield your power like the hammer of Thor.

    4. Be as acerbic and abrasive as possible in all dealings with your subordinates.

    5. The patient, er, customer is always right, no matter how confused or crazy or vindictive or evil they may be. Patient satisfaction scores are more important than the truth.

    6. Clinical nurse leaders do not make mistakes. Only non-management nurses do.

    7. Always make sure that your employees shudder in fear at the sight of you; smiling is not allowed.

    8. Always be sure to forget what it was like to work on the floor with actual, you know, patients.

    9. Always work your hardest to make your subordinates feel as bad as possible about themselves and their chosen career, no matter how much they pour their heart, soul, and mind into it.

    Just a few tidbits I've learned from working at a world-famous magnet hospital that strives for "nursing excellence" and attracts "the best and the brightest."

    My question is, Was it always this way? Why or why not? And does it always have to be this way?
    *** Wow, that is exactly my experience working at several famous Magnet hospitals. Now I am lucky enough to work in a non Magnet, not famous hospital. I have the best nurse manager I have ever had.
    I wonder if Magnet is the common denominator?
    ybanurse, anotherone, and Esme12 like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from roma4204
    I have a phenomenal manager, nothing like you describe. the one i had before was amazing as well
    *** Do you work in a famous Magnet hospital?
  8. 1
    My manager is nothing like that. I am sorry yours is. And yes, we are Magnet. My manager absolutely rocks. I love her and love working for her.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Jul 11, '12
    tewdles likes this.
  9. 0
    As I have said before, I am not trying to paint ALL nurse managers with this brush. This has just been my personal experience. Can't say I haven't ever had a good one, I did have one, but not at the hospital I work at now. It has been my personal experience that the Magnet facility I work at is particularly hard on the nurses, and has a well-earned reputation for being that way among the nursing community in the city I live in.
  10. 0
    magnet manager here...


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