Dear Nurse Manager


  • Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Dear Nurse Manager:

My last day is tomorrow, and I'm leaving this institution after 13 years on the unit. You have elected not to give me an exit interview and have accepted the "official story" that I'm leaving for family reasons. I wish you had heeded my requests to meet with you to discuss the real reason for my resignation; I can only conclude that you don't care why.

There are two major reasons, and the buck stops with you for both.

The first reason is that there are no benefits for seniority here. Yes, we get more vacation time, but unless we dribble it away on low census days, there's no opportunity to use it. Senior staff gets no preference on vacation requests -- I just have to submit my request and hope for the best along with the newbie who isn't even off orientation yet. My last several requests have been denied, and I'm tired of that. Senior staff gets no preference in attending educational conferences, classes, etc. That's decided by "lottery" with the Assistant nurse manager's best friends always seeming to win the lottery. I don't get my first choice of holidays off, and I work the exact same number of holidays as the newbie who came off orientation last month. There is a lot of time, money and energy spent on recruiting new staff, but not a cent spent on retention. I've just figured out why. Perhaps it has something to do with the statement you made at the staff meeting that anyone who stays in the same unit for a decade or more is just plain mediocre.

I tried to be a good employee and "take up the slack" for "the good of the unit." When you didn't have enough charge nurses to cover every shift, you asked me to orient to charge to cover a couple of shifts a month. So I did. And when I asked for access to the charge nurse email list, staff phone numbers and certifications that every charge nurse has access to, I was told, "You're not really a charge nurse, so we can't give that to you. But the next time we open up a charge position, you'll be at the top of the list." Silly me. I believed you. So for two years, I did relief charge whenever it was convenient for you. And then you opened up three charge nurse positions and encouraged me to apply. "We have a new process," you said. "I think everyone will like it. Charge nurse applicants submit their resume, an essay about why they want to do charge and why they think they're qualified, and there's an interview with the management team and with the staff." So I applied. I submitted my resume and my essay and went through two long interviews when I should have been home trying to recover from pneumonia. Three charge nurses were hired, and none of them was me. You hired the assistant nurse manager's best friend who had been out of school for two years, and another good friend who had been out of school for four. And you hired the best friend of two of the charge nurses who were on the interview committee. The assistant nurse manager hand picked everyone on that committee except for one experienced nurse who bulldozed her way onto the committee and was then ignored when it came time to discuss the candidates. (She's the one who told me that everyone except her knew before the discussion even started who was going to get the three jobs. And she was outvoted and angry.) Not nearly as angry as I am.

After two years of doing the job without the title, after being told frequently that I was doing a good job and never being told I was doing anything wrong, and after being encouraged to apply for the position, three people got hired before I did. That stinks. That really stinks. I feel like I've been slapped in the face. And that, dear manager is why I am leaving. I know you don't really care why I'm leaving, but you will. It seems that my husband socializes with YOUR boss's husband . . . .

And I can't wait to be out of here!


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg. Has 15 years experience.

"I can only conclude that you don't care why."

That seems to say it all. Move on and let it go.


1 Article; 5,758 Posts

I am so glad you are getting out of there. I would take out the parts that sound bitter and hint at getting even. I also have wished to get even at times but did never acted on it. Eventually, someone else always comes along and does the thing I was comtemplating. These despicable people always get what is coming to them. Who said, "the best revenge is a life well lived"?

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I have no real intentions of getting even -- although it is a nice fantasy. And since I'm not having an exit interview, it will all be nice and clean -- I'm leaving for "family reasons." I have to admit I am a tad bit bitter, though. But I've learned -- the next place I work, I won't get too comfortable. And if I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, I'll speak up right away or move on.

Forgive me for taking advantage of the forum for venting.


188 Posts

Dear Ruby,

You don't need to ask for forgiveness for venting, we're here to listen. We ALL have to vent from time to time. I'm sorry you basically got screwed over by a crappy manager, but take this lesson and learn from it. I wish you all the best!


558 Posts

We all need to vent from time to time. That is what we are here for. I hope you feel better.

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,944 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Good luck. It's their loss. They'll realize it too late. Good luck in whatever you do.


780 Posts

On NYPD Blue, when someone leaves they have a "racket" they meet at a bar and toast the one who is leaving, So Ruby, this one's for you:kiss

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.
Originally posted by Ruby Vee

I have no real intentions of getting even -- although it is a nice fantasy. And since I'm not having an exit interview, it will all be nice and clean -- I'm leaving for "family reasons." I have to admit I am a tad bit bitter, though. But I've learned -- the next place I work, I won't get too comfortable. And if I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, I'll speak up right away or move on.

Been there.

Done that.

You are my sister in this club.

I will tell you what I tell my coworkers, whom I have left behind.

"Living Well Is The Best Revenge".

And I am living well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


127 Posts

Hope this was sent as a letter to the editor. Maybe when the public learns why they are losing good nurses they might wake up. Just wondered if the nurse managers name was Margie and she worked at Community Hospital in Torrington, Wy.? If not, must be her exact twin sister. Must agree with Caroladybelle that living good is the best revenge.

I have been making it a point to let everybody where I use to work know that I now make twice what my former near sighted nurse manager makes. Does my heart good.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Ruby Vee........((((((hugs for you)))))) :kiss

You do not have to apologize for anything. There are many nurses other than yourself who understand exactly how you hurt right now. :)

You also do not need to remove your anger from the post. There is nothing wrong with stating how you feel, and how angry it makes you. It is what we do with our anger that counts. Some tend to abuse that angry energy to hurt revenge. Some tend to take their anger and make changes for not just themselves, but for others we know are suffering the same pain as we. :)

Take all that anger and put it to good use. It isn't necessary to excuse someone's negative behavior. Bring it to light to help others. When we convert our anger into something positive, then it's a good thing. :nurse:

Peeps Mcarthur

1,018 Posts

I wrote a resignation letter like that once. It had plenty of bitterness in it.............Hell, I was bitter about being used. I wrote it as my 2 week notice because I intended for them to feel uncomfortable, and think about what they had done (or not done) to me for three years. I didn't just want to vent, I wanted it to be effective on the people that wronged me.

I handed it out to everybody above me in the food-chain so they could not hide thier dastardly deeds from other managers. Everyone in the corporate structure could see that they had lost a great employee long before the resignation. I had my wife review it as I worked on it to keep it from getting too "over the top" and to assure that it was eloquent. I wanted them to know that it was a thoughtful, mature response to the years of abuse.

I outlined my expectations when I started with the company and the times that the company failed to meet them (I was firing them after all).

I outlined all the reasons that I felt slighted, and all the people that slighted me. I also showed who had stolen accounts from my territory AND the managers that had not done anything about it.

I outlined my contributions to the company's sales to show them what a good employee they had done wrong but I related them to thier bonuses, which were going to be alot smaller for at least two quarters and perhapse never recover. I showed them that I understood my accomplishments paid part of thier annual income. I contributed more than a third of the company's sales, so the managers that ignored my complaints probably got thiers adjusted accordingly.;)

I run accross the letter in my file cabinet from time to time. It always makes me feel warm inside. It makes what happened to me there feel ok. I think I'm a better person for having gone through it. :chuckle and to be through with it. I'm glad that I wrote that letter. It makes all the feelings of inadequacy just melt away.:)

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