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!