Difficult transition to new job due to power struggle

  1. 6 weeks ago I was hired to be the clinical nurse manager of a large hospital's surgical dept. There are 14 OR's and over 50 employees to supervise. The problem I've run into is that the previous manager who still works there made the decision to transfer to an educator position at the time of my hire and seemed relieved to do so. She was supposed to be OR nurse educator. However, 6 weeks later she has admitted that although in the beginning she wanted to step down from the manager's job and let someone else do it, it's not as easy to turn the responsibilities over to someone else as she thought it was going to be. She has dragged her feet at every turn. She has put off allowing me to take on any of the responsibilities of the job that she still enjoys doing. Her response to my asking for these duties is that it took her a year to learn to do the scheduling, etc. and she doesn't feel I'm ready.It is SHE who is not ready! However she cannot say one negative thing to our director about how I'm doing so far in my new role and in fact, I am doing quite well for someone new to this type of position. I am uncomfortable and frustrated at the roadblocks she puts up. Our director will leave her position in a month due to political pressure and extreme unpopularity. However she says my job is secure.The fear the 2 of them have for me is that the staff can't handle too many changes at once and this transition between the old and the new manager has to be a very slow one---like 6 or more months. I have been offered the educator role that the previos manager used to want.I have no interest in it. At times the staff plays the 2 of us against each other because there are no clear roles between who is the manager because we both are and everyone is confused about who to go to with a problem. The previous manager lets this happen and was told by our director to stop. Now that the director is leaving, I feel the former manager will drag her feet even more to prevent me from taking over the reins and do my job. Any suggestions about what to do? Should I now go to the DON since the director is leaving and has little influence on the situation? Should I wait it out and see what happens? I've been tactful but firm with the frm. mgr. and told her that I am committed to this job. So far she has not done one thing in her new role as nurse educator. She is too busy trying to hang on to the manager's job that she was supposed to turn over to me. She says this job is too much for one person but there is only room for one O.R. manager in our hospital's budget. She wants to keep doing the duties she enjoys but dump on me the ones she doesn't like. Any suggestions on how to out-strategize this very passive-aggressive nurse?
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    About wendy_w

    Joined: Jul '00; Posts: 5
    OR Clinical Mgr.


  3. by   Mijourney
    Hi Wendy_W,
    I don't have any suggestions for how to out strategize this nurse. As a matter of fact, I would not try to premeditately trump anyone in a work setting, you might trip yourself. Be prayerful and patient and allow this nurse to hang herself. She and the other person are psyching you or eating the young, as it were. Just continue to focus on growing and learning in your work, supporting or finding support for your employees. Don't let anyone see you sweat. Smile pleasantly to them, speak to them, and go on about your way. Be consistent with your pleasantries to them and everyone else. Make sure you have a diary for documenting work-related activities and incidents. Any paper work and follow through you do needs to be meticulous. You don't want surveyors to come in and catch you and your staff off guard.
    It's not about you or them, its about being the best at your work, advancing the cause, and expecting the same from the rest. Best wishes.