Hey, Managers! What's up with the "weeding out" of good nurses?

  1. Recently there's been a spate of write-ups I've heard about that are basically bogus. Minor infractions that no one else would get written up over. I'm furious.

    On the surface, it doesn't seem to be a big deal. But anyone who's been in health care can tell you--our nursing culture teaches us that bogus write-ups are a warning to get outta Dodge; it's useless to fight; easier to just change units.

    So these nurses have all left for greener pastures.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the nurses were targeted because they earned more than new grads. Because coincidentally, there are a few new grads on each of these units, and the basic "numbers" of the nurses has not changed. In years.

    So 'fess up, Managers, what's the deal? Is this what really is happening out there? Is your budget such that it looks better for you to keep the new grads rather than the experienced nurses? Do you use bogus writeups to "encourage" certain nurses to leave?

    Or is something else afoot here?
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Aug 28, '06
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    About UM Review RN, RN

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 9,279; Likes: 4,302


  3. by   Antikigirl
    I have seen this happening too Angio! I think you are on the money...no pun intended! In fact, I had to leave my job at that ALF that I worked in for 4 years because they put RN's to only part-time (they told me two days max a week!) so they didn't have to pay higher wages and benifits out!!!! I couldn't live on that and had to go! Talk about a subtile boot out huh??? GRRRRRRRRR!

    Thank goodness the facility I am working now (great hospital community with ONA as a large force and most of the administration are NURSES!) people are protected much more than other places I have worked in. Seniority is a big bonus, and a goal for all the nurses there (so nurses stay!). I am happy about that, and also plan on being there for many years!

    But who knows...if management or admin changes...will I still have that wonderful benifit of staying??? Will things change and me and the other wonderful nurses get aced out for lower waged nurses??? You just never know!
  4. by   RGN1
    This sounds truly awful. I hope i never have to experience this kinda thing!
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    That is aweful. Is it all about the bottom line?
    The last place I worked at did the same thing, lots of bogus write ups.. Now the floor is staffed with agency and travelers. Looks like their plan backfired.
  6. by   rehab nurse
    Angie, all I can say is you've just described my unit to a "T". anyone reading my Lovenox thread knows it.
    it's really sickening, and i won't type everything out, but i know they are trying to find something to get me fired. i've been there 6 years, i am getting costly benefits, and my pay scale is "maxed out".
    one of the docs even pulled me aside one day last week, and told me they had brought him into the office and questioned some orders i had written under his orders. they asked if he had given me those orders. of course he did! so he told me to watch my back. i'm glad he told me.
    i've decided to use the rest of the medical leave i have until it's exhausted and then i will have to deal with it.
    if i was physically not so ill, and not facing so many medical issues, i would just quit and find something else. i am set to finish my RN program within two months. and after that, i already have a low key job lined up. two of my doctors have advised me to file for disability. however, i can't wait the time allotted to get some money. i have almost exhausted my savings and debt is piling up. i have two small children and no one to help me out.
    it has gotten me very depressed, with all the bogus write ups flying around. however, i haven't been officially written up, just talked to in the office.

    i really don't know what to do. i have thought i would just stay and get fired, since i am already set up for a job once i have my RN. however, i don't know how good that idea is. i have all my recommendation letters from some of the docs and some managers who i trust.
    i really don't know what to do. it is really sad how this place has ended up under the new administration. it is also in the works to get rid of the many agency nurses we utilize now. they are going to fill those spots with the mid level management and staff even shorter than they are now. it's really going to be a nightmare. mandatory overtime is going to happen, but only for the management i think, since for staff nurses it is illegal in my state.

    i will stop babbling on now. i really question my choice for nursing. if this is how it will be forever, it is not worth it. why can't nurses just get along?
    why does everything have to be a competition? a once award winning unit has turned into a disaster. patients know it too, and they are the ones suffering right now.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I feel for you, Rehab, truly I do.............I went through pretty much the same thing at my last hospital job---I never did receive any write-ups, but it seemed like I was getting called into the assistant manager's office every few weeks to be reprimanded about some minor omission or accused of slacking. There were a few other nurses on our unit who were being treated the same way; funny, every one was over 40 and/or had some sort of physical problem like back pain, bad knees etc. They couldn't fire us outright---none of us had done ANYTHING to deserve it, and we had a union to back us up---so they just made our jobs as difficult as possible, setting us up to fail by giving us the worst assignments and then browbeating us when we didn't perform perfectly every time.

    I used to be known for my willingness to stand up and fight when necessary, but after almost two years of that, I folded and quit without so much as a whimper. There is such a thing as knowing when you're whipped, and I was. Never regretted quitting, either.
  8. by   UM Review RN
    What upsets me is that this kind of treatment is far too common in our profession.

    I still challenge some managers to answer.

    And perhaps, reflect.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    What upsets me is that this kind of treatment is far too common in our profession.

    I still challenge some managers to answer.

    And perhaps, reflect.
    i would be highly surprised in an offender actually answering.
    my experience(s) have taught me that if you are targeted by mgmt, you are dealing w/those w/o a conscience.
    and creating pretexted files to deliberately leave a paper trail is a situation that is best handled by a nurse or employment atty, for wrongful termination.
    it happens and these people would screw over their own mothers.
    it seems that the nsg profession is becoming more and more of a battlefield.
    i've traded my danskos for army boots.

  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    Well, FWIW, Angie, I'm now a manager myself, and I think I'm a better one because of the things that have happened to me. When one of my staff is having problems, I prefer to sit that person down privately and ask them how're they're feeling and what's been happening in their lives, rather than go on the offensive with something like "The other staff/residents/family members are complaining about you........" or "You didn't do________". Even when I HAVE to discipline someone, I involve the staff member in the process--I'll ask them how they would proceed if they were in my shoes (funny, they are always harsher on themselves than I would be!) and encourage them to take ownership of the situation.

    So far, I think this approach has gotten good results---I don't feel that anyone on my staff, even the few workers whom I've counseled or warned, resents or disrespects me, yet they know I mean what I say, and there haven't been any 'repeat offenses'. Plus, I'm much quicker to praise than to criticize.........and that's where I think SO many nurse managers go wrong. They tend to jump on people when something's NOT done, rather than be happy when it IS done. Maybe I overdo it, but I take time to notice when things go right and thank the staff for making it happen.

    A very great lady I used to know when I was young had a motto that has come in handy at many times in my life, especially when my kids were growing up: FIND THE GOOD, AND PRAISE IT. It's not always easy to do when your child (or your staff member!) is doing almost everything wrong, but I think it's a duty to try to find something praiseworthy and then say so, even if it's a minor thing like "Wow, Johnny, at least THIS time you kept the mud confined to the entryway and didn't track it into the living room":wink2: . As adults, we should be mature enough to do our jobs and know that we're doing them well; however, it never hurts to get a pat on the back once in a while, rather than just a kick in the pants!
  11. by   leslie :-D
    hi marla,

    i think angie is talking about nurses who are sought out.
    it really has nothing to do with disciplinary issues.
    they are targeted in a most unethical, contemptuous manner and is completely irrelevant to employee performance.

  12. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from earle58
    hi marla,

    i think angie is talking about nurses who are sought out.
    it really has nothing to do with disciplinary issues.
    they are targeted in a most unethical, contemptuous manner and is completely irrelevant to employee performance.

    Yes, Leslie, exactly.

    (Marla, can I come work with you? These people skeeeeer me! :uhoh21: )
  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from earle58
    hi marla,

    i think angie is talking about nurses who are sought out.
    it really has nothing to do with disciplinary issues.
    they are targeted in a most unethical, contemptuous manner and is completely irrelevant to employee performance.

    I agree, Leslie. At my last job, I was one of several RNs who were unfairly targeted and 'eased' toward the door, for no reason than being older and a tad slower physically than some others. I was a competent nurse---and a darned good one, if you asked the vast majority of my patients---but management didn't care.

    The reason I elaborated on my experience as a manager was to show that I'd learned something from what I went through. Maybe that is irrelevant here........all I know is, I wouldn't treat a dog the way I was treated, and perhaps if MORE nurse managers had gone through this sort of thing themselves, they wouldn't be so quick to dish it out.
  14. by   Tweety
    Doesn't happen at all where I work. I'm maxed out in my salary range, making $10.00/hour more than a new grad.

    In fact it's the opposite. No one is targeted. Dead weight that needs to get written up is ignored and allowed to stay forever. I've never heard of anyone being written up that didn't deserve it.

    The manager did target two new grads recently that were completely totally clueless and dangerous and they no longer work there. That's about it.

    My guess is that managers who weed out the higher paid employees, based soley on salary and no other reason, are following the dictates of higher ups.

    Managers that target employees "for no good reason" are deranged.
    Last edit by Tweety on Aug 28, '06