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How do you work with the "SUPERNURSE"!!!


Specializes in LTC, Surgery.

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eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

The way I deal with people like that is right up front. If she must run her mouth do not sit there and take it. If she criticizes you and she is wrong about it, come right back at her with why she is wrong. If she says something stupid and petty just say, "Well we can't all be super nurse like you". By saying something like that you will expose her for the know it all that she is and hopefully embarass her into shutting up. By giving it right back to her she will probably back down, but if you let it go, it will keep happening.

Or just do what we do. Settle it with fists, right then and there. Beat them DOWN. Dont worry about who see's it, heck, the more who see it the better, teach'em to get mouthy when you embarass them...........................<_ oh wait had a flashback to my landscape worker days. we cant do that.>

Yeah, just do what meluhn said.


Specializes in icu/er ccrn.

what really burns my hide about people with this supernurse type mentality is that the majority of them are a hypocrite. they think that just because they strive daily to out do the rest of the staff, and work dilengently to bring their so called (expertise) to the attention of the unit, that rules don't apply to them. they think that they can critique everything but yet they are above criticism. but i do love it when they fall flat on their butts and are proven wrong. esp. loved it when one failed the ccrn last spring and tried to keep it a secret...normally i would have comforted her, but everytime i stand by her i always poke my chest out hopeing my badge will stare her in the face.....

Ruby Vee, BSN

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

sadly, many of these supernurses have a lot to offer, but it gets lost in the drama of their interpersonal skills (or lack thereof). ours is a very bright woman who could teach extremely well -- if she weren't such a bully.

i understand that her homelife sucks, and i've been in sucky marriages and know the toll it takes. but no one else wants to even give her report, and i understand that, too. she scares me, and i've been a nurse twice as long as she has!

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

Does she take break alone and/or seldom talk social chit chat and home life?

Does she treat male patients differently to female patients?

Does she react differently to male authority staff than female ones?

Does she avoid situations that may involve clinical/professional conflict?

I'd guess the first colleague to sit down and talk to her as a human is likely to get a flood of tears and an insight into a not so pleasant life.

I guess I've gotten selfish and self- centered in my old age but the days in which I would inject myself into a co -worker's personal life and dramas are long over...I'v seen entire units focused on someone's drama to the detriment of everyone's safety and these situations can also have a negative impact on patient care. Today I'll take you aside and suggest you go to Occupational health.If I feel you are not safe on the job then I'll follow through my chain of command.The LAST thing you want to do is bring her possible domestic abuse into the workplace -it's her safe place (if Mr Ian's suspicions are correct)

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

I guess I've gotten selfish and self- centered in my old age but the days in which I would inject myself into a co -worker's personal life and dramas are long over...I'v seen entire units focused on someone's drama to the detriment of everyone's safety and these situations can also have a negative impact on patient care. Today I'll take you aside and suggest you go to Occupational health.If I feel you are not safe on the job then I'll follow through my chain of command.The LAST thing you want to do is bring her possible domestic abuse into the workplace -it's her safe place (if Mr Ian's suspicions are correct)

I dont like to, cause it sounds so..........detached........but I agree. When I was a CNA, there was another CNA who had the entire unit wrapped up in her drama with ther BF. He was using drugs, stealing from her, cheating and everything else. She'd come to work in no condition to carry out her duties and tie up half the nursing staff with her horror stories. The schedule was constantly changeing to accomodate her, she often had to leave mid-shift. Her work availability changed from hardly being able to come in at all to wanting to work 12 hour shifts every single day to get enough money to move away from him.

While this was all going on, everyone wondered "Why does she stick around and put up with that?". We got our answer when she quit showing up for good after being pulled over for a traffic violation on her way to work. She was high as a kite. That was why she wouldnt leave the "abusive drug useing boyfriend", she was using too. Everyone shock their heads and said things like "I cant believe I gave her money for lunch so many times" and stuff like that.

Our floor is definitely "sink or swim"... It makes me really sad. I'm eager to become a team at work. There's a huge age/cultural/lifestyle divide with my group from Monday nights.

We've had a make shift charge nurse (started 3 months before me but has more than a year of experience as an RN, but I'm 2nd in line... scary right now). She'll direct any questions in the wrong way and doesn't care to know the right... She'll ask you to administer her meds she forgot to give that are due at 7a... Or even better take her A.M.S. patient off the call bell as she steps off the floor... She'll leave new grad questions unanswered with silence. She'll call you "her staff" in front of the day staff... And the best, she'll always wave goodbye as she assigned you the dreaded nervous nancy day RN that will keep you in report or calling doctors or showing her a pump... This large and in charge RN... she never even thanks anyone.


I've been so frustrated, I don't know what to do?! She's got several buddies and they talk all night... Sit around, laughing loudly at 3a as we're scattering trying to get a procedure done. I'm really scared of her too... I hate it.

With all the new grads coming up how can we overtake the queen... Turn the tables... I'm scared of her! I don't think reporting her to our manager will do a thing, SN is her only possible charge (required 1 yo experience)... Is there hope?

The divide is getting wider, and I'm starting to HATE floor nursing... how do you deal with these incompetent super nurses and stay positive?

NurseyBaby'05, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro/Med-Surg/Oncology.

I have found that frankly managers just don't deal with this stuff no matter where I have worked. You make complaints and they go no where. To me this is a huge problem--management just has no clue how to deal with these nurses either so they just don't. I think they are intimidated by them too--lol Hell I have a doc where I am now that has all of staff hating her in both hospitals she works in --I have worked in both of them-- try complaining about a doc!! That doesn't get addressed either!! I really wish that all these "nurse managers" would actually ummmm......oh maybe MANAGE!!! and GET A BACK BONE!!! That "nurses eat their young" mentality will never end until people do something to stop it....and that starts with the managers!!!

Do you work on my floor? With the same people I do?


Edited by NurseyBaby'05


Specializes in Acute post op ortho. Has 30 years experience.

E-Gad, she gets around.

Do you have a hospital-wide clinical manager on night shift? If so, get to know her, make her your friend, Then one night when 'supernurse' is sitting on her big fat tail, call your new buddy to come see for herself.

My new friend came to our floor & caught 'supernurse' playing solitaire on the computer & talking on the phone while the rest of us were running our butts off & the call light had 4 calls backed up, ringing like there was no tomorrow.

She was chewed out in front of us all, written up the next day & gone in less than 3 months from that night.

If you don't stand up for what's right, who will?

If someone doesn't stand up.....everyone suffers.

NurseyBaby'05, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro/Med-Surg/Oncology.

We do, but most of the house supervisors worked with the "problem children" at one time or another, so it wouln't and doesn't get very far. They also just don't give a crap as long as it keeps them off the floor and away from the bedside.

Our nursing supervisor doesn't really do much besides take care of staffing for the next shift... I think he's sleeping in his office until 2a. My 3rd night off orientation, my large and in charge helped unload my new admit (my first heparin drip) with a bad IV and didn't tell me the patient had arrived. She turned the pump off and left her. Since it was right at bedtime scheduled meds time, she said she had to take care of her patients first... I asked every other nurse on the floor, which looking back, i'm shocked there wasn't a single RN that could tell me what I needed to have together for it. I killed myself reading over our policies, got a new IV started, when there was a bolus and rate change needed, I tried to decipher the protocol pages... Then after the supervisor circulated and asked how I was doing, I told him I needed a second look to ensure I had done everything correctly... He then found her in the med room, reamed her and she yelled at me in front of all my coworkers after he left the floor. I cried... haha, and never asked him for help again!

I just have to wait for the right incident and I'll email my manager. Lack of support/team work won't get me anywhere will it? All the small things have just added up but I haven't kept track of all the incidents.

Now I've got a posse of new grads haha... Maybe I'll feel a little more confident. I helped one of them start a Hep drip the other night and it felt good.

I just wish I had one good experienced nurse to resource... I have to call off our unit for help to friends.


Specializes in Acute post op ortho. Has 30 years experience.

There's nothing quite like being thrown in the deep end before you've learned to swim.

God bless you. Carry a small voice recorder in your lab coat pocket, be clear about your needs as a new nurse & let her hang herself.

A nurse in Memphis got her charge on tape screaming "I could give a fu*k less what you need, figure it out for yourself." she replied "I've been here less than a month, please, it's your job to........"

The less than helpful charge nurse found herself unemployable.

Evidence of verbal abuse is the last thing your facility wants a reputation for tolerating.

Send the tape to Oprah, post it on you tube......that'll show 'em.


Allnurses is wonderful, this is the first time I've been really able to vent about my SN!! It felt good!!

And instead of fighting back, a treaty is impossible? I really just want to get along and work as a team... lol... but you know, I do have a camera/vid phone. If I could just catch one of her "oh Father's"... while she mumbles the f-bomb under her breathe if she gets in the weeds, barking orders, pushing everyone out of the way to be first...

I swear if she ever calls me "her staff" again, its on...


Specializes in Acute post op ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Vent to your hearts content, that's why we're here.

Just remember.....

Karma is your friend...what goes around, comes around.

She'll get hers....

My super nurse is digging that grave, and I'm feeling like a passive aggressive who wants to get rid of animosity... but its getting worse each week with my SN, large in charge as I've affectionately nicknamed her...

She'd be sitting at the nursing station staring at her charting screen, holding her cell phone, whispering quietly, for hours... Last night was the worst, 4 hours of cell chat time. She leaves the floor for 30-45m at a time, which I know the supervisor has seen... She's verbally abusive to everyone. She yelled about the techs then yelled for them both to come down the hall at 3am to address one of them charting a vital during a period of time where we didn't know where she was for 45m. I think every patient on the hall could hear. She went to all three of the nurses individually last night and had us give her only three patients their scheduled meds. For a couple of weeks, we didn't talk besides on a necessary basis because I'd say no to her or confront something that was done... those weeks of silence and not working as "her staff" were delightful... but then I forgot... I mentioned to our educator, who works on charge education... said I know roz is having it really hard now, she's struggling, especially Mondays, I'm not sure, her communication to the rest of the staff is inappropriate and she's been intimidating all of us. (big woman, probably twice my size)... we're all scared of her. Well, from what I understand 3 other nurses reported her for various things. She was off the floor, with us looking for her, this time for almost an hour... Then the winch, I swear... she walked in just in time for credit of my first real management of a near code... She hadn't even introduced herself to a floating nurse (leaving at 11p) from another floor, which this new nurse didn't show a bit of fear, and I find out after she leaves, she had the worst assignment since 7p, so just enough time to give meds and L.I.C. gave her the new admission... floor is like rehab while we're a step down unit. She's now reporting these patients to an LPN... all with central lines, needing an admission assessment, oh and all five of them I got stuck with last night covering our LPN. Well this poor new grad, she managed, not well at all and did ask q's but not enough and got a bad report on patients poorly followed. I walk past one of her patient's room looking for LIC to see if she's in a room... Nope but do see new grads patient seizing, unresponsive, gurgling, no suction in room, glucose 5 after FSBS won't read. I managed that situation, start to finish - flawlessly - with lots of help from my tech and two of the new nurses, the floating nurse was frozen at bedside and not answering me, just fiddling with the suction when I asked her to turn it on bc I couldn't reach. She got pushed out of the way, and I took over because I was the senior there. I find out later, she didn't even know how to hook up suction, I felt horrible, she was crying... The actual near code... honestly loved every second of it, I got my ACLS cert after feeling unsafe and anxious that a code would be mishandled, and it felt natural and came right back, I can't believe how well my brain worked for my third shift ... well, LIC walks in, no lie, 30 seconds before the code team, and yells "what's going on?! turn... turn..."... We're all starting to turn him, wondering why but figuring there was a reason she knew of that was urgent?! I didn't know this guy, she's got more years as an RN than me... ok.. haha. then yells louder in a quiet room to "TURN the suction to the outer cheek... " Had labs drawn, supervisor/md on way after stroke transport, amp of d50 in him and we were about to recheck when LIC and team walked in room... Team left and said good job, rehashed to md and supervisor what I knew, since he wasn't my patient, and my supervisor said looking at the sugars, and how it all happened, if we would've had 5 minutes on that, he would've coded. She complimented all of us, and she said she was so impressed of how things were handled. LIC took credit... But then assigns me this patient to cover for LPN... and since the rest of us had 5 and she had 3, she gave herself rest of LPNs patients. I covered all of them. Near code, totally unstable the rest of the night, LPN can't do any of the care, along with LPNs patients covered by this super nurse... After almost the worst night I've ever had, I listened to her gloat about her great team... In front of everyone, as I'm running around trying to manage these poorly assigned LPN patients, all unstable and central lines and new admits... She's yelling/all happy (1st time in months) telling the story to the supervisor who personally thanked me twice for taking over for the new grad, and LPN as she knew I was the only one who charted anything.

Then, I'm sitting there trying to write an order I just got for my 3rd D50 on this patient in five hours, reporting to four different doctors who were following this pt, and documenting the seq of events of what happened, and also drawing blood for late labs on her now unresponsive patient, which LIC SN gone.... now I'm giving d50 on her as well, oh another bad IV, great! Then had her other SN friends sit up and eat with her again without even seeing that we were now working with another unstable patient. In front of the rest of the staff and her friends, looks at me and yells, "yeah, you should write a letter about how well we all did! We need to be recognized for this!!"

I wanted to scream all morning... Had to address the admitting MD of that pt, with sequence of events for the fourth time now... Oh and she gave me the pleasure of nervous nancy for report of my 3 easy patients, I didn't finish report with her until 8:15a, then had to give explain this almost code one more time to the day charge nurse and what we were doing.

I called immediately this morning explaining I need to switch off for personal reasons with our scheduler, for the first time in months, a shift opened today for Tuesdays... I swear someone was looking out for me.

(Oh and btw, my first time to the morgue last week, with my 1st patient who died I was caring for... she sent me alone... with a scary security guard.)

I've been a little more positive about the night after getting some rest... and it felt good to have each of my coworkers compliment my quick thinking and direction to them.

Thank you ACLS for confidence and learning how to communicate! "TURN... TURN..." what??!!

Another RN said Large and in Charge got off the elevator noticed the crash cart in front of the door... and for the first time in a year, she ran down to us, which my super nurse doesn't run, threw down her food and drink in an empty room.

Edited by Iheartadvice

Ahh... I feel so much better now that I've written that out!


Thanks again for this threat.


Ok, quick follow up about my super nurse, "large and in charge"...

She was admitted to the hospital with TIA symptoms! Should be out tomorrow and she's ok, but man, I feel bad.

Looks like she's been at the other end of burn out that I would never like to see.

I'm going to try to pick up a good exercise routine. Geez. As much as I dislike her sometimes, I feel bad for trashing her all the time now.

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

I would completely ignore her. You manager won't be able to change her personality. I would however call her bluff. The next time she says she wishes she had another job, hand her a print out of some jobs you have found on the net at other facilities. If she says she wants a new job, just tell her that "we want you to have a new job also. What can we do to help you".

I had a nurse one time that acted like that. I pulled her aside and just told her to her face what an a______she was being and that I was tried of listening to her and she finally shut up and that was the end of it. You have to stand up to people like that.


Specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC. Has 10 years experience.

I feel really lucky. I worked with supernurse for two years and she took a real liking to me for some reason (probably because I am a Jew from NY transplanted to FL like she was). Anyway, supernurse used to drag me around with her and showed me EVERYTHING she did, how she did it, why she did it...and then let me know how lucky I was to have her show me all of this. :D The other nurses HATED her. Me? I found her amusing. I used to think...don't break your arm patting your own back! :)

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