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I Made a Mistake

by Mozzie Mozzie (New) New

Hi, I'm new to this site - please bear with me.

Anyways, I have just accepted a new management position on a medical surgical unit. I was hired from the outside. I'm a BSN & MBA and started this position about 3 1/2 months ago. The staff are okay, but the other managers are something to be desired (they are new too). This is a typical Med-Surg unit, the turnover is heavy and I am doing my best to make sure it is staffed (with agency if needed) before I go home every night. I am putting in about 11 hours a day since I have started. The other managers that just started - well, I don't think they are twisting the time - but we will see. I'm doing my best to keep up with whatever that is sent my way.

My DON will tell me one thing, then she will say something different in the next week. I am not sure if this is what I really want to do. First management job and I am just hating it.

Perhaps, I made a mistake and should just look at working for an insurance company or something. I'm not getting any younger and going back to the bedside full time is not really what I have planned - However, I do help when needed on the floor.

I'm sorry if this seems like ramble or rant but I am very overwhelmed and feel beside myself for feeling like this was a mistake and wanting to bail. I want to appear strong in front of staff, they need someone with strength to look up to, but I am just not sure if this is sustainable. Guilt regarding the thought of leaving this soon is building.

I really need someone who has "been there" - "done that" for some advice. Perhaps, I just suck it up, I don't know - however, if I am feeling this way now - I have to ask what will it be like after a year???

Anyways, thanks for "listening".........


psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

I am not management but these thoughts may help you. In any job, the first 90-100 days are to get in your groove and see if you are a good fit. It used to be you would have a meeting with your superior at that time to see how you are doing, if expectations are being met, ask and answer any questions. Is this being done at your place?

Do you have a friend you can confide in who isn't at work, who may be able to give you an objective critique?

Write on one piece of paper the pros of the job, what YOU see as going well, etc. On another piece of paper, write down the cons and any negatives. Then brainstorm with your friend how to conquer the cons in a constructive, professional manner. If this is your first position in management, it may be you need more time to work out the kinks.

Maintain a professional persona, be approachable, be willing to work on improving morale etc. Destress at home or with a friend in a nondestructive manner and see if things improve. Hope that helps.

deeDawntee, RN

Specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc. Has 12 years experience.

Wow, I'm not in management either, but it sounds like you are really going the extra mile for that place. I'll tell you, I had a manager in my last position who came to work in scrubs and she would help out as much as she could...you have NO idea how much that means to the staff!! I thought she was one in a million, and maybe she and you both are... I would really like to see what a year on that unit would do for that unit, with your obvious commitment...

So, I commend you for that, that is for certain. If you can survive until things turn around, is another question... it won't happen overnight. You hang in there and do a good job and watch out DON, here you come!!


Specializes in ALS, LTC, Home Health.

I'm not a Nurse YET.

But I will add that when I was in the military I was given the position of Motor Sgt. Granted I was groomed for a leadership position all throughout my career. It was my turn in the hot seat and boy let me tell you I felt the same way you did. I was totally overwhelmed. I though what did I get myself into. Thankfully I had another company's Motor Sgt to speak with. He gave me some great advice which at the time I though he was being an arse. He told me to sit down, shut up and do the job. Now to a civilian that may seem extremely rude and over the top. But let me tell you it was the best advice I could have ever gotten. I did as he advised and received some awards for my job. It did get easier with time and I became more proficient. All it took was time to learn the job and to get comfortable doing the job. So my advice to you is; Sit Down Shut Up and Do The Job.

Please don't take it wrong as I am wishing you all the best in the new position. Just give it some time as any new position has it's learning curve. From what you have said you will do just fine. Just give yourself some time before making the final decision to stay or not to stay in the position.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I think it is important to think it through carefully and to correctly identify what is really going on here before you make any big decisions.

For example: Do you really not like the actual work of a management job? ... Or do you like the things that you are expected to do as a manager, but are feeling overwhelmed with the volume? There is a big difference.

If you are primarily feeling overwhelmed with the volume, but like the types of work you are doing ... then you may just be experiencing the same type of reality shock that new grads typically face in their first year after graduation. They feel overwhelmed with their new role as a staff nurse and want to run away. The same thing often happens when people first move to the next level up the chain of command. They find it overwhelming and want to run away from the stress. I say to you the same things I say to them, give it a little time. ... Find some mentors and learn how they handle the role. ... Learn to organize your work and prioritize.... Accept the fact that you can not solve everyone's problems for them. Sometimes, your staff needs to step up to the plate and solve their own problems. ... If you allow yourself to get too bogged down in the hourly details of your unit's activities, you will never get around to addressing the big, underlying causes of problems that you need to fix. etc. etc. etc. Make a list of all the positive things you have been able to accomplish in your job. Post it somewhere you can see it regularly. Take pleasure in adding to the list regularly.

If you really do not like the work itself, then review what about management interested you in the first place. Why did you choose to get an MBA? What type of work did you expect to be doing, etc.? Were your expectations reasonable? Did you take this job because the type of job you wanted was unavailable to you? How does this job fit into your long term career plans?

Only after you think through some of these big questions of life will you be in a position to make a decision. ----- And it's too big of a decision to make without giving these things a full consideration.

Good luck to you!

I already feel so supported here - I mean, just with the responses thus far.

I keep asking myself a lot of the same questions. Why did I go for the masters degree? Well, to be honest, - I would have to say that having this degree would allow me to go into management in a health care facility or move into another industry - perhaps.

I am going to stick it out and see what happens. I really don't have anyone with me in the "trenches" sort of speak. The one manager has been at this hospital forever and a day. So she knows this place inside and out. Then, the other two are new to the facility and have close to the same amout of experience as me. - Just in different areas of nursing.

The two newer managers hired in behind me. Right now, I feel that my DON is making an example out of me in front of them - with little things that become an issue on my floor. They have been there maybe a month or so. However, one of the new managers and the older one will ask me questions that I am expected to know (seemingly).....Then, in front of the DON - they are taking credit for things.

My only "mentor" per se is my DON and she is busy trying to get the other two acclaimated to their units. So, right now - there is no mentor and I feel that I'm on my own. There is a ton to learn and I feel that I am not being oriented the right way. - I know what some of you are saying - welcome to nursing. Unfortunately, I've done this "baptism by fire" once before starting out as a staff nurse and now as a manager.

I have also found out that the other two that are newer than me are getting paid more than me (go figure) - :angryfire - No, they are not masters' prepared nor do they have the management experience.

I will tolerate this for now because it would make my resume look bad if I quit. But if things remain like this - I will do as many of the staff nurses on here have said (and some of my own employees prior to my arrival). I will give it a bit more time and if not happy - vote with the feet.

Unfortunately, this kind of "orientation" seems to happen at all levels of nursing.......

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