Is blocking an employee's transfer common practice or just a paranoid myth?

Specialties Management


Specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

I recently interviewed for a unit/specialty that I really want to go to. Not only does this unit offer experience more in line with my long term goals, but it offers a schedule that I'd love to work (much more so than my schedule on my current unit).

I didn't get good nor bad vibes from the interviewer. I was not interviewed by the manager of the unit though, it was the clinician. I was expecting a call to come this week if I got the job, and it did not.

I had told only a few people about my possible transfer. I didn't want it to become the topic of discussion every time I walked in the door. Well, it did. What makes me most unhappy is, the discussions have centered around the fact that my current manager may have pulled some strings to keep me on the unit.

I work a fair bit of OT, and I'm felxible with the schedule maker (actually, thats the manager). I'm far from the best or perfect but I don't require a lot of redirection. I'm active in my committee and have good relations with all but one or two coworkers (who have problems with everyone, not just me). My unit also seems to be in a staffing crisis right now. People are leaving two and three at a time and they can't be replaced fast enough. Many of the people being brought in as replacements are not working out.

I guess what I'm saying is, it's not out of the realm of possibilities that some strings were pulled and the unit I interviewed with was asked not to pick me. Not that I can do anything about it but if that is the case, I will not be happy about it.

I don't know though, a part of me really doesn't believe my manager is capable of this sort of politics gaming. I think there is a good chance I'm letting the "gossip" get to me (probably because I'm disapointed right now) and I just need to forget about it and get over it so I don't miss the next opportunity that presents itself.

Is the kind of politicing that I'm describing really that common, or is it a myth created by chronic complainers/gossipers?

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr.

Yes, this is quite common in nursing, especially nurses who are similar to how you have described yoruself. Managers are not crazy in general; they do not want to lose a good nurse.

On the other hand, I have noticed that terrible nurses can transfer whenever she/he pleases, ironically. My guess is that the managers lie about their attributes to rid the unit of the nurse. So, the best way out of the unit may be to actually confront your manager about the need to transfer or to find another job outside of the facility. The latter, sadly, might be your only way of landing a more flexible shift and your ideal unit. Good Luck!

Specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

I work for a very large hospital system, with hospitals all over the place. I'd still like to give ER nursing a try. With that said, once school is done for me in December, I plan on moving more North. It doesn't change my commute to my current position at all, same distance from another direction. But I will be much closer to one of the sister hospitals.

I'm wondering if applying to another hospital in the system would help the problem. I've noticed a lot of the people leaving are going to different hospitals, not just different units in the same hospital.

There is more to the story than I posted, there are definite details left out that helped lead me to the belief that this may have happened to me. Ah well, life goes on.

Specializes in Medical Surgical & Nursing Manaagement.

If that's the case (playing political games), your manager is NOT a good manager. In m opinion, she has an obligation to the institution to promote the best person for the job as well as facilitating the growth and development of those that report to her. Didn't your manager have to endorse your interview? In my institution, managers do not play those games.

I would suggest you call the recruiter and ask why you haven't heard.

Specializes in Oncology.

You have to do what's best for you. I would apply everywhere and go wherever you can get in that seems to be a stepping stone to where you want to go. If it's as you said and this hospital system really did block your transfer to fill their own staffing needs, you do not owe them anything. Good hospital systems invest in their employees and should want to support further learning opportunities, IMO.

Specializes in Vascular Access.

As a manager I have had employees want to transfer. My philosophy is, never hold back a good nurse. I had the heart wrenching experience of losing one of my very best charge nurses for a step up the ladder. I am very proud of her and would do anything to see her advance and help her succeed. I have blocked the transfer of employees who were not great performers. If they aren't great in my area then they won't be great in other areas. In fact, in some cases I had to terminate. I could not let my problem become someone elses in the organization. I think a good manager develops his/her employees and helps them learn and advance. The low performers will naturally leave, or be helped, out of the organization.

Having said that, I rarely form an opinion having learned only one side of the story. Best of luck to you.

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