Letter to My Manager

Nurses General Nursing


Dear PCD:

I was just wondering. Do you ever offer up sincere praise or compliments to anyone besides those who are equal or above you in status, or to anyone besides those in your Good Old Girl hospital network?

Do you ever stop to remember how hard it is to be a floor nurse, how hard we as your staff are working, for how little pay?

Could you just possibly find ONE good thing about me today and tell me about it? Can you offer anything besides rote and planned "team" pep talks, or praise about anything besides what great charting we did, or how high our customer satisfaction scores were this month? Ever read a book called the One Minute Manager? Have you ever practiced just good old fashioned kindness?

Could you possibly for once try out some conversational skills that don't involve subtle wisecracks or veiled personal cutdowns against me, your staff nurse, who is trying her best to do all the 1,000's of tasks you and your admin friends seem to pile up on us every day?

Because, honestly, you and your ilk don't motivate me. You don't motivate me to think, to do better, to be a better nurse. You only motivate me to want to go home and just forget -- forget about work and ever hoping to advance in nursing and perhaps realize some dream I had long ago about doing something really significant in this field. You make me want to change fields, now, actually.

You are honestly, a very strange, strange breed of woman. I don't feel you are really marching in true step with all of those women in our society who have worked to advance women and their lot in life. I feel your type really works to hold a lot of truly smart and capable women down. Either that or you really seem as if you have lost your soul.

And I don't say this because I think all managers are like this. I know there are possibly some good ones out there -- but I just don't see any from where I am at the moment.

Signed -- an RN who has survived the first 2 years, who has grown to appreciate docs and patients, but who is truly questioning some of the management team.

86toronado, BSN, RN

1 Article; 528 Posts

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED.

Sounds like something I'd have written to my past manager. I worked there as a PCT while I was still in nursing school. They did all sorts of things like "PCT appreciation day" and a "kudos" board, but when it came down to little things like being able to get a lunch break on a daily basis, that wasn't happening. Well, I guess I told her what I thought when I let her know there wasn't a chance in He!! I was working on that floor when I finished school! :nono:

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

I have been very lucky in my career that I have had, for the most part, great managers. But I do give my current manager positive feedback as I have done my other managers when they deserve it. I also try to communicate the administrative staff when something good happens. Like we just got all new beds, a new medication administration system and a new form printing system. I love them all and I told them so.


76 Posts


It feels good sometimes to write such a letter to let off steam; just don't send it.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

I honestly don't know what is better, a manager that is all mean all the time, or like mine, she is all nice "how is your family?" and then the 1st chance she gets she sends you to her office and there you receive the wonderful present of being written up. Usually not once but twice.

I have only met a couple good managers. And it seems that someone has to literally die on their floor before they have an opening.

Don't worry, my friend, most of us are on that sinking boat.

nursemike, ASN, RN

1 Article; 2,362 Posts

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

It feels good sometimes to write such a letter to let off steam; just don't send it.

I agree. On the whole, I have to say I like my manager. Of course, I work nights, and absence does make the heart grow fonder. From time to time, I've had most of the same complaints, although I can't say I've ever found my manager snide.

A couple of recent policies have come down that seem, to me, unnecessarily adversarial, but they've come from higher than the manager level. Some would argue our manager should be a better advocate for us, but I'm not sure that's true. In many cases, she has to follow orders, just as we do.

Ruby Vee, BSN

17 Articles; 14,027 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

i've had good managers and poor managers. some of the "shining stars" who were being groomed by upper management for bigger and better things have been some of the worst managers i've had. on the other hand, some of the managers who were in dead end slots and knew it were some of the best. i would venture to say there's a correlation there.

the better managers make the effort to know their staff: know their strengths and weaknesses as nurse and as employees, know their ambitions and to know a little something about their lives. if you know, for example, that meredith is taking care of her mother who has alzheimer's, you might understand why she's sleep walking some mornings when she comes in to work. she's been up all night with mom -- which is totally different from inga who has been up all night with a 6 month old baby. inga's son is going to sleep through the night one day; meredith has no such hopes. the better nurse managers compliment their staff when they show growth -- because they know their staff well enough to recognize growth. and they staunchly defend their staff from attack by budgetary constraints, verbally abusive physicians and out of control visitors. they make sure everyone has a break or gets ot instead. and they make sure to thank you when you go above and beyond by floating, changing assignments several times in a shift or working that 20 hour shift to cover the sickest patient until the transport team can whisk them away to the transplant center.

good managers make sure you get your vacations, your classes and your promotions. they acknowledge you on the holidays and remember your birthday and anniversary dates.

i haven't met very many really good managers, but our management position is open right now, and i'm hoping . . .


1,016 Posts

Of course, I won't send it. I just need to vent -- the snide comments and attitude, and having to deal with it for 14 hour period are just too much for my psyche to take without getting some of it out.

I wonder at times if managers just have outright contempt for new nurses. It sort of seems that way. I don't feel anyone relates to me as a person. Every interaction with them is between you and at least three of them in some closed door setting. They don't seem to want to acknowledge that you really are an intelligent individual with feelings and a sense of pride.

We're always told that we should follow the Maslow's needs hierarcy. Well, why don' they do that, as managers, starting with making sure we get a lunch break everyday. I can go until 4 p.m. with my manager not even knowing it. Then when she finds out, she laughs and sarcastically questions ME as to why I haven't "made the time" for myself to go to lunch. Makes me wanta take a swipe at her at times!


224 Posts

Specializes in LTC, geriatric, psych, rehab.

I am sorry you are feeling so frustrated. I can remember feeling that way many times. Things like this are one reason why I try so hard to be a good manager. A couple of weeks ago, corporate got mad at me....I have never been sure of the reason. Two people came to my nsg home, put me on one of those 30 day action plans, chewed me out, etc. There was some paperwork not done to their liking. Well, probably b/c I was out seeing my residents or helping my nurses. But anyway, my nurses and aides thought I was quitting. I was packing boxes in frustration. They came one by one, handing me notes, some crying, all pleading for me not to leave them. I have saved every note. They are each very valuable to me. I have stayed, and corporate was back yesterday, apparently over their little snit. We are all very close....just wish you had a similar work situation....well, minus the corporate snit!


1,016 Posts

Just one of our managers makes me feel valued. The others make me feel as if they just don't like me at all. One gives me grief every time I ask her a question -- about anything. I am at the point to where I won't ask her anything even if I have to go to another floor to get the answer. One who does charge often won't lift a finger to help you, yet hands you the world's worst assignments with absolutely no remorse.

But the same one will bring coffees to her "favorites" in the afternoons if it appears THEY are having a tough day. Heck, we're ALL having stress and tough days -- why would any manager deliver coffee to certain nurses on staff and not the others??

And I have always, always wondered -- why SO many manager types on our staff? Why not just one or two, and that's it. We seem to have all these pseudo managers running around who never take patients. One does scheduling, one just seems to do charge a lot, one does education -- I mean, how many of these middlemen do we really need for a staff of 40 or less??


2,016 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

I'm so sorry, Music...a manager can make/break your day.

We just got new management on our unit, and so far I'm very impressed and thanking God.

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