My DoN is a terrifying nepotistic bully. What do I do?

Nurses General Nursing


I'm 24 years old, I've been at this job for just about 9 months, and every second I'm here longer makes me terrified I'm going to lose my license.Some background: I started this job on a recommendation from a family member, and I liked what I saw originally. A smaller psych facility in the Bay Area. And then the trouble began almost instantly. My boss lost my background check paperwork twice and only dealt with it when I mentioned to the family member what had happened, and she mentioned it to the facility administrator, whom she is friends with. From there, it has been all downhill. Here's a list of everything that has happened:Hired on 9/25, didnt start until 11/13 because she lost the paperwork twice.Trained me with a noc shift nurse who then slept through both of my training days after telling me incorrect information on how to do my job.Did not bring up any issues with me until late March/early April, recounting issues in February and back, no follow up for almost 2 months despite me being new and her knowing that I would need some observation.Did not actually do my 6 month review when she said she would, in fact, 6 month review became meeting where she told me she was completely unimpressed by my job performance and did nothing but write down a vague plan of improvement that she has not ever followed up on or referenced since.Every meeting has been premised by "catching up", "nothing bad", but then followed by intense socratic questioning and "gotcha" games to try and make me look like I did something improperly.First 3 meetings were nothing but question after question and her admitting she didnt know how to help me, then taking time off and coming back.Gave the ADON responsibility of checking my charting, zero feedback this far in 2 months of it being an issue.Brought another nurse into our meeting to "witness", when in reality he continued to "suggest" I was wrong and I had not remembered correctly, when in reality she was completely incorrect, felt like coercion and bullying.Has said she needs to retrain me, has had one single meeting with me after identifying areas where I needed improvement, and is now taking what amounts to 9 days off despite my review date approaching.Continually focused on solely the negatives instead of identifying positive factors as well so that there is some semblance of me being a whole person with both strengths and opportunities to improve, as opposed to being completely incorrect.Told me that eval period was extended one month when it was actually extended over 3 months (meeting was 5/10, eval final date is 8/17)Tried to pin other peoples incorrectly done work on me despite knowing what my signature and the other person's signature and handwriting look like.Gave me false information about calling licenses staff for MHW positions when she knew the union needed to have a stake in it and could potentially file paperwork.Overall, continued unfair treatment with increasingly obvious favoritism and zero parity among staff when it comes to treatment. Obstinate refusal to show any kind of attempt to work with me until the last possible moment, when she then decides to take more time off. Has placed all onus of follow up on me and other people instead of being actively involved like she is claiming to be. No follow up from the start, zero communication and what little attempts at communication she has made have mainly ended in her telling me she doesnt know how to help me despite me mentioning how I best learn and actively asking for examples to help me understand. Other people have made it blatantly obvious I am doing a good job and feel safe and confident with me as a manager and nurse.Other workers have had major issues as well. For example, workers who have been there longer than 5 years are given incredible leniency. Half the regular staff show up, more often than not, 15 minutes or more late without any courtesy call or notification. Their incorrectly or half done work that is often left for their next shift goes overlooked and uncriticized.I understand that favoritism and preferential treatment exist in the real world, despite my hope and desire for meritocracy to rule out over all. But I'm really at the end of my rope here. I'm walking on eggshells more than ever before (and being a 6ft2in, 320+lbs male nurse with size 14 quadruple wide feet brings new meaning to it), and seeing or even hearing from my boss is enough to get me choked up and panicky. I do my best to appear calm and collected in meetings, not be on the defensive, ask lots of open ended questions, etc., but everyone I've talked to seems to think that I need to look elsewhere. So, my more experienced and collected nursing friends, what do I do? It seems that HR won't be an option, from what I've read here. Do I just pack my bags and move away from here as quickly as possible? What sort of attitude do I take up? I've recently begun to stand up for myself and assert that I have strong positives going for me and I'm not just completely incompetent. (I graduated from a private school university in 4.5 years right out of high school, I'm outgoing, friendly, professional, all the right intrinsic qualities you'd want in someone who cares for you.) Or am I just wacky and feeling a persecution wind blowing me back?

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

Welcome to Illmarinen!

I have to say your post reminds me of entries I've made in my journals when I need a catharsis- just to get out a lot of thoughts and feelings. These types of expressions usually benefit the writer more than do the reader, as they are meant as a process, like a vent, in order to gain a perspective.

It sounds as though you feel overwhelmed and are in the process of having to eat and elephant in one bite. That's a tough job to do. As with any other problem, the best way to eat that elephant is one bite at a time. In other words, prioritize and deal with each situation one step at a time.

The best to you!

Specializes in OB.

I don't think you need to literally pack your bags and move away from the area, but it does sound like you need to cut your losses and look for another job, preferably in an environment with a much more structured orientation for new nurses. Try to really get a feel for the manager and staff at any new job you interview for, and make sure you get a positive feeling. Talk to the staff when you interview and get a sense of how much they seem to like working there. Red flags, like losing your paperwork for months and giving you two days of orientation as a new nurse with a nurse who sleeps through her shifts, are usually there for a reason.

This is just anecdotal, but I feel like smaller facilities are more likely to be poorly run and riddled with nepotism/incompetent staff who keep their jobs because they've been there forever. Certainly this exists elsewhere in nursing, but larger institutions usually have at least a few more checks and balances against stuff like that.

You need a new job. Not helpful to perseverate on this woman's faults any longer - and my main reason for saying that is because it sounds like there are at least a few areas for professional growth/improvement that you would like to focus on but aren't able to in this environment. Plainly stated: She may have problems but you do too (albeit of a different nature altogether) - and you haven't been able to concentrate on those with these distractors going on.

Remember the goal is to become an excellent nurse. Take some steps to place yourself where you can do that; take active steps in your own best interest.

Good luck ~

A bit hard reading all of your post- Paragraphs can be helpful.

But, I gather that you don't like your job.

It's OK to leave a job you don't like, and find one you do like.

I'd get your union rep involved and find a new job

Show her your post.

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.
A bit hard reading all of your post- Paragraphs can be helpful.

But, I gather that you don't like your job.

It's OK to leave a job you don't like, and find one you do like.

Yes, I only had to read about 1/3 of the post, and that's what I got out of it. Find a new job! Seems like an easy enough solution.

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.
I'd get your union rep involved and find a new job

I doubt there is a union.

Too many identifying factors. You are no longer anonymous. If you care, change them.

It sounds like a very disorganized place, a place where staff arrive late and important paperwork is lost - twice.

You know you need to find something better, don't you?

What advice would you give to someone asking this question of you (about their workplace)?

You mentioned a union at one point in all of that. If there is one - then you can request a rep any time your manager wishes a private meeting that could impact your job. Weingarten rights. ;)

However, if you feel that you are not able to grow in your current position then you should begin the process of applying for other positions. The goal is always to give excellent care. If you cannot do so there then it's time to job hunt.

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