Why am I Passed Over for Promotion?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been in dialysis for 30 years 8 PCT, 15 Lpn and 7+ Rn. I am a clinical manager. I have tried to get promoted to administrator and keep getting passed up. Most recently to an Lpn and an administrative assistant. I have asked my supervisor what I'm doing wrong and she says I am not doing anything wrong. I feel like they won't promote me as they can't get anyone else to do what I am doing. Am I delusional?


    Dear Passed Over for Promotion,

    It can be frustrating when you believe you can do the job and are passed over. There can be many reasons why you are not being promoted.

    The most common one is they felt another candidate was more qualified than you. Promotion is not always based on your performance in your current role. Tenure is not considered sufficient reason to promote staff as it once was. What skills are required for the job, and do you have them?

    Rather than asking your boss what you did wrong, ask her what you can to do to succeed. Ask for her advice.

    How are your soft skills, such as conflict management, teamwork and communication? Do you respond well to constructive feedback? Employers look for employees who have shown they can think like leaders, exude professionalism, and take initiative.

    Finally, if you decide you are not going to be promoted where you are, look elsewhere. Sometimes employers prefer to hire from the outside, some prefer to promote upwards. You may get the opportunity you are looking for with another organization.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,408; Likes: 4,211

    2 Comments

  3. by   llg
    While I agree with everything Nurse Beth wrote ... you could be right. They may be not promoting you because they want you to stay where you are. You might be more valuable to them in your current position and they may feel they could not replace you.

    That happened to me -- and my boss was honest enough with me to tell me the truth. I am an adjunct professor at a local nursing school while working full time as the coordinator of student activity at a hospital where that school does it's clinical rotations. I was considering the pursuit of a full time faculty position -- but my faculty supervisor told me that it would probably be a waste of time. As she said, "They don't want you as full time faculty, you are more valuable to them in your current position." As a full time member of the faculty, I would be just another member of the faculty. But as the coordinator of student rotations at the hospital, they could be confident that their students would get good clinical experiences. Once I understood that, I could decide what to do -- use my leverage to get the best adjunct assignments while keeping my hospital job.

    What are you providing that is so valuable to your employer that they really want you to keep doing it? How can you use that knowledge to your advantage?

    Good luck.
  4. by   amoLucia
    Might there be some issue with educational degree? Like the minimum of a Bachelor's or something in progress?

    That was my first thought.

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