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Quitting: is it okay to say....

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by Zuzu's Petals Zuzu's Petals, BSN (New Member) New Member Nurse

Zuzu's Petals has 28 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

1,189 Visitors; 9 Posts

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I have >20 years of varied ICU experience. I did almost 2 yrs of consecutive agency contracts at my current hospital ICU before I decided to "sign on" as a regular employee. Two months later, the manager quit and we ended up with a complete loser of a replacement (to cut a long story short). I've given this current situation more than 1.5 yrs, hoping she'd grow into her new job (had never been a manager, and was only an RN for 5 yrs before this) but she plainly has gone from bad to worse. I recently realized that I'm no longer expecting her to improve, I'm just waiting for her to either quit or be fired.

And so I'm quitting my job of 3 yrs tomorrow (with an appropriate and professional letter, brief/to the point, no nastiness). I am absolutely fine with this, despite not having a subsequent job lined up: I know that I can have a variety of per diem work through my old agency in a heartbeat, so no worries there. And additionally a manager from 12 yrs ago told me today, "You can be one of my nurses any time! Send me your resume." I am in the very blessed position of being able to immediately make per diem money to pay my bills, and surf around till I decide what job I *really* want to do next, as I'm contemplating "non-bedside" options.

My existing coworkers are fantastic, I'll miss them terribly. And they will be both shocked and (not tooting my own horn, just being honest) sad that I'm leaving, as I've rather become the "old den mother" to all the young RNs on my floor. There will be many shocked faces and comments when they hear I've resigned. I don't want to be unprofessional or catty, but I do want to give at least a SOMEwhat honest answer to the inevitable "why are you leaving/where are you going" from my wonderful coworkers/ancillary staff.

I don't like the idea of the seemingly smug little comments of "I'm not willing to share that just now", etc....we're a small unit, and the staff are, overall, very close with each other. I think vague "non answer" answers would seem snotty and insensitive to their very honest questions of why/where am I going next.

What I'd really LIKE to say: "I'm not quitting my job, I'm firing my manager...."

What I think is far more appropriate, but still gets the point across: "Management and I have different visions of patient care, so I'll look for a better professional fit."

Does this seem appropriate? Do you see any way in which this could reflect on me negatively in the future? (I don't ever expect to work this particular hospital again, but nursing repeatedly shows itself to be a small community, even in a rather large metropolitan area.)

Thanks so much for reading my blather, and I appreciate anyone taking the time to comment on this. :)

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brandy1017 works as a RN.

37,146 Visitors; 2,247 Posts

Why don't you wait to quit your job till you have another lined up? I think it is easier to find another job when you're gainfully employed. Once you have another job then I would give my notice and let your friends know you are looking for a different atmosphere. If this new manager is so difficult, I imagine they would be able to read between the lines and have similar struggles with the current management.

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1 Follower; 36,102 Visitors; 2,074 Posts

I think you are fine quitting without another job. The ACA has made it possible for us to have more and better options in that regard. Like you said, you can work per diem to cover your bills until you find the best position for you.

I might be a bit cautious with the bad manager. Sounds like you cannot trust her to accept your resignation gracefully.

My motto is to never burn a bridge that doesn't absolutely require burning. So I would give as little information as possible to your peers until after you are gone. What you suggested sounds fine I think. After you are gone go out and have dinner or such with your friends and be a bit more honest with them. If you give more info before your last day and it gets back to the bad manager she could make things sticky and icky for you. Even if you are not using her for a professional reference (you shouldn't) you don't want her bad mouthing you to others in the organization.

Good for you for standing up for your professional principles and looking out for yourself.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes for you.

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 93,088 Visitors; 4,800 Posts

The current culture that is happening on the unit is not in tune with how I like to be a nurse. Ya'll know how I am, we have worked together for a long time.....

Don't even mention the word "manager". It could be considered slander--and I KNOW seems dumb, but it's funny (not haha, weird) that new managers come in, fix what is not broken, drive their experienced nurses out the door, then somehow blame them for the poop that hits the fan when this occurs....

Good luck in your endevours.

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HouTx has 35 years experience and works as a Manager, eLearning & Clinical Development.

44,558 Visitors; 9,051 Posts

It has always been true - "People don't leave jobs, they leave managers" The corollary is that people will stick (sometimes happily) in not-so-good jobs if they have a great manager and coworkers.

I realize that OP is absolutely not wanting to "go to the dark side" and move into management, but I think that she would have so much to offer in a leadership position than the vast majority of wanna-be's that clamor for those jobs.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and works as a RN.

50,954 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

I think you underestimate your co-workers, if you think they don't know why you would leave. I agree not answering their questions is insulting.

I think your response about you and management having different visions, is clear enough, and vague enough, to satisfy everybody's sensibilities.

Have YOU considered being the boss, as the above poster suggested?

Sometimes it's better to take a management position, than work under someone who is grossly unqualified.

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Zuzu's Petals has 28 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

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toomuchbaloney: "I think you are fine quitting without another job. The ACA has made it possible for us to have more and better options in that regard."

How so? Hadn't thought of this aspect.

And I definitely do feel fine with no immediate job to go to--as I mentioned, can readily go back to my "old" agency job that I worked for many years, until such time as I find something I'd like to get on board with as a regular job.

Edited by Zuzu's Petals
Apparently I don't know how to quote on here very effectively! ;)

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Zuzu's Petals has 28 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

1,189 Visitors; 9 Posts

imintrouble:"Have YOU considered being the boss, as the above poster suggested?

Sometimes it's better to take a management position, than work under someone who is grossly unqualified."

Thanks for this thought/suggestion (HouTx, you also), but management is very much not my speed. I'd rather stick hot pins in my eyes than sit through most any meeting. Politics offends me on so many levels that it would never be a career choice for me. Had I wanted to deal with the politics, I'd be taking this loser manager's ass to HR & to her director regarding her unprofessional, vindictive behaviour and her general ineptitude. I don't foresee her ever being remotely useful to work with if that avenue was pursued, and I do believe she is going to be on a serious hot seat from many angles because of my resignation. Sadly, I think that my resigning will put more attention on her ineptitude than "going through appropriate channels" with HR, etc.

I've only had the one day at work to begin telling people that I've resigned, and have nothing but (sad) support so far, and almost unanimous requests to reconsider. It will be hard to not get into negative comments about my manager, particularly because the people I'm speaking with start saying negative things about her, and I am so tempted to get into that conversation with them. So far in these situations, I've just smiled and repeatedly said, "I have a different vision of patient care than management does, so I will be seeking a better professional fit. That is my party line."

Thanks kindly to all of you who read & responded. I needed some good neutral community support!

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1 Follower; 36,102 Visitors; 2,074 Posts

toomuchbaloney: "I think you are fine quitting without another job. The ACA has made it possible for us to have more and better options in that regard."

How so? Hadn't thought of this aspect.

And I definitely do feel fine with no immediate job to go to--as I mentioned, can readily go back to my "old" agency job that I worked for many years, until such time as I find something I'd like to get on board with as a regular job.

ACA made that possible by making it easier to obtain good health insurance coverage at an affordable cost independently from an employer benefit.

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Zuzu's Petals has 28 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

1,189 Visitors; 9 Posts

Ahhh ...yes, I see what you meant now. I was thinking of more jobs instead of better insurance options. Thanks for clarifying.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Complex Care Manager.

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If your manager is that bad, your colleagues know it. If you have the option to, you can complete an exit interview with HR and tell them why you are leaving. I have several colleagues who outright told HR that they were leaving because of our manager.

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Zuzu's Petals has 28 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

1,189 Visitors; 9 Posts

My colleagues definitely know it. Our manager has no support from her two different units of staff, after 1.5 yrs on the job. Her (former) friends/coworkers say, "I don't even know what she's thinking...I am so sad and feel like I've lost a good friend...she isn't the same at all any more."

Meanwhile, KelRN215, your post begs the question "Is HR your friend?"...and I have no good answer for that.

I do know I've decided that, in my last 2 weeks of employment, if my manager asks to speak with me I will insist that this only be done with an HR rep present. Whatever good that does (we are non-union). If nothing else, hopefully it makes her keep a civil tongue in her head with someone else present.

I'm not sure, entirely, what is useful to tell HR on an exit interview. How much do they write off as sour grapes? I can't say I've ever heard of anything coming from someone's exit interview, not even so much as giving a little indigestion to a manager or taking up some time...all I can say is that I never hear ANYthing from anyone's exit interview, ever.

Is this just supremely good "quiet interventions" on the part of HR, or does nothing happen? I have no way to know. Any insights?

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