The best and the worst manager

Nurses General Nursing


I would like to hear who was your best/worst

manager and why?

Best: had a set of balls, not afraid to use 'em. Didn't play favorites. Didn't take crap from the nursing staff, especially the ones who'd been there for 200 years and expected to get their way all the time. Down to earth enough to be sociable, yet very savvy businesswoman who knew that it was not her job to make people like her, it was her job to run a unit well, not win a popularity contest. Didn't hide in her office, was more than willing to staff if need arose. Knew how to give praise AND constructive criticism. Knew how to earn and keep the respect of her staff.

Worst: THE ONE I HAVE NOW. The exact opposite of my 'best' nm. NO balls, no spine, nothing but a knife in her hand ready to throw in your back. Plays favorites. Ignores suggestions of nursing staff. Talks about staff behind their backs TO other staff members. Unprofessional. Has no business sense. Hides in her office, except to come out and push papers at staff. Hasn't taken a patient assignment in 2 years since she's become manager. Lies. Often. To everyone. Lies to get out of a lie when she's caught. NEED I GO ON??

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

In my 4 year career, I have YET to work for a manager like Kday described as being the BEST. All of them have been like Kday's worst nurse manager.

So far this year in my new job, I have been denied vacation, was supposed to take ACLS in September but was just told today that I cannot because there arent enough nurses to staff for my absence. I get screwed every time I turn around. RN's have been leaving my unit right and left this year. Gee I wonder why!

One of the best nurse managers I have had is now semi-retired, but she would stand with her nurses and NA's to the hilt. She managed the "floats" as well as the Psych unit at a time when a couple of the units were abusing the float nurses. She let it be known that there would be personal hell to pay if it ever happened again, and she, although a somewhat quiet sort, was without a doubt capable of making good on her promises. She is a truly great lady and I miss working with her.

The worst I have seen is one who would conduct staff meetings by reading through her agenda and then ending the meeting. She wondered why the meetings were so poorly attended (no kidding, Sherlock!).

worst manager: the manager that allowed an obviously incompetent LPN continue to work until she killed someone and the hospital got sued.

best manager: the manager I had in S.C. She kept a spare uniform in her office and actually doned it when we were short. She actually came in for me on thanksgiving because I was called away from work (my daughter was sick, ended up in the ER). Angela if your out there, You were the best !!!!!!!!!

Best: Highly visible on the unit. Clearly respected and valued the experience and knowledge of her staff. Encouraged and enabled any and all opportunities for personal and professional growth: teaching, publishing, clinical ladder programs, etc. Set up a strong framework for the unit in regards to self-governance (QA, Practice Standards) and in regards to self-staffing and scheduling, then gave us the autonomy to run the unit ourselves within that framework. Available after-hours for staffing emergencies and problem-solving. Responsible and accountable for everything that went on iin the unit. Had the knack of being a friend and socializing with the staff without losing any of her authority or compromising her leadership role.

Worst: the one who got promoted when the best one, above, got kicked upstairs. Worked 8 - 5 and then disappeared off the face of the earth until the next morning. Cut the legs out from under the staff by eliminating all self-staffing tools like agency and offering OT incentive pay, but would not offer alternatives or answer frantic phone calls and pages about dangerously understaffed shifts once she left the hospital. Eliminated all of our "creative" shift scheduling and mandated 8 hour shifts or 7 - 7 12-hr shifts ONLY (even though she wasn't the person who did the schedule). Clearly felt that, as management, she was far superior to the lowly staff nurses. She was the reason I left just a few months later, after 7 years in this unit.

Thank you all for sharing the experiences! As a new manager I find this very helpfull.I am not

surprised by the expectations, as a staff nurse

with the 20 years of experience this is what I would want too! be able to do it - often means challenging current hospital system. It is possible but the manager needs support and understanding from her/his staff.

What will be the best way to get this support?


Liliana- Just always be honest, willing to listen,( to all) , never pick favorites, and stand up for your staff. When your hands are tied from above, and they will be, be honest with your staff.

And don't be a manager in name only, be visible in your unit. I worked one place where I worked for several months before I met the Director of Nursing- a Nursing home with only 200 beds. I had no respect for her.

I also had no respect for the D.O.N. who came in at 9:30, had an hour lunch at 12 NOON, then was adios by 4pm. Didn't have any respect for the Administrator who allowed this either. ( that is 5 hours of work a day!)

Our unit has a wonderful manager. She has been a labor nurse for over 20 years and has been our manager for about 5 years now. She always stands up for us(and in front of us sometimes) both to MDs and administration. She pitches in when census is high and takes pts. If we need to trade a day because we have something important to do and we can't find a trade, she will come in and work for us.

She bends over backwards to be fair to everyone, but at the same time there is never a doubt about who is manager. She won't take crap from anyone. We all think that she is great. She is the only manager I have worked for so far. Hope I don't have to experience the worst. Think I'll stay put for a while.:cool:

Hi. I think most of the posters have pretty much described similar characteristics of a good manager. I go along with the same. As already indicated, my best manager was a women who never took her job personally. She was able to put an objective spin with everyone and on everything she handled. Very upfront with us about what was going on in decision making circles that would affect our jobs. We were able to participate on committees because of supportive managers above her and our suggestions were taken to heart. Made our jobs much more bearable to know that we had some modicum of control.

:D Best: a little shortie who had a heart of gold! Always explained her rationales, never treated anyone as though they were beneath her. Her one top skill was that she made you personally responsible.....if you had a complaint about someone or something you were expected o go right to the source of it, and could use her as the moderator. Her insights on human behavior were remarkable!She wiped butt with the best and worst of them. Did not put up with shift wars and stood up to management and families for her nurses. She was a real fire ball in a very tiny, wee voiced package. WORST: fat rotound don who did absolutely nothing. Never lifted a finger to help and would "set up " the nurses she didn't like, to be writen up.
+ Add a Comment