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What can RN do when feeling stuck working for a bully manager?

Dear Nancy,

I have been employed by an organization for more than 20 years and have always had excellent evaluations. I have been the educator for my unit for past six years. I orient new employees and mentor students. This educator position is not formally described anywhere. Recently an actual educator position was posted, which would serve two different areas. I applied last week. I have not heard anything yet. My problem is this; I am the fourth full-time nurse from the unit to apply for a transfer this month. The first two got their new jobs. The third was told that our manager will not release her until new nurses are hired and trained. Hospital policy states that the manager cannot hold an employee for a period greater than 30 days. She was told the director of nursing has determined she can be held as long as the manager needs.

We all want out because we have been dealing with a bully clinical coordinator for the past six years. I have spoken privately to my manager several times about the issue. She has never addressed it. Other departments have had issues with the same clinical coordinator.
I feel I will be kept in my current job even though I really want to move. I recently became certified in my specialty. I don’t really want to lose the benefits I have built with this organization, but also I question my loyalty to a hospital treating nurses this way.

Ana Lisa

Dear Ana Lisa,

Although you sound discouraged, nothing yet has been decided insofar as the position you would like to fill is concerned. In other words, you may still be in the running for it. You certainly are qualified and it is hoped you get the nod to fill it.

However, if you are not selected for the position, you really only have two choices at it stands. Stay in your current position or leave the organization for a new job. It is understandable you would not want to leave with all of the benefits you now have, but you may need to carefully analyze what else might be available to you in your area of expertise.

Another possible option, however, might be to take the high road if not selected for the position. You might approach your CNO and discuss the possibility of the person who is hired needing an assistant educator and you would be willing to take on the role. Or, better still, convince the CNO to hire two educators, each one covering one area alone instead of one educator covering two areas. You didn’t mention if the educator position would mean an increase in pay, but hiring two educators or creating a role for the assistant educator with no increase in your salary for a period of time might help resolve this issue. You would not have to leave the institution, you could function in your area of expertise and the facility would have the orientation, educational programs and mentoring it needs.

The bully clinical coordinator is a problem. It sounds as if this person is in the position to stay since nothing has been done with the complaints. You might want to consult with a nurse attorney or other attorney in your state who can provide specific advice on whether this bullying crosses over the line to harassment of some kind which may be actionable under your state or federal law(s).

Cordially, Nancy


By | 2015-10-06T20:07:24-04:00 April 6th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

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