Nurse Manager’s Job is Never Easy

I have worked full or part time in med-surg, L & D, post partum, nursery, inpatient psych, drug rehab, youth detention center, nursing home, house supervision in hospital, inpatient acute rehab, hospice, private duty, pediatrics, med psych unit, float pool in a medical center, and now I am a nurse manager of my own unit. I have worked up to 3 jobs at a time. I have been a nurse 16 years and am good at what I do. I hate being a nurse because of what it takes from ME.

As a manager I now have “24/7 accountability” which means I answer for the goofs of all my staff, am raked over the coals if we screw up at JCAHO survey time, get reamed out by Risk Management if my jaded, careless, or too busy staff do something wrong, get threatened, abused, cursed at and terrorized by all the people who torment these overworked, burned out floor nurses PLUS I also deal with being bitched at by administrators and departments like medical records, personnel and pharmacy. I’ve figured out that my purpose as manager is not to improve processes or provide support for staff so they can deliver quality care. My purpose is shit filter. I filter the shit from the bottom and take it to the top and vice versa. I use my judgement and make rules to the best of my ability, balancing patient and staff safety with budgetary constraints, keeping in mind I can lose my job for making the wrong call. All of this for salary, not hourly wages, and my day shift charge nurse makes $5 an hour more than me, plus she gets time and a half if she works overtime. I make $25 an hour, 40 hours a week, get no overtime and I am a fucking manager!

The best part is, that because of the nursing shortage, I am apt to get called at 4am on Saturday morning or 10pm on Friday night after working all week, TO COME WORK THE FLOOR BECAUSE no one is avalable to work. Did I mention I don’t get paid to take call but I am made to carry a beeper? The last time I was called to come to work was because I denied someone the weekend off because I didn’t have anyone to work. So she called in and they called me. I can’t win. Meanwhile, my boss wants me to develop a customer satisfaction survey and round on patients and families weekly, administration wants me to come up with a song that best exemplifies the spirit of my unit so they can make a music video.

How about “Take this job and shove it?”. I can’t find anything left to love about nursing or even like except for meeting nice people, which I can do in the fucking grocery store or at the park or something. I can’t tell you how much I want out. I can’t believe anyone wants to be a nurse. I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT!!!!!