Why, specifically with nursing, do the most unprofessional, disorganized, dysfunctional, mildly retarded, socially inept @$$holes unfailingly become middle management? Is this Affirmative Action for jackasses, or are they hiring the handicapped because they're fun to watch, or is it just that senior management can't, in my father's memorable turn of phrase, actually and reliably "tell $#!^ from Shine-ola"? I confess to feeling uncharacteristically baffled.
Do an experiment: think of the co-workers you'd least like to work with, and the ones you'd be most inclined to fire for their shenanigans if you were King or Queen For A Day, (or for students, the ones you consider deadweight on clinical and lunchmeat during lectures), and for any position you stay in more than 5 years, keep track of how many of them become charge nurses, nurse managers, and clinical coordinators.
If you find someone who's so gratingly annoying the whole department wants to smother them with a pillow, congratulations, you've just met your future supervisor. If they want to fill the pillowcase full of IV pumps and beat them with it, you may have identified a future CNO.
I bring this up because, surprising me not a whit, yet another terminal management failure has been inflicted upon my work unit. She's a legend in her own mind, and clearly, at some point, she was allegedly a decent nurse.The problem comes in that when handed any slight amount of authority, she defaults to Genghis Khan-like management techniques, that probably didn't even work for Genghis, back in the day.
Which leads not only experienced me, but utter newbies on the staff to recognize in 0.02 seconds, that she's scared spitless because she's too insecure to shut her piehole and work with people, actually listening to them and MANAGING them, because she clearly lacks the wisdom, experience, competence, self-confidence, or basic 3rd-grade-level human coping skills to not dictatorially try to micromanage everyone like they were Barbie dolls at her tea party 24/7/365.
That style didn't even cut it in the Marine Corps among fresh recruits with room temp IQs, so it sure as hell isn't going to cut it with trained degreed professionals and experienced support staff.
I mention it because it's a wee bit off-putting.
And a corollary, which I'm sure shows up somewhere on a managerial training curriculum is that when you hire and promote the least competent people, it not only destroys morale and lowers productivity, it also demonstrates to everyone down to the janitorial level that you have your own head so far up your @$$ that you can't tell the difference between someone who's good and someone who sucks, and that you're - theoretically, at least - the very supergeniuses who sign the checks and direct the affairs of the entire facility. Which scares the hell out of we, the employed.
So somewhere in the Rules For Big Wheels, there has to be written the caveats:
1) Don't pull your pants down in front of the entire staff every day by hiring management morons
2) Try and demonstrate some basic level of bare competence unless you like the sound of laughter behind your back pretty much in perpetuity.
At this point, I've seen upwards of a dozen various management folks come through, and go out the other door. I could count the keepers on my thumbs. (And one of those two handed the promotion back to them after a year to go back to bedside care, because it was corroding his mind and destroying his soul, not to mention starting to hurt his marriage because of how it was affecting him.)
And as these personnel decisions are invariably made by the same people who make clinical decisions for the hospital, one is left to wonder how, other than bare good fortune, we don't kill people like the Black Plague going through Europe in the Middle Ages.