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I believe my manager is setting me up for failure and that I am a victim of nurse bullying. What can I do to protect myself?

Tuesday November 13, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am a floor nurse in a hospital setting. I started two years ago, and was supposed to get a promotion about a year ago. My review was postponed for many months and then I was forced to transfer floors. This automatically put me on a three-month probation and I could not advance. I believe my manager is setting me up for failure and that I am a victim of nurse bullying. My manager extended my review again by another month. This situation is putting my family and I under a tremendous amount of stress. So far human resources has done nothing. What can I do to protect myself?

Feeling Like a Victim

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Feeling like a Victim,

It is always challenging for me to comment on these situations without knowing all the details and the players. But based on what you are telling me, you seem to have only a few options.

If changing jobs is not an option for you, or not your ideal solution, you may need to file a formal complaint or grievance with the human resources department. Check and follow your employer's policy for this. This is something they will have to investigate and act on.

You may want to consult with a nurse attorney about the best course of action. He or she will help you advocate for yourself. Find a nurse attorney by asking around, by referral through your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org, whether or not you are a member) or from The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.