It is with deep regret that I must submit my resignation of my current position in favor of a per diem role. Please be assured that, having worked at the company for over eight years and consistently applied myself to my job in as committed and professional manner as possible, this is not a decision made randomly or lightly. Rather, and as I am compelled to relate, certain circumstances virtually require me to follow this course and terminate a position I have always valued highly. In plain terms, and as I will make evident, there is a Director of Nursing with authority over me I find to be completely unsuited to her position, and guilty of many and ongoing abuses of her role. Even as I submit this resignation, I am unable to fully accept that this individual is permitted to mistreat nurses as she does, and actually retaliate against criticisms in ways blatantly unfair and abusive. I cannot let my extreme disappointment, however, stand in the way of my own professional responsibility to convey the realities which are compelling me to resign.
The history of unethical and unjust treatment began, at least in my own case, when I reported an issue to my unit manager. At that time, the DON in question had transferred a personal friend of hers to my unit. As I followed this nurse’s shift and was responsible for counting the narcotics at the beginning of my own shift, troubling incidents were immediately apparent: narcotics were reported by her as having been “dropped” and wasted; dosages were increased by her without authorization; and other circumstances going to an immense disregard for the narcotics supplies. When I reported these multiple cases of drug diversion, the result was a blatantly hostile attitude to me from the DON. Two days after I made my report, in fact, the nurse in question made a point of letting me know that she and the DON had been close friends for over 15 years. The implication was clear; the nurse could do as she liked because she was protected, and I soon realized that other nurses, fully aware of the abuses, did not speak out because they were fearful of retaliation from the DON.
It grieves me to affirm that these nurses have good reason to be fearful. The DON’s response to my report, one week later, was to move me to another unit. This was by telephone and, when I attempted to seek reasoning for this transfer, she hung the phone up on me. On another occasion, I went to her office to inquire about the notes I consistently left for her, bringing to her attention important matters, about which I had heard nothing. As I asked about this, and before two witnesses, she simply left her office, utterly ignoring me. I would add here that the unit transfer demanded of me by this DON was particularly difficult for me because of allergies; I become ill in this setting, and the DON knew this very well when she ordered the move. It requires no great leap of imagination to perceive that I was being punished for having reported the highly suspect practices of her friend, just as the DON has made no attempt to even disguise her partiality or her readiness to retaliate.
I am compelled to cite further evidence of how the DON is consistently manipulative and utterly unconcerned with behaving as her role demands. There have been multiple instances of improper practice never investigated because those in question are friends of this woman. At one point a nurse from the 2nd floor was supposed to assist me on the 3rd, but the unit manager kept that nurse with her. My attempts to contact the DON regarding this were ignored. Two or three weeks later, retaliation for my pursuing the matter came in the form of my being written up for “incorrectly” entering a matter in the book months earlier, a specious and unfounded charge clearly made to punish me. On another occasion, I was concerned regarding the blatant inefficiency of two nursing assistants, and I properly reported this to the DON, expressing my belief that the instigator of the pair should be spoken to. Within a few days, both assistants actually laughed at me, confidently asserting that they were completely safe and that they would “fix me,” and I would be the one transferred. It remains astonishing to me even as I relate this, that the DON revealed my concerns to her and conspired with these assistants. This is behavior at so unprofessional a level, I am at a loss as to comprehend it. Then, earlier this year this DON had suspended me for a full week “pending an investigation.” Later, I asked her whether the correct suspension should not have been three days, and she told me she had forgotten the matter completely. It requires little reasoning to determine that this, as with her other grossly unprofessional behaviors directed toward me, was yet another clumsy, unethical, and wholly unjustified ploy to secure my removal. I am no hero but, as I challenge the outrageous actions of this DON, she perceives me as a threat, and consequently takes measures completely out of keeping with her responsibilities to drive me from my work.
Other nurses, I know, could corroborate these realities, were they not frightened of losing their jobs. The DON is in fact well known for “misplacing” patient reports on which nurses have worked hours. Her demeanor is overtly unprofessional and discourteous to a remarkable degree, and it is appalling to me that both nurses and patients are at risk because this woman is permitted to exercise her authority in such abusive and unethical ways. This has gone on to the extent that, if I do not resign, I very much fear my license will be in jeopardy. Setting myself aside, however, I feel it essential that, for the welfare of the staff and the patients, honest inquiry is made as to this DON’s performance. The degree to which it is literally shameful is such that each day that sees this person in authority is an outrage to what nursing and hospital care should mean.
Thanking you for your attention and earnestly entreating you to investigate, I am