The Transformation: How to PROPEL a Staff to Success

A Nurse Manager Overloaded with Problems

Jan, the nurse manager of the labor and delivery (L&D) unit, came to work a little before 7 o’clock one morning to speak to a few of the nurses coming off the night shift. She expected employees would comply with the hospital’s flu shot requirement, but she found herself needing to warn staff members they would be suspended if they didn’t meet the vaccination deadline. “Why does getting staff members to do what’s expected always meet with such resistance?” she wondered.

As Jan opened her office door, Susy, one of the new nurse graduates she had recently hired, rushed up to her with a panic-stricken look on her face. “I’m afraid to walk out alone to my car. Joselyn just told me she’ll be waiting for me because I reported that she’d come to work drunk last night and fell asleep for a couple of hours during the shift.”

“What exactly did Joselyn say to you?” Jan asked.

She told me “When you turn me in, you threaten my job, which threatens my kids—and I don’t let anyone threaten my kids. I’ll see you in the parking garage. You’re gonna end up in a world of hurt.”

“That’s totally unacceptable,” Jan told Susy. “I’m going to walk you down to the assistant director’s office and we’ll let her deal with this.”

Susy repeated her story to Karin, to which Jan added, “This is the kind of crazy stuff I’ve been telling you has been happening. We’ve got to put a stop to it!”

“Well, let’s not rush to judgment,” Karin responded. “Joselyn has already spoken to me and explained that she’d taken some Nyquil before coming to work. I’ve known Joselyn for years, and she was upset at being falsely accused.”

“But she wasn’t falsely accused,” Susy insisted. “She was slurring her words and asking her friends for help reading the labels on her patient’s medications. They finally told her to go lie down and sleep it off.”

“I’ll look into it,” Karin offered in a half-hearted voice. “But we really don’t have enough evidence to prove what you’re saying is true. I’m afraid this will likely end up one person’s word against her friends and hers.”

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