How to play the political game?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Melissa, RN Melissa, RN 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    I went into nursing for one reason and one reason only, to help people. I love being a teacher, a confidant, an advocate, and a healer. However what I didn’t know going in was the politics involved with nursing. I have never been good at politics. I say what I am thinking and at times say it without thinking if you understand my meaning. I get frustrated when I see nurses not taking care of patients properly because they are lazy or tired. I hate to see nurses getting angry at patients for things they cannot help doing. I am very brash and straight forward. If you ask my opinion you better want it because I don’t have that candy coating skill. One of my previous supervisors who was wonderful at politics told me to fake it until I make it, but I just can’t do that. I am an honest person. If I make a mistake I own it and most of the time if I think I made one I tell my supervisors before they find it. So did this mean I have no hope in making it in the nursing world? Am I doomed to always get the crappy jobs that pay nothing just because I can’t play the political game? I have tried to watch and learn from the best political nurse I knew at my last job but all I ended up doing was doing the exact opposite as her because what she did went against who I am. At the end of the day I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and say I did my best today. I can’t do that if I am playing a political game. Any advice?


    You sound very much like me … you will be a great nurse. That being said, you will piss off administration and you will never get a manager job.

    Profile photo of Melissa, RN
    Melissa, RN

    No helpful advice. Just wanted to say I feel the same way.


    I am a very honest and straightforward person, but if you ever want to advance into management, you’re going to have to learn how to play the political game a little bit. That being said, I left hospital nursing because I quickly realized they do not want people like me in management, they want yes-men to do whatever the VPs say and I was not that way. If I believe in what you’re doing, I will fight for it to the death, but if I don’t think it’s a good idea, I will definitely speak up. I found my niche in community health and LTC/Rehab nursing (I do both). Sometimes it just takes finding your place in the nursing world before you can advance in management. It’s a chess game, always gotta be 2 steps ahead 🙂

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