I am looking for advice from experienced RNs and nursing recruiters. I will try to keep this as brief as possible but it's complicated.
I am an adult male in his 40's, second career, new graduate RN, having graduated in January 2009 with my Associates in nursing with a GPA of 3.65. I passed my NCLEX in February 2009 at 75 questions. I started my dream job in the ICU in March 2009 beginning my 6 months orientation. I worked VERY hard (long story) to get this job and was excited to begin my career as a critical care RN.
My new grad orientation was very complicated, having several preceptors and then switching to one preceptor after 4 months of hell. My new preceptor was great but I was having a lot of problems with time management and anxiety and feeling overwhelmed all the time. I know this is expected as a new grad but it was truly hell for me and effecting my work. I never argued and always took the criticism graciously and seriously. I was determined to learn to become a good critical care nurse, but I continued to be corrected all the time and told I was not picking up fast enough and that they were concerned if I would be able to work safely on my own after my 6 months orientation.
I was called into meet with my nursing educator and the nursing director on 2 occasions to discuss their concerns. I told them how much I wanted this and that I was trying very hard but I was aware I was struggling with time management and being overwhelmed. After this last meeting I was told to decide if I wanted to consider resigning as I may fired in the near future if I continued to struggle. Well after hearing that and knowing how miserable I had been the last 5 1/2 months, I decided to resign and protect my nursing license I worked so hard to get.
I was extremely disappointed that I found myself resigning from my dream job and I was so humiliated that I left that day and never spoke to another person I worked with again. I couldn't even transfer to another job at this hospital over feeling I would always be reminded that "I failed" and I wasn't capable to be a critical care RN.
It has been 2 months now with no job. I have applied to SEVERAL jobs and even had a couple interviews but when I was asked why I left my first job after 5 1/2 months, I explained it was "bad fit", and that I discovered that critical-care was not for me and that I wanted to experience other environments to learn and grow in. Well, that didn't go over well. I was asked to further explain why I would quit my first job after only 5 months and never completed my orientation? The nurse recruiter was a previous critical-care RN and would not stop asking me to explain why it was a "bad fit". I guess I didn't answer her questions in a way she liked and she really wanted to get me to say I wasn't able to handle it. She said that it was a RED Flag to her that I left my first job so soon in my training. Obviously I didn't get that job.
So, I decided on my next job application and phone interview with a recruiter to not mention the new grad RN job at all. I thought I would just be a new grad with no experience looking for work like so many of us out there. Well, she asked me why I was still not working after 9 months since I got my RN License. I explained I had traveled some and that I hadn't found the right opportunity yet. Well, she said... "Wood luck to you in your future and we will keep you in our "new grad pile". So that was a bust too.
So my question is this: Should I mention my 5 1/2 months of ICU training from a prestigious hospital or just leave it off my resume and hope they never find out? I was told to be honest as they could find out, but when I am honest it seems like they think less of me for resigning my first job during orientation and that it's a RED FLAG not to hire me. Well, with so many new grad nurses looking for work I can't afford a red flag these days.
I know the job market is horrible right now for new grads and it's very depressing especially for me loosing my "dream job". I guess it wasn't meant to be and I am trusting that something better is ahead for me.
I am still pretty traumatized from the entire experience and still now have sleepless nights and or nightmares about my ICU experience. I sometimes wonder if bedside nursing is for me. I would love to find a clinic job but I know right now I need to take whatever I can and get a year or two of experience.
I am also looking to complete my BSN and may go back now while I am still looking for work, though I need a job soon as I have a mortgage to pay. I may have to get another kind of job if I can't find a nursing job.
So does anyone have any job search and interview advice for me? Words of wisdom are also welcome. I feel bad enough on my own so you can save the negative comments for someone else thanks.
Look forward hearing from you.