I am a new grad who graduated this summer with my BSN. I was let go from my first nursing job only after 2 weeks. I graduated with honors and had my capstone in a busy Emergency Department. I started my first nursing job on a busy orthopedic floor at a trauma 1 center. It wasn't what I was passionate about but wanted to give it my all. My real passion is ED, but I knew that I needed to get ICU experience before I get to the ED. The orthopedic floor would help me get my foot in the door for a trauma 1 ICU. I was hired along with 5 other new grads. Are orientation was only 5 weeks long but the director told us that if we needed longer that it would be okay. All other new grad started out with taking care of one patient at a time while my preceptor gave me 5 my first day. I found it difficult to find a routine and I was penalized for even asking questions or not knowing the answer to question. One of nurses on the floor noticed that I was being criticized more than the other new grads and that I should request another preceptor. Director told me it wasn't possible and the next thing I know the education department is following me around. They suggested that I spend another week on days, (I was hired on nights) and that I go down to two patients. I agreed, thinking it well help me develop a routine so I can provide safe care for my patients. The whole orthopedic unit moved from 20 bed unit to a 40 bed unit and nurses were taking on 8 patients at a time. They pulled me into the office last week and gave me some recommendation which I truly took to heart and made myself a whole new brain sheet and even came in an hour early to prep for the day with permission from the director. Yesterday they pulled me into the office and said that I have two choices, either I was going to be terminated or I could send her my letter of my resignation. The director told me that didn't have time to teach new grads how to real nurses and that I would never make it any hospital. She said I would be better off in longterm care where there is less critical thinking. She said I shouldn't bother applying to new grad programs because I would fail at those too. I don't feel like 5 weeks of orientation is enough to provide safe care for patients especially for new grads. I don't want to believe her but I feel like a failure and wasted my time becoming a nurse. I really am passionate about being in the ED nurse one day. I was an EMT/firefighter for 6 years before I went to nursing school
. I'm not sure where I should go from here. I also moved to the city for this job. Any advice would be appreciated.
Nov 2, '17
I don't think 5 weeks is enough time for a new grad, many new grad residencies are at least 8-12 weeks orientation. Also 8 patients is too much. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but you really dodged a bullet with that hospital! Dust yourself off and keep applying to other hospital positions you are interested in. Frankly ortho is pretty routine and lots of lifting and stress on your back anyway. Sounds like a cheap, crappy corporate hospital that doesn't want to spend the time to orient new grads but doesn't want to pay for experience and on top of that short staffing is routine.
I find it outrageous that they shortchanged you with a too short orientation and then told you to forget about ever making it. Who the hell are they, it couldn't be lack of time to learn and too many patients. Of course, it must be you! I hope by now you realize they are a third rate hospital system that doesn't support their nurses, don't even offer safe working conditions and safe patient ratios. Disregard their criticisms and keep looking for a better job and hopefully, a better hospital system where nurses are giving the time and training they need to succeed and decent staffing ratios!
Last edit by brandy1017 on Nov 2, '17
Nov 2, '17
I only had 2 weeks of training as a new grad. I think new grads are spoiled nowadays with such legnthy orientations and want their hand held and caudling the entire time. I know I sound mean, but I repeatedly see new grads like you, where your not prepared by the end of orientation, need to extend orientation etc. etc. Nursing is hard, especially acute care, some people just don't cut it. Some new grads don't ever catch on and are so slow about eveything, not just slow with tasks, but slow comprehending and prioririzing and want to take the long methodical way to do everything-ot look like a deer in the head lights when you explain the simplest things. That's great if you have 1 patient, but it will never work on a busy unit. You're not a nursing student anymore!!
And I don't believe you had 5 patients on your first day! Maybe the nurse had you take report on them and you helped, but no way she had you do all the assessments, med administration and care under her license without at least seeing you do an assessment first.
Last edit by Wandrlust on Nov 2, '17