Orientation not going well, may be let go?

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I want your advice on my situation. I am toward the end of my orientation and it has not been going well. Many of my problems are similar to those of new grad nurses here on the board. It primarily consists of critical thinking skills and prioritizing/organizing. I know these are key pieces to the success of a nurse's practice and am well aware of the importance. However, I've been pretty much told that they don't think this environment is a good start for me and just might be too much for me to handle. I have been trying to get through regardless to show my abilities and willingness. However, some days are bad and it seems like it's been the nail on the coffin. I meet with them this week and was pretty much told by my preceptor to prepare for the worst. I could easily be let go this week. I can't even get that idea through my head as it spins with overwhelming thoughts.

    Worst case scenario, if I am let go and lets say they allow me to resign, what is my out look for new employment? How will employers view me if I began a job which lasted 3 months and left as a new graduate? I'm so worried because it is already hard to find a job as it is. It took me so long to find this job. I know employers are reluctant to hire new grads to begin with. I just don't know what my chances are for finding a job soon enough. I am in NYC and have an associates degree [halfway through my BSN]. If I find myself without a job this week, I have no idea how I'll support myself financially while I try to find a new job. I've never been in a situation where my future was in jeopardy like this.

    I appreciate any words of wisdom, feedback, advice, and honest truth.

    Thank you.

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 3
    These sort of situations are always hard...I am not sure if there is a 'good' answer. None of us can see the future...I am going to reply to you on what I might do in such a situation. This may or may not be the best advice-there are probably others more qualified than I am for this kind of advice.
    But if this was me....if I knew or was fairly certain that I was going to be "let go"-I would jump start the process and resign before I was asked to leave. Being allowed to resign is not guaranteed I would imagine. By actually resigning yourself you are taking more control of your future. This of course is probably all dependent on how your probationary period works...
    I am not sure what the job market is like in NYC- I have heard rumor of it being pretty tight as far as finding hospital jobs. Having experienced LTC myself-I would say that you should have no shame in applying for any other nursing jobs you could find. Home care, doctor's offices.... even anything outside of hospitals. There are different kinds of experiences out there that you can get in nursing. If they ask about those three months just say it wasn't a good fit for you at the time and you resigned. Maybe it's not a good fit right now but it could be a better fit in the future.
    There was my two cents for what it was worth... I wish you all of the best!
    HM-8404, BellasMommyOBRN, and cienurse like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from Sgm228
    Hi all,

    I want your advice on my situation. I am toward the end of my orientation and it has not been going well. Many of my problems are similar to those of new grad nurses here on the board. It primarily consists of critical thinking skills and prioritizing/organizing. I know these are key pieces to the success of a nurse's practice and am well aware of the importance. However, I've been pretty much told that they don't think this environment is a good start for me and just might be too much for me to handle. I have been trying to get through regardless to show my abilities and willingness. However, some days are bad and it seems like it's been the nail on the coffin. I meet with them this week and was pretty much told by my preceptor to prepare for the worst. I could easily be let go this week. I can't even get that idea through my head as it spins with overwhelming thoughts.

    Worst case scenario, if I am let go and lets say they allow me to resign, what is my out look for new employment? How will employers view me if I began a job which lasted 3 months and left as a new graduate? I'm so worried because it is already hard to find a job as it is. It took me so long to find this job. I know employers are reluctant to hire new grads to begin with. I just don't know what my chances are for finding a job soon enough. I am in NYC and have an associates degree [halfway through my BSN]. If I find myself without a job this week, I have no idea how I'll support myself financially while I try to find a new job. I've never been in a situation where my future was in jeopardy like this.

    I appreciate any words of wisdom, feedback, advice, and honest truth.

    Thank you.
    I agree with what SarahLeeRN posted.

    I do find the part of your post I bolded to be a little concerning. The people you work for and your preceptor feel you are in over your head, but you are trying to show them your abilities? This may sound harsh but don't you think your lack of abilities for this job is the problem? Willingness alone does not make someone competent to do a job. Would you want a nurse that was willing to do the job but lacked the necessary skills?
  5. 7
    Sgm228,

    Have you been provided with specific information about your shortcomings? If not, I would ask for this information even if you are not staying with that employer. It will provide you with valuable feedback.

    (sorry, this is my perpetual educator rant - just bear with me please) One of the problems in most orientation programs is that the new hire is only provided with vague phrases like "critical thinking" or "prioritzing"... and this is not sufficient feedback to figure out exactly what needs to improve. You need to know exactly what does acceptable critical thinking look like in terms of observable behaviors. What are the components that you are missing. If they can't give you the specifics, how the heck are they evaluating you - let alone coming to a negative conclusion about your performance. FYI, to me, Critical Thinking consists of: 1) accurately identifying a patient problem, 2) Choosing appropriate nursing interventions for the problem, 3) being able to provide a logical reason for choosing those interventions, and 4) performing the interventions in order of priority - to keep the patient safe.
    mitral, Victori Ismine, llg, and 4 others like this.
  6. 0
    I got hired on a psych floor as my first job after graduation. It was harder than I thought..needless to say I got let go after orientation and am feeling very depressed. I don't know of anyone who failed orientation. My preceptor and manager said it wasnt a good fit. However, I never got a real weekly review. It all came at the end of 6 weeks. My preceptor was very efficient and would get things done before I even knew about them, so I just didnt catch on. Now I don't know if I could even do a med surge job. I am scared to death. This is a late in life career for me and I am recently divorced so it is even scarier. Any advice about getting a new job? Do I just not mention this empolyer in resume?
  7. 2
    If you're pretty sure you're going to be let go, find out exactly what the problem is. "Critical thinking skills" may be a bit vague unless they can provide you with examples of where your critical thinking skills were lacking. Then find out if your critical thinking skills ALWAYS suck, or if they suck only when it comes to Coumadin therapy, for example, because you really don't understand the drug, what it does, possible diet interactions, and how come that urine is now a lovely cherry color. If your critical thinking skills always lack, that's one thing. But perhaps you really need to study up on Coumadin. Or MIs. Or ECGs. Or something specific. Or maybe your critical thinking skills are just fine except when you're really stressed or just before lunch when your blood sugar is low. Find out.

    I wouldn't rush to resign, either. I've worked in a number of different hospitals, and every single one of them will work with a new grad to find a different job within the hospital or within the system. If you're regarded as a potentially valuable employee -- attendance hasn't been an issue, or attitude, for example -- most hospitals will bend over backwards to find you a job that might be a better fit. Why? They've already invested six weeks and considerable money into your orientation. You might be a poor fit for your current unit, but a marvelous fit for another unit -- and you already know how to fill out the requisitions, how the computer charting is done and everything else you've learned in six weeks.

    The fact that you're not a good fit for your first job does not make you a horrible person or even indicate you'll never be a good nurse. It just means you're a poor fit for this job. Find out exactly what makes you a poor fit . . . and you can then work on either finding a better fit for your next job or correcting your issues.

    I wish you lots of luck.
    llg and littlenurse21 like this.
  8. 1
    Thank you Ruby! I really needed to vent.
    Ruby Vee likes this.
  9. 0
    Thanks to those that have contributed advice and stories.

    I think once the nurse manager sees the new grad potentially as a "bad fit", they begin to push back to lead you to the final option which is resign or you will be let go. With large hospital systems, I feel it is cut and dry in terms of being let go; no chances once their mind is made up. I was told that there was not much improvement on my part. I needed to manage 7 patients within 12 weeks before getting off orientation and I was only up to 4 [just about to grasp 5] at my 10th week. My nurse manager implied that I could not handle such acuity and this hospital and needed a quiet/slower place to learn. I do not agree with her at all, but do agree that I have plenty to learn and was continuously learning. She mentioned vague points, and added that my I + O's would be updated later in the day [although I was trying to keep up with this hourly], and mentioned an instance of poor clinical judgement despite the fact that I did not actually carry out any task because I approached my preceptor before administering anything. Additionally, there are plenty of instances where proper clinical judgement was indeed carried out such as a time where I noticed the NG tube had advanced, notified the team, and held the feed and medications. Regardless, based on our last meeting two weeks ago, she stated that they may extend my orientation but had to speak to the assistant nursing director. However, based on information I have, she did not advocate for me when she approached the asst. nursing director, but instead decided to give me the resign or be let go ultimatum. I have been employed at this hospital for 5 years prior to starting my orientation 10 weeks ago and had always been in excellent standings. As soon as I sat down with my nurse manager, she proceeded to tell me that there was no improvement and that I had to be placed on final corrective action and she urged me to resign. She felt that the acuity at the entire hospital was too much for me. Talk about generalized statement. Are you kidding me? At the end of the meeting, I had to sign the corrective action form and deeply regret doing so but I'm not sure if I would have had any other choice. The meeting was very direct, and left me with no grounds to speak on my behalf. By the time I got home to think about everything that just occurred, I realized that regardless, my employee standings had now been tarnished over her assessment. My preceptor even agreed that I just needed more time to grasp, but would eventually do so. They just did not wish to extend my orientation.

    I have always excelled at what I do, but it always took me slightly longer to grasp than others because I have ADHD. When I was in my 3-4 week of orientation and kept getting scrutinized over my progress, I explained what my learning style/needs were. And since then, my preceptor and I had a better understanding. However, I never told any of them about my ADHD. I did not want to due to fear of being stigmatized. I was hoping for the extension so that I could continue to work harder and learn what I needed to learn within the extra timeframe. I did not think they would have placed me in such a cornered situation as the one that I am in. As of right now, I have to let them know this week if I will decide to resign. Do I have rights in this situation? Should I tell my nurse manager about the ADHD? Will that even make a difference? Is there anyone I should reach out to in HR? I'm just not sure what to do.
  10. 3
    As one who was "let go" at the end of orientation, I know how devastating this can be and sympathize wholeheartedly with those in this situation. Trust me, though it may seem like it right now, this is not the worst thing in the world that can happen. It can be a blessing in disguise. I truly think that if I had stayed on in that job, I'd have spent many a miserable month, with high stress, continued anxiety, struggling to prove myself, overwork and poor self-esteem. I'd have felt dissatisfied on many levels, not least of all with the lack of communication and constructive feedback. They were right. It was was a poor fit in many respects.

    My advice, for what it's worth. #1, DO NOT bring up the ADHD. At this point it might sound like an excuse, and might be additional cause for employer's concern about your fitness for the job. The stigma exists and could bring more complicating factors into the equation. #2, As others said, try to get some specific evaluations of your problem areas. (This I did not do, yet, but intend to do so soon. You will need this to explain to future employers how you are remediating your deficits, and for your own use to improve your skills and knowledge. Also to find out if the employer will provide a job reference.) #3, You must list this job on applications, though not necessarily on resumes. I list it on both because I believe the experience was valuable regardless of the fact I was not ready for the acuity. #4, Be very careful how you explain the resignation or termination, whichever it turns out to be. You can easily give a prospective employer reason to throw your resume in the "do not hire, ever" pile if you don't choose your words carefully. Wrong impressions are hard to overcome. You may not have another chance. #5, get some counseling, talk to trusted friends and people who respect you, keep checking in to this forum (there are many stories like your and mine), do some journaling around all the feelings of shame and disappointment, take care of your health, and get out and have some fun!

    Being an older worker myself, the hurdles and obstacles can seem overwhelming. I have had to work very hard to maintain my goal of becoming a useful and successful nurse, and overcoming this huge blow to my ego (also not entirely a bad thing ) . I believe I will eventually find my niche, where I will feel valued and respected, and enjoy what I am doing. You will, too. Good luck and do not give up.
  11. 0
    You guys are so great. Although I still feel distraught, lost, and empty, hearing about your experiences reassures me that I am not alone. I have been hesitant on the ADHD thing for the same reasons you mention. That's why I never mentioned it and just kept on top of it in order to develop skills needed to continue high level functioning. It had never been such an issue until I started this new job, honestly. The only reason I have considered mentioning it is from an HR perspective. Instead of forcing me to resign, couldn't they offer another floor or an extension on orientation? I know many employers have the right to just dismiss the employee due to poor fit, but because I have a 5 year employment history and am vested in this company, wouldn't I have some sort of "right"? I also hate to be the one to fight the system, but I would only do so to buy myself more time and move on. However, I do agree that in the end, this may be a blessing in disguise. Thats for sure. They are trying to get me to resign and go back to my old job in administration [ie. secretary] until I figure out my path [outside of this company]. Is it even legal to hire an overqualified person back into such a position? I am so appalled at the way this has all been handled. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. It's been a living inferno.


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