A Cautionary Tale:
Just want to say that I was recently terminated after a 12 week orientation. The reason given was that I was not able to handle the level of acuity and pace of the unit. The managers did not believe I would be able to succeed. They suggested I apply for less acute units in the hospital or in the associated clinics, but did not offer any referrals. I was told to clean out my locker. This was after receiving no formal written performance appraisals and having passed all my orientation classes. My preceptor had told me I was not picking up things as quickly as I should at about the 10th week, but never mentioned the possibility of termination. She gave me some things to work on and said they might extend my orientation.
Termination after orientation can happen. This was my first job after graduation and a very difficult transition for a new grad, an older-age one at that. It has been extremely demoralizing. I wonder if I should quit the profession and give up. But I have invested too much in time and finances, and have staked too much of my future on the dream to become a nurse.
It is disheartening to hear the comments above that I am in the less-than-one percent who fail orientation. Looking back I see that I could have done some things differently. I did not come home and study or study on my days off, which now I believe I should have done. My excuse is that I was too tired and stressed from the exhausting and overwhelming hours at work. Often it was 12 hours straight, with 6 to 8 hours before a break or chance to eat. (When really busy, nurses worked 8 to 12 hours straight through with no breaks at all). And there was the constant bombardment of new information to digest. It was just full-tilt boogie for the whole shift. It would take me all of the available hours before the next shift just to recover my energy and clear my head.
My advice: push through the exhaustion and stress and study. Ask for written evaluations early on and if you are not at the expected performance level, ask for a remediation plan and regular reviews of progress. If you sense something ominous in the wind, speak up and ask what's going on. These things I did not do, since I expected a chance to extend my orientation. (Part of me did have a growing fear that I might be terminated... This is when I should have point-blank asked!)
There were many things in the way my termination was handled that I could complain about, but I don't wish to dwell on that here. I need to learn the lessons and move on, whether it is to continue in nursing or not. It has been a little over a month since my firing and I am still trying to get over the emotional trauma.
Good luck to you! (I don't know how old this post is. I hope you've succeeded and gone on to become a great nurse.)