Giving up...

  1. I am about to give up. I feel very let down by this career. i left a job after 10 years., thinking I could go back into the hosp. learn something new. I got fired. Too slow. My last employer of 10 years told a person checking my references that "Our company policy will only allow me to verify employment. We don't give out references". I AM a good nurse. I have the respect of my peers.
    I am 51 years old. How can I get a job without a good reference?
    I asked one of the Docs there who I thought was more of an independent thinker, she said she couldn't give me a ref. w/o talking to the practice owner.
    I don't know what I am going to do.
    I have 2 kids living at home. I am getting unemployment compensation. My child support ends in June. I am unemployed for the first time in 24 years. My husband left me.
    I have thought about that Legal Consulting, but it seems like people have a hard time making money.
    I can't take much more. Don't send me to a shrink...I am on antidepressants already. Now the only insurance I have is cobra.
    I am ready to give up. I love being a nurse, but I hate management and politics . There is no heart left in this profession.
    I have given it my life and it has taken my life and given me nothing back. No pension. No job security. I would NOT recommend this profession to anyone.
    Last edit by Flora on Feb 4, '03
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Hidi74
    I wish I could make it better for you.......My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  4. by   Stargazer
    First of all, yes I am going to tell you to see the physician who is prescribing your antidepressants for you, because it is crystal clear from your post that you are, in fact, depressed. I don't know whether you need your meds or dosage adjusted or some supplemental counseling/therapy--and I know for a fact that there are easily 200 people on this board better equipped to answer that than I--but you need something, 'cause what you're doing now isn't getting the job done.

    As to your employment situation--there are ways to get around your employer's official policy. First of all, it's not uncommon these days for companies to have a "no references" policy, so the fact that you don't have one will not automatically make you suspect in the eyes of a future employer, which is what I get the feeling you're thinking.

    Secondly, "no employer references" means just that. It does not mean that you cannot ask for personal references from colleagues, and most people use that same dodge to get around this problem. I presume you have at least a few options other than the one physician you've asked?

    Another option is to provide copies of your annual work evaluations/appraisals. Assuming they are favorable, many employers will accept these in lieu of at least one reference.

    As a last resort, you can ask for personal character references from folks who have dealt with you in some sort of official capacity that is not directly work-related. Taught CPR or First Aid in the community? Organized a charity drive? Ran a blood pressure booth or First Aid station at the local Fun Run or health fair? Been involved with the PTA at your kids' school, or with activities at your church or synagogue? Use some of those folks who can attest to your work ethic and professionalism.

    There is a forum on this board specifically for Legal Nurse Consultants. I would suggest you go there and post any specific questions you have about breaking into the field.

    You are overwhelmed right now. You need to take a deep breath, sit down, start making lists, and tackle things one step at a time. There are options for you out there. Lots of support available here on this board. Good luck.
  5. by   A Kitty RN
    Please don't give up! There are more options out there- I know it can be depressing-- but remember, when life hands you lemons Honey, you go make some lemonade. I also believe things happen for a reason. You may not have found the right job yet but something better for you will come along.
    If you aren't sure about the LNC role, I hear you have to be a go-getter to get good money. I looked into it, but I am not a salesperson type. You must be able to show lots of confidence and determination. Actually, it may be a good thing for your self-esteem. Seems you definitely have experience to back you up.
    Anyway, you could try Home Health, school nursing, md office--OH
    what about looking into a State job. You could look on the State of Illinois website for govt. jobs. When I thougt of trying a different position here in the midwest, I found lots of them. They are really concerned about experience and less about how slow you might be. (I don't mean that in a rude way)
    GOOD LUCK!
  6. by   RNFROG3
    Great advice stargazer & kittyrn. We'll be with you Flora, hang in there.
  7. by   Tookie
    Flora - you are only 51 years young - you have a lot to offer - there is a nursing shortage -
    PUT A VALUE ON YOURSLF
    if you dont no one else will
    You have experience you have knowledge - there is a shortage
    make resumes - flodd all potentail places - look at potential courses and beleive in yourself
    I know it is not the same system there as down under however - you are a valuable assest remember that
    Tookie
  8. by   researchrabbit
    Don't give up! The references I've always given have been my coworkers; I never rely on the managers or institution because they never have time to write a good letter (and sometimes you know they WON'T write a good letter). I've never had trouble getting a job (I am no spring chicken -- that's my daughter in the picture -- the nonfurry one).

    Sometimes a job just doesn't work out. When I moved back to OK from KS I took a job that I knew wasn't going to work out in the long run, but it was familiar work and would tide me over...I left before they downsized me -- it was only a matter of time (too much interpersonal rivalry, and I don't play those games).

    There IS a job out there for you. Nurses are in short supply. If you don't want to try a hospital job again, look for something nonhospital...a friend of mine worked hospice in a similar situation and truly enjoyed it.

    And Stargazer said it perfectly in her first paragraph. Wouldn't hurt to see what your MD says.

    Please take good care of yourself.
  9. by   ERNurse752
    Were you away from the bedside for 10 years, and then went back?

    I'm curious to know what kind of orientation they gave you, or if they gave you a refresher course? That's a long time to be away, and then just throw you to the wolves and expect you to function as if you'd never left...

    Where I live, all employers can give out is verification of dates of employment, nothing else, so that may not hurt you.

    The doc you talked to...did she refuse to talk to the practice owner, or can you get her to do that?

    Hang in there and good luck...keep us posted!
  10. by   katscan
    In Ohio, one must have a Batchelors degree and certification from the state dept of education-which translates to more courses in education before you can become a school nurse. The person suggesting school nursing must not not have those requirements in her state. You could maybe substitute....Anyway, best of luck. I hated hospital nursing and went for school nursing. I love it. If you are qualified, I encourage to pursue it-I have been a school nurse for 20years and would have it no other way. Good luck!
  11. by   oramar
    I have witnessed other people being let go because they slow. That really does happen in this business. Management wants lightning quick and totally error free employees. That is almost impossible without a lot of experience. My guess is that you were just making sure you did not make mistakes and that is why you were slow. Believe it or not I have had employers that considered slow and sure a good thing. I wonder if an employment agency could help place you?
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Great big hugs your way. HANG IN THERE and see your dr about your depression. You are way to valuable to let it go.
  13. by   sjoe
    Stargazer writes: "First of all, it's not uncommon these days for companies to have a "no references" policy, so the fact that you don't have one will not automatically make you suspect in the eyes of a future employer, which is what I get the feeling you're thinking.

    Secondly, "no employer references" means just that. It does not mean that you cannot ask for personal references from colleagues, and most people use that same dodge to get around this problem. "

    That is exactly right. Out of curiosity, I recently hired a company (references-etc.com) that poses as a prospective employer to do reference checks at several of my previous employees. Here are the results:

    Out of the six, two could not even verify dates of employment (as they had switched to computer systems and didn't have records dating back more than 4 years) or even the fact that I ever was employed by them,

    one other said that it would take them about 4 weeks(!) to retrieve old records (10 years) which would require a specific release (their own) from me before they would begin doing it,

    two (the HR departments) gave voice mail dead-end run-arounds, inaccurate dates of employment in one case and no information in the other case, and

    only one gave a telephone reference (and he was distracted by business and rushed through it).

    This is normal practice, and the reason I ALWAYS give names and current phone numbers of previous charge nurses, supervisors, etc. who have remained friends, for my references. It is usually a waste of time to do otherwise.

    (You thought their HR departments and reference operations would somehow be more functional than their chaotic healthcare operations? NOPE.)

    Best wishes

    (Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this company.)
  14. by   mattsmom81
    I am so sorry for this series of events you are struggling with and my prayers are with you. Please find some support in the form of a good friend, therapist, minister or your doc. If you tend to be depressed this series of events will sure not help and you need to focus on positives now in all forms.

    Great advice from all here...many of us here have been unemployed for some time due to injury and illness, etc...some of us are just getting back into nursing due to the same so we can relate. Just keep plugging. You might be pleasantly surprised if you contact some coworkers who liked you...they may write you some awesome referrals. Contact every old nurse or medical friend and ask them for help. Also, have you tried agencies? Doc offices? Private duty ads in the paper?

    As for whether you want to give up on nursing, well, only you can answer that...nothing wrong with finding something else while you figure that out so if you see something in the paper that piques your interest, go for it. Once you're being productive again, you will begin to feel better and more positive. .

    If you are a religious person, I would remind you to pray for guidance and comfort in your life. It has helped me tremendously...although I had to learn things were on God's timeline, not mine.

    Good thoughts and prayers coming your way. Vent here anytime. And let us know how things are going.

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