Leaving nursing - page 3

This is my first post, but I have been reading the boards for about 2 months now. I need some advice- I am considering leaving nursing after only being out for 2 years. The reasons I'm considering... Read More

  1. by   wandering_rn
    Thanks to all who have given me such great advice and tried to lift my spirits. I may have found a position here in the area I now live in- where I wouldn't have to drive an hour each way to work. This hospital seems very big on education- the manager who I'm hoping will hire me used to be the education coordinator- so she's very big into educating her staff and answering questions for people without critizing them for not alreadly knowing the answer.

    So I hope all goes well with this. It's just very easy to believe the worst things people say about you sometimes- the real challenge is picking yourself up and not letting them get the best of you.
  2. by   shel_wny
    Quote from wandering_rn
    Thanks to all who have lent their sympathy to me- it does mean a lot. But I have decided to try and go back to school to learn something else- if I can. Yes, nursing may have different career paths in it- however I can't find a job within any field of nursing it seems. I have looked for a job for over a month, but when potential employeers go to contact my last two employeers- they hear very negative things. I don't know how to combat this negative information in interviews. Any suggestions?
    To my knowledge, it is illegal for an employer to verify anything more than the date you started working there and the date you stopped working there.
    I just researched it a bit and found this link that might be helpful.

    http://www.getinterviews.com/modules...ntpage&artid=5

    If I were you, I'd contact the HR person at my past job and call them on their bluff. If you're wrong, you just scared the hell out of them and you're not burning any bridges that were already there. :P
    If you're right, the bad references just might stop.

    If it's actually your listed references that are making the poor comments about you, find new references! Either way, keep your chin up. Nursing is very multi-faceted and all it takes is one new job to give you a good reference and boost your self-confidence.

    Shel
  3. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from wandering_rn
    It's just very easy to believe the worst things people say about you sometimes- the real challenge is picking yourself up and not letting them get the best of you.
    You are so right. Do not allow these recent negative events to define you. You are much more than that and you will learn and grow...hope this new job works out for you!
  4. by   nursemike
    Try to remember, also, that there's nothing like depression to undermine your self-image. You may feel pretty inadequate at the moment, but it's hard to do an objective self-eval when you're down. Even though it sounds like you have ample reason to feel depressed, getting rid of the depression can put the reason in a better perspective. A little cognitive therapy could go a long way toward breaking the cycle, but if that isn't available, I hope you can lean on friends, family, a minister if that's appropriate, or any support you can get to ride it out. But I wouldn't recommend any life-altering decisions while you're down in the dumps. Of course, if you do decide to get out of nursing for awhile, you could still keep your license current.
    Many of my classmates and I have had major anxiety during our first year. For a while, I was mentally paralyzed with it. It's hell, but my instructors and friends got me through it. Bear in mind, I'm 47, so major life crises aren't a new thing to me. I didn't notice your age, if you gave it, but if this is your first experience with "failure", it probably seems pretty huge. In truth, it's a setback, at worst, and you will overcome it, one way or another.
    Maybe you could talk to one of your nursing instructors, or even a past employer if you are on decent terms with them. Good luck.
  5. by   nursemike
    On a practical note, my nurse manager and my instructors just love it when I "take ownership" of my errors. If you can tell an interviewer, "this is where I went wrong, and this is how I would avoid it in the future", even a fairly big mistake can look positive. Not that I would necessarily volunteer that there ever was a problem, but if you're pretty sure it will come up, taking responsibility pre-emptively looks a lot better than making excuses. And the problem could be as simple as, "I think maybe I wasn't ready for as stressful an environment as the ICU. I might have done better to have spent a couple of years in med-surg, first." Or something to that effect--it depends a lot on the actual problems. "My previous employers were jerks," sounds really bad, even if it's true.
  6. by   wandering_rn
    Thanks to all for their advice- it's nice to see nurses supporting one another rather than finding fault. I am still hopeful this new job works out- she said I was hired and that my contract was just waiting to be signed by her direct manager. Hopefully I will get a chance here. I am planning on taking some positive steps as far as educating myself- taking a dysrythmia class, planning on taking a critical care course- over the space of the next year. This new job will be in an ICU stepdown environment-which makes me a little nervous. But, the manager has assured me a 6 week orientation, plus she says staff here are very helpful- to quote her- "the only dumb question is one never asked" and "people who do well are the ones who ask questions". I'm hopeful that this will allow me to learn- but not be a trial by fire- as it seems so many areas in nursing are.
    Also- I am getting counseling- this experience has left me shaken- I hate to admit it- but after the last nurse manager and the risk manager got through with me- I doubted my ability to be a good nurse. But I am going to give this 150%- and see where it leads.
  7. by   Rep
    Don't quit. Nursing is a career where one can be competent in one and perform poorly in the other. Try to look for a nursing specialty that would be comfortable to you and do your best to learn the ropes. Always be positive and learn from your mistakes. Good Luck!
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from nursemike?
    On a practical note, my nurse manager and my instructors just love it when I "take ownership" of my errors. If you can tell an interviewer, "this is where I went wrong, and this is how I would avoid it in the future", even a fairly big mistake can look positive. Not that I would necessarily volunteer that there ever was a problem, but if you're pretty sure it will come up, taking responsibility pre-emptively looks a lot better than making excuses. And the problem could be as simple as, "I think maybe I wasn't ready for as stressful an environment as the ICU. I might have done better to have spent a couple of years in med-surg, first." Or something to that effect--it depends a lot on the actual problems. "My previous employers were jerks," sounds really bad, even if it's true.
    Your post touches on what I was getting at too, and this is how I solved a problem with Group One stuff in my area. I took ownership of what happened, choose to spin the situation myself...I bring it up every interview and show I have grown from it. It took some practice to get comfortable....I did some role play with my hubby to get comfortable prior to the real interviews. Many employers DO appreciate an honest discussion and are willing to give someone a chance to show maturity and honest self evaluation skills..

    It's generally NOT a good idea to badmouth previous employers..except in a few special circumstances where there is a competition and you know the new employer WANTS to hear bad things about your former employer...LOL!

    To the OP: when I ran into negatives on my Group One and found I couldn't really do anything about them, I chose to deal with it head on like described. I initially thought about just leaving nursing too, but am glad I didn't.

    Like the song says "It just showed me how much I can take." We do get stronger from these types of things IF we don't allow it to define us in a negative light. Best wishes to you.
  9. by   wandering_rn
    I keep hearing about Group One in the Texas area. What exactly is it?


    Quote from mattsmom81
    Your post touches on what I was getting at too, and this is how I solved a problem with Group One stuff in my area. I took ownership of what happened, choose to spin the situation myself...I bring it up every interview and show I have grown from it. It took some practice to get comfortable....I did some role play with my hubby to get comfortable prior to the real interviews. Many employers DO appreciate an honest discussion and are willing to give someone a chance to show maturity and honest self evaluation skills..

    It's generally NOT a good idea to badmouth previous employers..except in a few special circumstances where there is a competition and you know the new employer WANTS to hear bad things about your former employer...LOL!

    To the OP: when I ran into negatives on my Group One and found I couldn't really do anything about them, I chose to deal with it head on like described. I initially thought about just leaving nursing too, but am glad I didn't.

    Like the song says "It just showed me how much I can take." We do get stronger from these types of things IF we don't allow it to define us in a negative light. Best wishes to you.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60901

    This thread discussed in the past covers some info on Group One for those not familiar with it. It pays to know what people will say about you when they don't think you will 'find out'.
  11. by   BRAGGY
    I read your email and certainly starting off in sicu, would not be one of my first preferences, if I had a choice in my nursing career. What about general pace, such as medical or surgical nursing? As far as quiting goes you have to quit for the right reason and not the wrong reason! For example, the wrong reason would be to think that you are not good enough, and the right reason would be to say, shift work, long hours, low pay stressful and a hazardous work environment would be ther right reason to quit nursing.

    Good luck
    from down under
    Braggy
  12. by   moia
    First I would go back and contact the Hr department of your past employers and ask for a sit down meeting with your previous managers.
    I would tell them what you have been told re negative comments. Hr knows this is illegal and actionable...you can sue them ..that is why the legislation exists that the employer can only state your hire date/fire dates and ?rehire. If it was probationary they must state that you were let go during that period. People sued and won when employers gave negative references...it violated civil rights law. It is the reason the BON exists...all bad references should be reported to them and potential employers should be contacting the BON to check out employees..ofcourse no one does it and we get crazed serial killing drug addicted nurses wandering all over the place but thats another post.
    I would ask your managers for an exit interview that details where they felt your weaknesses were...it is important for you to know how others see you and also to make sure their reasons were valid. You may have lost a job for political reasons you had no idea were going on and were told you did not "fit in"...you need real details...why didn't you measure up?
    What skills were lacking?

    If you know what you were weak on you can then start working on those areas or take a course to understand that area better. Right know you have no idea what you did wrong and ofcourse you are questioning every part of your nursing.....what if the only thing you did wrong was you were too slow...or you needed more time to interpret rythms...all things you can easily improve on....

    If you can't get this info...sit down and do a nursing care plan for yourself....heh...can you remember how?...okay..it sounds weird but it's a good tool...take a look at what the new job requires...skills first....list them..then list pyschosocial..then time management/organization..then time and emotional drain

    What scares you the most on the list?
    Okay..Why does it scare you? List all the reasons

    Now the fun part..take each reason and fear...and write out a solution...what I am going to do to make this stop being so scary.

    These are your goals and your plan

    Make this formal..type it out and bring it to your manager on your first day...give a copy to your preceptor...these are the things to focus on...

    Now you have an action plan..you will know what scares you...your manager will know...your preceptor will know...all of you will be focused on moving you forward and getting you some confidence.


    You will be fine...you are a good nurse who got thrown in the deep end and you didn't know how to swim...it's okay...this time you will have a life jacket on.
  13. by   edrnmike
    Sounds like you are getting you "stuff" together after a rough start in nursing. When I started I went from an ER tech to an ER Nurse and had to "grow up" fast. I was expected to know most all things about emergency care the moment I came on the floor, and was soon in charge way before I thought I was ready. I was terrified! However, I had some background to fall back on in a critical care area that you do not have the fortune to have. My point being that a critical care area is nerve wracking and intimidating for anyone, much less a new grad. Be sure and ask for all the help you need in your new area, but take responsibility for your own education and pick up a critical care book or two to study/reference. Remember, a nurse is a terrible thing to waste! There is more to nursing than hospitals. Good luck in whatever you do, but keep us posted, we all wish you luck

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