New grad just got fired - page 2

I am still searching for the strength to move on. I was called in the office yesterday and given the pink slip. I am a new grad, just graduated in May and passed nclex a couple months later and got... Read More

  1. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from Elisheva
    As a new grad, I would be confused about what I did wrong. I would ask for a meeting with preceptor/nurse manager (exit interview) and request a written explanation detailing areas that were lacking. I would explain that I needed this information in order to better prepare myself for my next work experience.

    I'd be persistent.



    This is a good idea, Elisheva. I imagine many people avoid an exit interview, but in this case I think it would be very helpful.
  2. by   Liddle Noodnik
    I would also wonder if the original poster (OP)'s orientation period was too accelerated. As someone said, maybe the unit isn't used to training new grads. Isn't orientation supposed to be designed to meet the new grad's needs, as WELL as the hospital's requirements?

    As to a new job, I do believe that when one applies for a job, all the old employer will give out is dates of employment. So the OP can say as little or as much about what happened in the last position - such as, "The orientation period didn't give me adequate training to practice independently" or some such. I don't think maligning the character of your last boss would be helpful, ha ha.

    Getting fired stinks; I was fired from one of my first jobs, not in nursing but even so, 30 years later, I STILL sting from that! and never understood why they let me go.

    I think too that evaluating whether that area of nursing is what you are interested in would be helpful in your job search, maybe there is something else that might fit?

    By the way, I learned that the best answer to questions you don't know (patients, family, coworkers, dr's, etc), is to say, "I don't know, but I do know where to get the information." And then do that. I know it's easy to get flustered too when it seems like someone is trying to pin you down to answer something.

    With the need for nurses nowadays, you shouldn't have any trouble getting another job! Try not to take this personally (yeah sure!) and get right back on the horse as soon as you can.

    Do you think too that the preceptors were too busy to give you the time you needed? Again, something you can ask about in your next interview.

    xo
  3. by   naja
    Wow, lots of good advise from all of our fellow nurses. I have been a preceptor for many years. I have worked with very prepared new grads, and some that should have repeated their last semester of clinicals, but I always felt it was my duty to be up front with my orientee. It sounds like something is being left out of your scenerio. Like the previous advise, you need to ask for an exit interview with all invlolved and ask them where your skills were deficient, how could you have made a difference, and why weren't you informed earlier on in your orientation.
    Being a new grad is so intimidating, so overwhelming, a good preceptor can get you through the toughest assignments and help you overcome your shortcomings.
    Re-evaluation of yourself and your past experience could help you gain more confidence to go out and be the best nurse you could be, please pick your head up and learn from this experience.
  4. by   Rnandsoccermom
    Honestly, unless there were attitude problems, I find firing a new grad that maybe needed a bit more orientation harsh. Sounds like expectations may be unrealistic, every nursing program is different. If they really wanted to keep you, they would've made an extra effort to do so. Move on, no loss!!!!
  5. by   gradgitated
    OUCH!!! How awful for you....reading your post made me cringe. I have always had a hard time understanding the attitudes of some experienced RNs in regard to their treatment/assessment of new grads....have they completely forgotten how nerve-wracking (and sometimes positively intimidating) it can feel to be "the newbie"? Or is it that they remember all too well, and decide to dish out to new grads what was done to them when they first started. Yes, I can understand that the experienced RNs want to ensure safe and effective patient care which necessitates keeping an eye on new grads. What I don't understand is why some RNs seem to take such delight in making new grads feel totally incompetent, instead of trying to help (or, at the very least staying out of the grads way).

    I agree with many of the other postings....try not to let this experience with small-minded individuals get you down. The job that you were meant for is out there; try not to be too discouraged by this. Hopefully you'll land a great position in a facility that can offer you encouragement and guidance.

    I have to admit that as a new grad seeking her first job I'm very nervous about what my first position will be like....as a CNA in a hospital and later, as a student I witnessed firsthand how "catty" and sometimes downright dishonest some experienced RNs can be. I hope that I'm fortunate enough to do my orientation under the guidance of someone who is patient and helpful, but I know better than to count on it.

    Good luck to you!!
  6. by   nuangel1
    i am so sorry this happened to you.its got to feel awful after all that studying testing etc.butthere is a better place for you .keep trying you'll find a good fit .it seems very harsh to expect a new grad to know everything .i know seasoned nurses (myself after 20 yrs inccluded)who say wait a min let me check :icon_hug:
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Before I evaluate the opinions of others, I assess two things:

    I take a personal inventory of what they have said and examine such comments against that inventory.

    More important: I evaluate how much I respect the person rendering the opinion.

    Since I consider that I have a fairly decent level of self-esteem, I normally do not let unduly negative evaluations affect me. I've left jobs where I thought I was being unduly pressured.

    Unfortunately, in nursing, professional practice is not the only issue that causes 'incompatibilities'.

    And, as a new nurse, I had a tremendous explosion of professional growth in my first two years. I simply wasn't the same nurse 2 yrs in as when I started. You wouldn't have recognized the two very different types of nurses I was.

    I just don't see how somebody can accurately measure your potential at the beginning. It's kind of like measuring how well a pianist you'll be when you are still learning basic 'chops'.

    Shake it off, get back on the horse with a different job, keep your attitude positive and excel. Success is the best revenge.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 15, '06
  8. by   slinkeecat
    and this too will pass..... YOU will get thru this.....
  9. by   nursemike
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Before I evaluate the opinions of others, I assess two things:

    I take a personal inventory of what they have said and examine such comments against that inventory.

    More important: I evaluate how much I respect the person rendering the opinion.

    Since I consider that I have a fairly decent level of self-esteem, I normally do not let unduly negative evaluations affect me. I've left jobs where I thought I was being unduly pressured.

    Unfortunately, in nursing, professional practice is not the only issue that causes 'incompatibilities'.

    And, as a new nurse, I had a tremendous explosion of professional growth in my first two years. I simply wasn't the same nurse 2 yrs in as when I started. You wouldn't have recognized the two very different types of nurses I was.

    I just don't see how somebody can accurately measure your potential at the beginning. It's kind of like measuring how well a pianist you'll be when you are still learning basic 'chops'.

    Shake it off, get back on the horse with a different job, keep your attitude positive and excel. Success is the best revenge.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Well said!

    After 15 mos. in nursing, I find that I'm still a bit swamped, only now I'm hustling to do things that a year ago I didn't even know I needed to do.

    The transition from nursing school to nursing practice is truly a bear. As one of my classmates put it: "Remember when we thought nursing school was hard?"

    To the other excellent advice already posted, I would add that in your next interview(s), I'd have some clear questions about what to expect of the orientation process. My preceptor and I were able to extend my orientation by a week, and even though that only actually amounted to two 12-hr shifts, it made a world of difference.

    I'd also suggest, if possible, that everyone would do well to work 5-8hr shifts/week in orientation. 3 twelves is great for working, but I think you need as many shifts as possible to orient. At least for me, starting the shift and winding up were the hard parts.
  10. by   oneLoneNurse
    Please consider it their dumb ass mistake. Sounds to me like some politics happening on the unit. They may not like the colour of the socks you wear. With the shortage I am very surprised they want to do that, BUT again its their mistake. I don't know where you live, BUT get up and start applying for some jobs. You have your unencumbered license.

    Firing is never a pretty sight, BUT that gut wretching feeling will pass. The sun will rise tomorrow. And you will go on. Please don't dwell too much on what you could or could not have done to change this event in your career. Please get up and getting going. You will be rehired soon depending on where you live. If they are the only hospital in town and you simply must live in that town there is of course a big problem. Otherwise there is no problem.
    Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Sep 15, '06
  11. by   babiesX2
    rn2day, I wish I had some magical words that would take all your pain away, but sadly, I don't. Only time can fix this. I too know that sickening, punched in the gut feeling that happens when you are told you just got canned in the early days of your career. It is still something I don't talk about much. Actually, the only people I have ever discussed it with are my Dh and my best friend (a fellow RN that I graduated with).

    Stupidly, I took a position in the ER that I had tech'ed in during school. I had already worked for a few months on the med-surg floor when I transferred to the ER. I wasn't given and orientation, and stupidly, I didn't ask for one. On maybe my 3rd or 4th shift, a trauma pt came in per private auto and none of the experienced RN's would come in to help me. The next shift I went to the unit director and told her that I felt I needed an orientation. Not too long later she came into the station and paired me with my assigned preceptor and told me I wasn't allowed to touch anything and she took my pen away. Her words were, "You are only allowed to 'shadow'." I worked with my preceptor for a few weeks, and I was hearing positive feedback from her. It was the day for the new schedule to come out, and the UD called me into her office. She told me that I just wasn't cut out for the ER and I was going to loose my license because of my incompetence. I was crying and sobbing, and too embarrased to ask what I had done wrong and she didn't elaborate. To this day, I don't know what I did that was so bad. The trauma pt that no one came to help me with had a positive outcome.

    I transferred to another unit in our hospital, and the hardest part was facing my former ER co-workers. They would look at me and whisper. The ER nurses I had known and been "friends" with for years were suddenly avoiding me and whispering about me (or atleast that is what it felt like). Some of them would see me and not even look me in the eyes. So whatever I did wrong, the UD felt comfortable enough to discuss with my former co-workers but not me. I was the one who could have learned from it. It didn't do any good for her to make a fool of me and tell the others in the ER.

    On my new unit, I always had postive feedback and high yearly evaluation points. I transferred to the nursery back in May because the UD called me and asked me to come work for her! That did much for my confidence! It does get better. It just takes time.
  12. by   babiesX2
    I'm not the OP, but I want to thank everyone for sharing their experiences. It is a difficult thing to talk about and share with others. For years now, I've felt like I was the only nurse who has ever been fired.
  13. by   CoffeeRTC
    Wow...hugs and well wishes for the OP...everyone else who posted gave great advice. Firing someone when you shoudl be helping or educating them is just wrong.
    Okay...not to play the bad guy, but what were the questions? Were they basic enough that you really should have know the anwers?

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