Is she taking advantage of my RN license?

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    Hello. I have a question about my cousin, whose a CNA using me as a job reference. It seems like every month I'm getting a call from a potential employer. The bad thing is, its been YEARS (since 2000) since Ive worked with her and she was a horrible nurse aid (we both were CNAs at the time) the only 2 jobs Ive worked with her, she'd been fired from. When they call me, I feel like I have to lie to answer questions. Most of the time Im stuttering and I do not know what to say. Maybe, she has changed since weve worked together, it has been a long time - BUT I have no idea what her work ethic is like now (I did visit her on her job about a year ago,[on my way to visit my parents from a 4hr drive] and well.... her professionalism didnt seem to improve, she was on lunch break and we were still on the premises and she was talking loud and complaining, I had to tell her "lets go to my car and talk.")We are family, but I dont really associate with her anymore because our personalities are VERY different, but I feel obligated to help her because we're related. I just wonder how she is putting me down? Because they always ask me, "Are you a RN?" not "What was your job position?" so could it be she is putting me down as her supervisor (which I never was because I was a CNA then)? She hasnt returned my call since I completed the referral interview (in which I lied to make her look good). I wish she would at least ask me first, or forewarn me that I will be receiving a call. I dont know, I guess Im just venting because Im starting to get annoyed. How often can a person jump from job to job? Thanks for listening
  2. 22 Comments so far...

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    Sounds like a tough situation. Some people say never do any sort of business with family so you can maintain a positive relationship. I would say that an employer would never tell her that you gave her a bad reference and that is why they won't hire her. I do not see any way, however, that your license is in jeopardy so long as you do not say that you supervised her. I personally would talk to her about her job performance and her past terminations and tell her to straighten up and fly right!
    Mrs. SnowStormRN and dthfytr like this.
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    OUCH! Plan A in my book would be to tell her it's been so long since you've worked together you can't give her a WORK reference. Plan B would be to just show her the OP above. If she's using you for a professional reference and doing poor work, eventually it's going to reflect on you. It's tough when it's family, but if you feel like you're lying, what if she makes a major error after using you for a reference. I doubt I've told you anything you don't already know. I hope somebody else can give you better suggestions. Good luck, and I admire your loyalty to family.
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    Quote from dthfytr
    OUCH! Plan A in my book would be to tell her it's been so long since you've worked together you can't give her a WORK reference. Plan B would be to just show her the OP above. If she's using you for a professional reference and doing poor work, eventually it's going to reflect on you. It's tough when it's family, but if you feel like you're lying, what if she makes a major error after using you for a reference. I doubt I've told you anything you don't already know. I hope somebody else can give you better suggestions. Good luck, and I admire your loyalty to family.

    I agree with dthfytr. Since you are already receiving calls from potentials employers, just be honest with her the next time you see her. Explain to her that it has been a long time since you've worked together and that you prefer that she doesn't use you as professional reference. Otherwise, tell the potential employer that. I don't think she will find out. Of course, she should've ask you for permission first to use you as reference. Maybe the reason she is using you as reference is because nobody is willing to give her a good recommendation and you are stuck with lying about her work ethics.
    BluegrassRN and Mrs. SnowStormRN like this.
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    First of all, I would say that "taking advatage" of your RN license versus putting your license in "jeopardy" are two different things. I do agree with a previous post that you need to tell her that you haven't worked with her in a long time, and that you cannot provide a good reference. Also say that RN's she has worked with recently should be able to provide a better reference for her anyway...if you tell them that you have not worked with her since 2000 I would think they will wonder why she hasn't provided a more recent reference. Finally: you should never have to lie for her...period.
    Last edit by psu_213 on Apr 20, '11 : Reason: correct typo
    netglow likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from psu_213
    First of all, I would say that "taking advatage" of your RN license versus putting your license in "jeopardy" are two different things. I do agree with a previous post that you need to tell her that you haven't worked with her in a long time, and that you cannot provide a good reference. Also say that RN's she has worked with recently should be able to provide a better reference for her anyway...if you tell them that you have not worked with her since 2000 I would think they will wonder why she hasn't provided a more recent reference. Finally: you should never have to lie for her...period.
    Thats one thing I did do with the last call. When they asked about me working with her I said, "Its been a long time since Ive worked with her and that we only worked about a year together." and when I answered questions I would say, "I cant recall her ever being late." which was true because I worked 3-11 and she worked 7-3 but CNAs and nurses complained about her work, eventually leading to write ups and a firing. So even though, I feel like Im lying, I am in a way but I guess its going around the truth, instead of saying "I dont know if she was ever late we worked 2 different shifts." I just said, "I cant recall her ever being late." That type of lie. Still isnt right Im sure. But I am so glad the advice you gave, never thought about saying, "Im not sure if I can give her reference as it has been many years since Ive worked with her." and I will let her know that when I speak to her too - ThANKS everyone! Never thought of that.
    PS- I didnt think this would jeopardize my license, I just figured she was taking advantage of it by using it as reference to make her look good because she knows theres at least ONE RN that would give her a good reference, me. SMH! Im so glad you guys advised me on this, now I know how to handle it.
    dthfytr likes this.
  8. 0
    Tell whoever calls you for reference that you haven't worked with her since whatever that date is and you don't feel it would be fair to give a reference.
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    I forgot to mention that I used to have a former co-worker apply at the job where I was working and she used me as reference even though we never worked closer together. When my supervisor asked me about her, I didn't feel comfortable giving my opinion (I would hear a lot of negative comments from other people). I did mentioned to my supervisor that we worked at the same facility, but told her that since we didn't work "close together" that I was not the right person to ask about her work ethics. You can say that.
    Mrs. SnowStormRN likes this.
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    This is pretty easy. If you no longer want to vouch for her under these circumstances, just come out and tell her she will have to find another reference. Doesn't it tell you something that she is not using people at work as references?
    tewdles, canoehead, and BluegrassRN like this.
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    Doing something positive for another person especially family is a GOOD DEED. The universe brings positive energy to those who create positive energy. It is time for us all to be LESS selfish. I'm not calling you selfish and I am not condoning lying. Not mentioning that it has been 10 years since you worked with her is not lying at least I don't think so. Just give her a good reference , how long does it take 2 min? Its really not that big of a deal.
    Laboratorian likes this.


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