Advice on how to QUIT professionally

  1. Hi All,
    I have started a previous thread titled lowest of the low. I have finally gotten to the point where I am ready to quit. I have been meticulous in my documentation, I have been extremely careful to take care that my communication is professional at all times. I do not believe that anything I do matters at this point. I was hired as a charge nurse, and the nurse who is training me is a complete spaz! She cant handle her own job, she snaps at people constantly, I think she doctors residents documentation, and I know she never does vital signs, I have never once seen her with a blood pressure cuff or anything else needed for vital signs. I never said a word, first of all, maybe I was wrong, and second of all, as a new person, you dont come in and criticize a nurse who has been there for 3 years. I started having trouble a few weeks ago, 'complaints' that I wasnt nice to my cna's, (I used to be a cna, and I appreciate how hard their job is. when I got that complaint, I blamed myself, and the fact that I was stressed out and possible coming across as rushed.) I have made many good friends there already, and was informed last night that the nurse who is training me has accused me of never taking vital signs, making them up, and God knows what else. I am ready to quit. I cant fight the dysfunctional dynamics of this place, there is a core of persons there, RN's and CNA's, who 'run' the place. There is no fighting this. I am in an impossible situation, and the advice I am asking for is how to write a letter of resignation which addresses the accusation of me not taking vital signs. I am so very angry, :angryfire , I believe that this nurse is a danger to the residents, and she is now trying to accuse me of the actions she has done, in order to preserve her job. As the new nurse, I am not going to try to accuse her of anything, I have no proof. But I feel the need to defend myself, on paper, and professionally let them know why I am leaving. I am a new grad, hired as a charge nurse, given a 2 week training period, but then thrown on my own. I have none of the authority of a charge nurse, none of the cna's will report to me, or respect my requests, but I have been reprimanded more than once for the responsibilities of charge nurse which I didnt accomplish. I have made one med error, I gave an HS med at 1600 hours by mistake, (it was a calcium tablet), I actually saved a patients life, (the cnas stated that a patient was playing possum and didnt want to get up for the day, it struck me as funny, cuz he usually yells at people, when I went in to check on him, he was unresponsive, his blood sugar was 56, glucagon injection and IV glucose by the physician saved his life). The doctor told me that the patient would have died. The cnas didnt report this to me, I just happened to hear them talking to each other.
    Sorry this is so long. It is just that I think I have good instincts, I want to be an excellent nurse, right now I believe I am a good one. I am a new grad, and the responsibilities thrust upon me are outrageous. Soooo.....
    I need to write up my resignation. How do I do this, and defend myself without sounding unprofessional and accusatory?
    PLEASE HELP!
    On my previous thread, lowest of the low, everyone said
    Run! Get out now! and they were right. At this point I just want to leave a resignation letter that addresses these things, defend myself to a point, but doesnt sound whiny.
    Anybody?
    KristyBRN
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Wendy_RN
    Kristy,

    I empathize with you, as I just left a bad situation. In writing my letter of resignation, I chose to keep it on a professional level, and to refrain from burning any bridges. I do understand the urge to defend yourself and to vent about the way things are at your employers. I am a new grad also, and really cannot afford to receive a bad reference from my former employer. I resigned in a way that left me eligible for rehire (like I would want to go back to that situation), but you never know what is going to happen down the road. If you mention names and incidents in your letter of resignation, it may or may not be taken seriously and investigated. If it is not taken seriously, it may backfire on you. At this point, do what is best for you and your future. Good luck!!!
  4. by   WickedRedRN
    I am sorry you have had such a bad time, sounds like getting out is the best course of action.

    As far as resignation goes, although I am not yet a nurse, I have many years of management experience. A brief letter declaring your intention to resign and giving an effective date for that to occur is all that is needed. You are not required to give a specific reason why. Professionally, you do not want to detail everything that has occured in a letter. This speaks to your professionalism. Journaling everything bad that has happened in a resignation letter is not only unneccesary, but appears "sour grapes" on your part. Although I know this is not how you wish to be portrayed and your reasons are valid, as simple statement such as "I have choosen to tender my resignation with the facility effective xx/xx/xx due to personal and professional decisions." is to the point and professional. If there is an exit interview process, you can voice your concerns during that time.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
  5. by   EmerNurse
    Actually, I think you have TWO letters to write. One to address the accusations against you, along the lines of...

    "I would like to address certain comments brought to my attention. I take my responsibility as a nurse very seriously and am very careful to <insert task, VS whatever> in a consciencious (bah sp???) manner. I was shocked and concerned that I was percieved by <person, if you know who> as not accomplishing <task(s)>. Blah blah" Without getting defensive, standing by your professional nursing practice, no blaming, etc.

    The second letter is your resignation which comes maybe 2-3 days after the first, depending on the response from the first (of which you should keep a copy - you CC your boss, the manager and anyone else who should see it and send those copies YOURSELF). The resignation is very professional as well, as stated by the poster above, and might go something like this..... "Dear <whoever(s) - again CC>, Please accept this letter as my formal written resignation from employment with <place name>. My last day of work will be on <give TWO weeks notice minimum please>. I want to express my appreciate for the opportunity to work for <place>. I gained valuable knowledge and experience <do not say it was CRAP experience even though it was> and I know I will take these early lessons with me throughout my nursing career. I have been honored to work with some extremely knowledgable and professional co-workers (no names here, even if it is only the housekeeper!). I sincerely regret that I am unable to continue employment at <place>. Sincerely, <you>.

    Yeah it's a bunch of mush and the resignation letter doesn't mention thing one about the problems there, but your goal is to leave on good terms, not vent. CC the resignation to the same folks you CC the other letter to, and they'll know why you left LOL.

    This is just MHO, but maybe it'll help. Good luck!
  6. by   rn/writer
    I'm so sorry your job has been such a trial, but I'm glad you're getting out. You worked too hard for your license to lose it because others can't or won't do their jobs.

    I agree with the poster who said you should tender of a letter of resignation that is business-like and to the point. No reasons whatsoever.

    If you have an exit interview, that is the time to give reasons.

    Here are several other bits of advice:

    Make sure you have another job before you leave this one. You don't want these folks to be able to blackball you in the job market.

    When a prospective employer asks why you are leaving after such a short time, fall back on a non-committal, "I wanted to find a position that had better learning opportunities and was a better fit." Keep your head up, but don't blame.

    Even before you go, make sure you have meticulous documentation (names of employees, dates, incidents) of the problems you have encountered. Write out everything you can remember. This will serve a number of purposes. It will help you to CYA if anything ever comes back to haunt you. It should let you discharge a lot of negative energy. And if you ever read about an investigation of this place in the news, you might have some helpful information for them to look into.

    I wish you the very best. Hope your second job is much better.
  7. by   llg
    Most of the other posters are right. Do NOT try to defend yourself or "fix things" as you leave. Write a short letter of resignation simply stating that you are resigning and giving the effective date. Be sure to give at least 2 weeks notice (longer if that is required by your employer).

    You don't want your memories of you to include any "sour grapes" or hard feelings about the pot shots you took at them as you left. You might run into some of those same people again someday and you don't want them to have any negative feelings against you.

    llg
  8. by   lvs2nrs3535
    Thanks so much everyone.
    I feel so much better, and have concrete examples of how to do this.
    I love AllNurses.com!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks again everybody!
    KristyBRN
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from LoriRN2B
    I am sorry you have had such a bad time, sounds like getting out is the best course of action.

    As far as resignation goes, although I am not yet a nurse, I have many years of management experience. A brief letter declaring your intention to resign and giving an effective date for that to occur is all that is needed. You are not required to give a specific reason why. Professionally, you do not want to detail everything that has occured in a letter. This speaks to your professionalism. Journaling everything bad that has happened in a resignation letter is not only unneccesary, but appears "sour grapes" on your part. Although I know this is not how you wish to be portrayed and your reasons are valid, as simple statement such as "I have choosen to tender my resignation with the facility effective xx/xx/xx due to personal and professional decisions." is to the point and professional. If there is an exit interview process, you can voice your concerns during that time.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
    I absolutely agree with this suggestion.. Rule #1 of leaving a company is that they are not interested, as cold as that sounds, in your reasons for leaving.

    You don't need to give them a reason, just like if they fired you, in many states that are "right to work" they don't have to give you a reason either.

    In the end, all you owe them, is a 2 week notice.
  10. by   santhony44
    No matter how badly you want to tell them exactly what you think, resist the temptation! It will hurt you and probably accomplish nothing positive. "Never burn your bridges" is very good advice.

    If it will help, write the letter you want to write, then delete it! I've done that kind of thing sometimes. I can help get it off your chest but then can't blow up on you.

    Have another job lined up. Since you're a new grad, it shouldn't be hard to find a reason for changing jobs, particularly if you don't go to a similar facility. If you're applying at one that has something different, you can say that you are interested in working with XYZ; different type of patient, different type of unit, different shift, slightly different role, etc. You can use a variation of "I thought that was what I wanted to do but found out it's really not my cup of tea" if you're applying for something different. You can expect to be asked why you're leaving your job, or why you're interested in theirs, so be prepared with a good answer.

    Do work out your notice. That seems to be more and more rare these days. It can be difficult to do, but stick it out. Once you accept something else and resign, you may find a ton lifted off your shoulders- but sometimes in that last countdown you get the "I-just-want-outta-here-itis!" No-showing at the end can leave a lasting bad impression, and you don't know who from that facility may be the person you want to make a good impression on five or ten years from now!

    The best of luck to you in finding something much more liveable!
  11. by   Daytonite
    KristyBRN. . .I know you are upset. I know you want to fight back. I know you want to quit. You can't do both. So, pick one.

    If you decide to stay and fight, then be prepared for a battle and all the gossip and damage to your reputation that is likely to accompany it. In the end, you will most likely end up quitting anyway or getting fired.

    If you decide to quit, then your fight with these idiots is over. You get up on your horse and ride off into the sunset and don't look back. Before you leave get copies of all your old evaluations so you have them to show to prospective employers if the need to do that ever arises. Also, get addresses and phone numbers of any nurses who you think will be good enough to provide you with a good recommendation for other jobs.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am resigning from my position as a charge nurse effective this day. My last day of work will be _________. (Optional) Thank you for the opportunity to work here. (or) My reason for terminating my employment is that I have found another job.

    Sincerely,

    KristyBRN
    It's not often that I am short on words in a post. I followed your other thread. This is a situation, however, where the less you write in your letter, the better.
  12. by   marjoriemac
    I just resigned from my job and wrote a long letter detailing all that was wrong with the place but not mentioning any names specifically. I also advised that I had kept a copy of the letter which I would forward to the inspecting bodies should anything negative happen towards me for telling the truth!
  13. by   lvs2nrs3535
    I resigned today, and I did so with the short and sweet professional letter. I also wrote the long detailed one, but kept that for my own records. The DON was very nice, told me should wouldnt give out any details, and when I asked what she would say if asked if she would rehire me, she said she would say yes. She felt I needed a little more experience and a different floor, that the one I was on was not a good fit. So, no burnt bridges, left on a good note. The only sad part was I went to say goodbye to my patients, (the coherent ones, of course,) and my MS patient cried. I feel bad, but I think I would have felt worse if I just left and did not say goodbye.
    Again, thanks for the advice everyone.
    KristyBRN
  14. by   brendamyheart
    Quote from Wendy_RN
    Kristy,

    I empathize with you, as I just left a bad situation. In writing my letter of resignation, I chose to keep it on a professional level, and to refrain from burning any bridges. I do understand the urge to defend yourself and to vent about the way things are at your employers. I am a new grad also, and really cannot afford to receive a bad reference from my former employer. I resigned in a way that left me eligible for rehire (like I would want to go back to that situation), but you never know what is going to happen down the road. If you mention names and incidents in your letter of resignation, it may or may not be taken seriously and investigated. If it is not taken seriously, it may backfire on you. At this point, do what is best for you and your future. Good luck!!!
    .
    Good point!

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