Hello all, I was fired at my last job. I really know exactly what went wrong, and have certainly learned the hard way from my mistake. I have been having a hard time with the next steps. I have not even been able to tell ANYONE the truth. The only one who knows is my wife. I could not bring myself to tell them, and admit what I did. I was afraid of their reactions, and mainly because I did not want them to worry. For the past almost 6 months now I have pretended like I have been still working my same job so they would not suspect anything. By the way, the reason I got fired has nothing to do with patient abuse, drugs, alcohol or anything like that.
I asked my last boss if I could use her as a reference, she said yes with hesitation in her voice. Unfortunately I never got contact information from coworkers or anyone there. I was told by HR that if a potential employer contacted them they are not allowed to say I got fired, only the dates that I worked there. I know though that most places want to speak to a supervisor.
I did find work at an agency, (about 5 months after being fired), but they only call me when they have work, and I need something consistent. To be honest I cannot say for sure, but I do not think they even checked my references I gave them. When they asked me why I left my previous job, I told them it was because I needed something more flexible, as I was going back to school for my RN. That is true, I am going for my RN now. (I was working on getting my RN before I got fired.)
Anyway, I am having a hard time with giving my potential employers references from my job I was fired at. Also I have never worked at an agency before, and I find it nerve racking not knowing if they will give you work or not. I though about looking at other agencies to supplement my income, but I don't know how that would play out. I need help figuring out the best way to get past this. I figure once I have more work, I will tell my family and friends I switched jobs to give me more flexibility to pursue my RN.
I have read a lot of good advise on here and I know you guys can help.
Nov 17, '12
I feel for you; I also got fired from a job a little over a year ago, and it made finding another job
difficult, to be sure.
I think that, even if a potential employer speaks to a supervisor, that supervisor isn't supposed
to legally make derogatory comments about your employment. Doesn't mean that they WON'T
I suppose, but they aren't supposed to.
Most employers will only contact the persons that you give as references. As far as past employers,
most places will only call them to verify employment, and I think they always ask whether or not
you are eligible for re-hire.
Are you in school right now? You can use professors as references; that always looks good.
Nov 17, '12
When most places call to verify employment, they will usually ask for dates of employment and rehire status. However, your old job can legally say anything about you that is true, and yes, that would include the fact that you were fired and why...well, at least the "why" they have on record. You've made it clear there's a lot more to the story that you haven't shared either with us or your last job, and while I can't say I agree with your actions, I'm not here to pass judgment on you. I just hope that whatever happened there, that you learned and have grown from it.
As far as the references problem, you may need to get creative. You don't necessarily have to list your former bosses: are there any ex-coworkers that you had a good rapport with? They could be references. The same goes for any physicians/practicioners that worked there. I know it's been a while since you were at your last job, but why not try contacting some of them to see if any will be willing to help you out.
Also, now that you are working at an agency, there's another source of references right there, both at the agency as well as any of the sites they send you to.
You could also consider picking up volunteer work. Not only will it boost the resume, you can network. Some may be willing to be references.
And NurseCard is right: professors are always good choices.
Other job options: PRN somewhere?
Best of luck.
Nov 18, '12
Thank you both for your time and advice. I never actually thought about using my professors, that may work. As far as my last job goes, I never had a close enough relationship with physicians or any co workers and I do not have their contact information. At least I can use people from a job I worked before that one, although I only worked there for 6 months. I'm not sure how this agency thing will play out as I just got hired by them 2 weeks ago. I should start working with them next week. They have offered me work over the past two weeks but unfortunately I had to turn it down do to a schedule conflict. Yes Meriwhen, I was was thinking about also working somewhere else PRN. The thing is with this agency is they you do not know if they are going to call you. When they do have something they call between 9-1 to let you know they have an assignment for the next 2-3 nights. I have to work nights for now which is fine because that is what I am used to. I will certainly use this agency as a reference in the future, after I get more established with them.
Nov 18, '12
With agency work you can tell them what your availability schedule is. If you know you are writing exams Dec 1-9, it's more than reasonable to say "I'm not available Nov 29-Dec 9". You don't have to give reasons, their staffing clerk just marks you off on those days.
Why you were let go is between you and the employer.
You need to take responsibility for your life and stop lying to people in it about your employment status.
Nov 18, '12
I too was fired from a nursing job, and that was after having only worked as an LPN for a couple of weeks. I too knew exactly why I was fired. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement. After a couple of weeks of moping and questioning whether I should even be a nurse, I decided to pick myself back up and keep on going. I applied at every healthcare facility in the area, and within a day had a callback for an interview. One week and two interviews later I was hired!
The approach I decided to take was one of complete honesty. During my first interview the question came up as to whether I had ever been terminated from a job. I was completely honest and explained to them exactly why I was fired, and the steps I was willing to take to learn from my mistake, given the opportunity to do so. It worked! I am sharing this story if only to give you courage that it is possible to find another job!
Nov 18, '12
I've been fired from a job before (not a nursing job) and it does hurt, regardless of the reason. My supervisor cried when she had to fire me, but it was over her head. I only listed HR as a reference, and never had a problem finding a new job. Honestly though, I don't think my next job checked my referenced. The manager & I hit it off very well and she offered me the job beore the interview was over.
I would not list any references that could possibly be harmful. I recieved my first nursing job offer last week. I gave her a list of 8 references and listed my relationship & years known. Of the 8, she contacted both of the nursing instructors that I listed and a former daycare client. So yes, I'd say your instructors are a great reference.
Your instructors want you to succeed. If their students find gainful employment after graduation, it looks good on the school and builds their reputation in the community.
Nov 21, '12
Good luck in your endevours. As adults in a marriage, your wife is the only one that needs to know what your job situation is. Otherwise, it is none of anyone else's business. So don't feel guilty about not sharing with other family or friends. "I have pursued alternate paths due to school" is all that anyone would need to know!!
You are clear that you understood what mistake you made, and last I checked not one of us is perfect, and I am sure that you are learned to adjust your practice accordingly in the future. Your professors are great references!! If you are in an adult learning enviroment, your lab partner your study buddy, etc.
Another job choice could be tutoring at the school. Then you can do agency work when you can. (and in some states in some colleges, work study is money off your tuition!) Another thought is to teach a CNA or a Med assistant class. You have experience as an LPN. A part time gig in urgent care or an MD office..... You have been at the top and the bottom, and people respond to that. So when it comes time to get an RN job, then you have vast experience. As difficult as it is, do NOT dwell on this mistake. It is one part of you, not all of you. In an interview you could say "my strengths are:......." keep it positive. In your RN clinicals, be positive and can do. If you click with someone, make note--it is a good way to be able to attempt a position there if you love it. Please keep us posted!
Nov 21, '12
Thank you all for your support and encouragement
At least I did find a job at an agency. It is not the most stable, but I will take what I can get for now, and continue to pursue for stable work. I will keep everyone posted.
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