I have a good friend who wanted me to ask this question for her (she does not want to post under her own AN screen name).
My friend has been a nurse for 15 years, much of it in outpatient settings; she has some hospital background, about a year, from years ago (and left that job due to the impossible workload with a 1:8 ratio on stepdown). Later she worked at a clinic for several years and did well, however, family obligations caused her to quit this job. Since then, she has had a difficult time finding employment, in part due to the economy and because many employers (e.g., outpt clinics) no longer hire RNs. Ultimately, she accepted a PRN position on a med/surg floor; unfortunately, she received a very poor orientation and hospital nursing had changed considerably in over a decade. All told, she was unable to just "jump into" the position as a PRN nurse should be able to and had a lot of OT due to after shift charting. Because she had few available shifts (e.g., 8 hours one week, 4 hours the next) she was never able to develop a routine and improve her speed. One day, the manager took her off the schedule and told her that she didn't need her anymore and said that although she was a good nurse, she was not a good fit for this floor.
My friend was never written up, no warnings were given, neither verbal nor written. She did not receive a termination letter nor did she send a resignation letter (probably should have, but she was too taken aback to think about that at the time). Due to a strict "HR only" reference policy, she has not been able to get in touch with her former manager for answers. HR told her she was eligible for rehire with the hospital.
It's been several months and my friend has not made it as far as an interview. Every application seems to ask "Have you ever been terminated?" and "Reason for leaving". My friend is not sure if this was a termination, but assumes it was; did honesty sabotage her? She would write "Would like to explain in an interview", but was never called for one.
Is her career in nursing over? Is honesty wrong? Is "would like to explain..." a bad answer? Should she omit this job (although it's a small town, and nurses know nurses), which she does not want to do; should she lie ("No") and later correct this in the interview? Or not correct it and hope no one ever finds out? (Not too long ago a Reader's Digest article - "What HR won't tell you" - stated that you should never admit to having been terminated because you would never be considered for a job. Is this true?!)
I would appreciate any insight from managers or HR staff. Thank you very much from my very discouraged friend.
I would never put I was fired on an application. I would use the other suggestion from above- I also was fired on 2 occasions and both were for reporting harassment - this is something else you never do in nursing if you want to keep your job. I don't care how much is posted or written about on the subject. The nursing profession and the healthcare industry doe not deal competently with harassment issues.
I reported a physician for sexual harassment- I was taunted and tormented from that day forward. Now they have a name for it- retalliation which is also not recognized in healthcare. The best thing to do in this case is remember that the physican is more prized than the nurse, look for another job and put your real reason for leaving in writing the last day you are there- this too may get you placed do not rehire.
The next termination was when I reported a female lesbian CNA( which no one knew about, including myself) for harassing/discriminating against a male Vietnamese RN. She called him stupid every chance she got and refused to help him with his patients( call lights). I quietly reported it as insubordination issues and name calling to the VP of nursing. Nothing was done. It continued and escalated. She was in the lunch room recruiting all the other CNA's not to help him and flat out refused to help him in my presence one day( blatant insubordination). I spoke up. She lied when I reported it to the NM and I was fired. I told the truth on a job application in my subsequence search. I was questioned about this and again told the truth during the interview, needless to say- I did not get hired. I was told by that hiring NM"maybe she(my former NM) didn't know what to do( about the situation). That's one hellva excuse. So we don't know what to do and fire the nurse for reporting it! I wrote a 65 page letter of complaint to the EEO and the state's dept of labor who went in and investigated the insident with the CNA that's when I found out she was gay( the reason for her actions toward this male RN but was taken out on the patients) and I was told, cried like a baby to the state investigators. The hospital rewrote it's discrimation policy and beefed up it's workplace harassment education for orientation- Big deal. It didn't help me. I was 8 months without a job, no unemployment, my savings are gone because of it. I took temp positions and agency jobs to get it past my work history. Not to mention filing bankruptcy to save my home. It has been a nightmare. What ever you write on those application NEVER write the truth!! Honest and integrety in nursing gets you nowhere but unemployed, almost unemployable and broke. I have found out the hard way- nursing can write all those pretty flowery phrases about caring are only for advertising hype, but it's true code of ethics is like those of the "good ol boys", the unwritten rules.
Do all these PTB who are pushing for all this advanced degrees in nursing, think this is going to make all this go away?? Is this so now the CNA's destroying the career of the plain old RN they can now destroy the career of an MSN. From what I read the push is for MSN- yes at the bedside. How many MSN's are going to be at the bedside putting up with the insubordination and disrespectful lip from a bunch of CNA's refusing to do their jobs and go wipe butt themselves. I have had MSN's say to me" I got an MSN so I don't have to wipe butt" Clinical nursing at it's finest!!
Last edit by kcmylorn on Jun 23, '12