Almost 4 years, no luck finding nursing job, life destroyed?!

  1. 3
    I am not really quite sure why I am writing this. I've wrote on here before right after this happened almost 4 years ago. Here I go...

    I went to a 4 year nursing school right out of high-school. Graduated with honors in 4 years and started working immediately. 2 years after being at my first job I switched jobs to a hospital that was closer to my home (because I was working 12 hour midnight shifts and had an hour drive home). Everything was great, always had positive evaluations, got along great with my coworkers and supervisors and never got into any kind of trouble.

    Everything changed when I became extremely depressed and stressed out due to physical abuse I endured as a child and the current stressors that had popped up at the time (husband with chronic, debilitating illness,,,miscarriage, etc).. I started seeing a psychiatrist and he prescribed me an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication and I also started seeing a therapist once a week. I thought I was doing the right thing......

    Well one night at work, 5 hours into my shift, my supervisor came and took me out of a patient's room and had a security guard with her. They searched all my possessions and took me down to ER to drug test me. They didn't find anything on me and my drug test came back NEGATIVE. They claimed that coworkers reported to them that I was acting "strangely" and that I had behaved inappropriately in front of a patient. (NO patient complaints ever came up through all of this). Well I was put on a week suspension and had a scheduled date to come back to work.

    In the meantime, they reported this to the Board of Nursing.... When the Board of Nursing called me, I was young, naive and thought I had done nothing wrong so I told them about going the the psychiatrist and seeing a therapist.. Well the BON ordered me to see one of their psychiatrists who diagnosed me with depression (DUH?) and Immature personality. The Board ordered psychiatrist recommeded that I be placed on 2 year probation and have a restriction of not being able to work home health care??

    I then HIRED an Attorney but unfortunately it was too late! The attorney told me that she could have gotten me out of all of this if I had NEVER agreed to talk to the B.O.N and lawyered up immediately.....

    I did something really stupid... I took too many of my anti-anxiety meds because I felt like my world was crashing down around me, how was I going to support my husband when he was ill? How would I pay our mortgage? How would I pay my student loans?
    I was desperate and I should have never done it.

    I spent three days in a psych unit because they considered it a suicide attempt. The B.O.N and employer found out about this and so of course I was immediately fired for being "mentally unstable" and the fact that "I would cause too much rumor and drama if I came back to work"...

    So here I am, almost 4 years later, haven't been able to find an RN job, had a car repossessed, filed bankruptcy and now we are facing foreclosure on our house....... I am working an Aide job for 1/3 of my previous salary and it's just not enough, I work 60 hours a week, no benefits.

    I don't know why I am posting this, I guess I need some advice, I know I have read people on here who have found work while being on probation and I even worked with nurses at the hospital who had diverted drug (I know totally different than what I did but just sayin'.)

    I just want someone to give me hope because I really feel like giving up on my job search. I had so much pride, overcoming the obstacles of my youth and being the first person in my family to graduate college and now I feel like the lowest of the low and that my life has no value. I guess I put all my identity and self-worth into being a Registered Nurse.

    Sometimes I deal with this okay and keep putting applications in and feel hopeful, but today I am feeling really down, could use some advice or someone to talk to, God knows I can't talk to my family (other than my husband).... My own mother told me yesterday how "dissapointed she is in my and that I am the equivalent of a High school drop-out"...
    Sorry for writing a book here but I really need some input or someone to talk to through e-mail or PM to help give me my "fight" back.....

    Thanks so much.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Feb 2, '12 : Reason: Reformatting post
    VivaLasViejas, lrobinson5, and elprup like this.
  2. 52 Comments so far...

  3. 11
    Trust God & keep applying for jobs. What is your probation status at this time? What state are you in? What you are going through is a mess (my situation is similar), but push on. I am soooo sorry that you are going through this. I just went back to work about 5 weeks ago, by God's grace. Losing the house, car, etc. Are you able to sue your previous employer for violation of the American with disabilities act? This situation is wrong & there has to be something you can do about it.
  4. 0
    My probation is for 2 years, my attorney says I can probably get it lifted after one year but the hard part is finding an RN job so that I can work my probation off. My probation is considered on my nursing license as "Active with restrictions". The restriction is that I cannot work in home healthcare. All my future empoyer would have to do is submit a paper every 4 months assessing my job performance. I do not have any narcotic restrictions or anything like that..... Thank you so much for the support, you give me hope!
  5. 0
    Oh and I am sorry I forgot to say that I am in Ohio!
  6. 30
    Have you considered working in long-term care? It can be very stressful and it's certainly hard on you physically, but it's also opened up a lot of doors for nurses who are otherwise hampered in their careers by restrictions on their licenses. You say you have no narcotic restriction, so working off your probation shouldn't be as difficult as it might be if you were trying to find work in acute care or a specialty area like pediatrics.

    A word of caution before you rush off and start putting in applications: You can't take care of others unless you're taking decent care of yourself. I hear so much self-recrimination in your original post that it makes my heart hurt for you.....Nobody asks for things like mental illness to happen to them. Who ever would believe that if you'd had a choice in the matter, you would have chosen to be depressed? Nobody does that.....so please, don't think that this condition is your fault.

    And for goodness sake, stay away from that toxic mother of yours until you are stronger, or until she realizes that it's wrong to kick someone when they're down. She is only adding to your self-doubt and your anxiety; that's the last thing on earth that you need right now.

    If you can possibly access a free clinic, see if they offer mental health services on a sliding scale based on income. Talk therapy is highly underrated; meds often aren't enough to control such serious symptoms as you've described here. And please.....keep us posted on your progress. Your struggles to stay sane are shared by more than you know.
    FLAlleycat, sallyrnrrt, Nordy, and 27 others like this.
  7. 5
    How would the BON and your employer find out abotu the overdose? I also am not sure how you can be fired for being treated for depression and going to a therapist...if this is the case, an attorney should still be able to help you as this would be, from what you have written, a violation of the disabilities act..or similar. I also have never heard of a diagnosis of immature personality....either you were not aware of the problems at work or something is missing from your post because if its as you say, your employer would be in trouble - you can always contact the labor board and a labor law attorney for advice..I'm also not clear on how an attorney could get your restriction lifted and you can't. You said you licensed is restricted so you cannot work in home health care - but you posted you were working in a hospital - right? So this also doesn't make sense to me and if you are on medication for anxiety I am really surprised your drug screen was negative. I don't mean to sound harsh but something doesn't sound right here - your employer and the BON have not acted appropriately based on what you've written and I'm not certain legally from your employer stand point.
    It sounds like you are still having a stress time w/the losses that are going on...my unsolicted advice is to stay working where you are, let all these other issues settle down, like the house, etc, continue to concentrate on your therapy and medication regeim and you will be close to having your restriction lifted. Also, the job marekt is tough right now overall so some of this is not you - it's the economy and the healthcare facilties being lean in the process. Keep applying, you can provide prrof your license is restricted when asked - there are many nurses who work on restricted license and for various reasons. This may make things a little more difficult but it can be done. Also, have you thought about leaving healthcare for awhile? Taking a break and just taking care of yourself.

    I wish you much luck and peace.
    loveoverpride, fayet, athena55, and 2 others like this.
  8. 9
    How about a lawsuit for violation of the ADA? You were disabled and were fired d/t your disability!

    Anyway, I also have depression. There are times when I haven't needed meds and have gone years without them. With a recent change is state and getting a Med/Surg job, it reared it's ugly head. I sought treatment and am doing fine. You can be a nurse with depression.

    Like a PP, try LTC. LTC was the only job I could get as a NG. Although it wasn't for me, it did give me the exp to get the hospital job! Have you thought about relocating? Texas is hiring! (I sooooo loved Texas when I lived there!) Also, there are a ton of folks from Ohio here in the Charleston, SC area. Many of the hospitals and LTCs are hiring. There is one here that pays great for the area, is rampant luxury for the residents and for 45 residents who need skilled nursing, there are 3 nurses (2 med nurses and one supvsr) and 10 techs!!!! Most LTC folks would scream hallelujah for such working conditions!

    Have you tried going back for a Masters to show that you not only want to improve yourself, but your depression has improved and you are succeeding...yadda yadda?
  9. 4
    My advice is you only get one shot at life..it get tough for everyone. Someone else might be in a worse situation then you right now. So don't give up, this time will pass too..pray/have faith and believe you will overcome this. Good luck, I will keep you in my prayers.
    Last edit by april_1117 on Feb 2, '12
    sallyrnrrt, athena55, jtmarcy12, and 1 other like this.
  10. 3
    Are you using online applications? You must resend constanly. Do you attend a nurse support group? Lots of people get jobs there. Is your life really destroyed? If that's how you are feeling then maybe you're not ready for re-entry into nursing.Is working 60 hours a week in any way shape or form part of a treatment plan? Do you eat well, exercise or have any fun? These are skills you have to master to survive life, much less nursing!
    Last edit by subee on Feb 2, '12 : Reason: accidently pressed submit
    sallyrnrrt, athena55, and jtmarcy12 like this.
  11. 5
    Have you considered inpatient hospice. I have found luck there.
    sallyrnrrt, Nordy, Gold_SJ, and 2 others like this.


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