Dear Nurse Beth,
I got fired. Turns out nurses don't eat just their young. My question is what now?
I've got plenty of experience and I can get good references from coworkers and doctors, but it will always say DNR when the hospital I worked for for years is called for a reference. Not to mention that nurses who go back and forth between hospitals and people do talk.
Dear OP-Hospitals rarely give references anymore, just dates of hire and job title (this bc of liability). Nurses do talk, it's inevitable, but you can't control that or combat it bc it's covert. You don't mention the reason for the termination, but people will make up their own minds.
I got an interview that just didn't seem to go well and at the end of the interview the interviewer mentioned being friends with people who were involved in firing me. No interviews anywhere since then.
Dear OP- You landed an interview despite the fact that the interviewer was friends with the people who fired you. So it seems they were willing to give you a fair shot. Also this was just one interview.
You could ask the interviewer for feedback on your interview to improve your interviewing skills. They may or may give it, but it's worth the ask.
Should I start out with "I got fired"? I was told by several to let them bring it up? Feels disingenuous ? But they never did. So I didn't.
Dear OP-Do not start out an interview with "I got fired" Your mindset when you go into an interview should be "They like me. They invited me here." Being fired does not define you or erase your long work history.
Should I continue to apply at the same hospitals in the same specialty knowing ill wind up interviewing with the same person? Is the specialty I worked at for more than ten years just over for me? Remember if they call you for an interview you definitely have a chance.
I'm an older RN, 61, but I can still do the job. Is age an issue? Dear OP-
Age is an issue, but experience is an issue too, in a good way.
In your opinion, are references from doctors given less weight than references from nurse co workers? Dear OP- Depends on the receiver. I see them as different. Coworkers work with with you, doctors, not so much, although in speciality areas their opinion is important and speaks to clinical expertise.
Trying not to feel discouraged about the job, having been fired, and not feel discouraged because I love what I do and I'm pretty good at it as evidenced by awards I have earned. Dear OP
- Stay positive. Your chances of landing a job are good based on your experience.
I was very positive in the interview but managers seem to place a lot of emphasis on more education and training and didn't appear to give much/any credit for my experience even though my experience appeared to be exactly what they were wanting. Is this to be expected? Dear OP- Not sure what is meant by education and training in your case, a highly experienced RN. If that means whether or not you have a Bachelor's degree, it could be a concern. Another equally important aspect managers look for is a good fit for their unit.
Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Dear OP-The only part of this you can control is yourself and you have to be your own best advocate. Being fired shakes you to the core, but many, many nurses are able to put an experience like this in the rearview mirror an move forward successfully.
And definitely prepare for your interview. My book below lists the top ten behavioral and situational questions with the best answers. The winning candidates in today's market are savvy interviewers
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!