Got Fired - Need help writing resume

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am new here and I need help.

    I am in very difficult situation. My nurse residency program is discontinued ( I got fired yesterday). No more income for my wife and kids. No clear future for me as nurse.

    As foreign educated nurse I worked very hard to get my English and NCLEX. I was extremely happy when I got my RN and was able to find a RN residency program.
    Unfortunately, I accidentally made few mistakes with meds (no harm for patients).

    My preceptor always complained about my time management. I was really stressed due to not scoring for my residency program and time pressure. In order to please my preceptor and timely finish all my nursing tasks I accidentally violated safety of my patients. This is my mistake.

    All things together, plus some language problem caused the situation that my manager said " I am not sure that you can safely operate as RN in GS Unit, I want to discontinue your residency program position in the hospital".

    I learned that lesson and now I am trying to find any position where I can have less intensive work load and work safely.

    I need some help in how I can mention in my resume (or not mention) that my residency program was discontinued. I am worry that I can never again work as nurse. Any advice how to write the resume will be very helpful.



    Dear Got Fired,

    I'm sorry for your experience. It is important to land a job as soon as possible because in addition to being terminated, you do not want a lengthy employment gap on your resume.

    For starters, avoid saying "my residency program was discontinued". The residency program was not discontinued, it is continuing on. You were not discontinued, you were terminated for cause.

    It will be seen as not taking responsibility and/or not understanding the English language.

    Do not say you made mistakes because you tried "to please your preceptor" or "accidentally" violated safety policies and procedures. Employers of new grads look for two things:

    • Are you safe?
    • Will you fit in?

    Employers can teach you what you need to know for the job (knowledge), but commitment to safety is an internal value and speaks to integrity. It is very, very important that you put patient safety first.

    What to Do

    Be truthful on all job applications but answer the questions asked. Do not elaborate.

    In an interview, you can say "It was not a good fit and I look forward to working here where my values and skills are a good fit". If pressed, take full responsibility but segue quickly to the positive “I learned from my experience and am committed to patient safety as my number one practice goal”.

    You may have to take a job in a less-desirable facility, one that is not your first choice.

    You will still be facing an intensive workload in most clinical practice settings. Unfortunately, intensity and stress are the nature of the job.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   BellaBlackwell
    I'm not an RN, though someday I aspire to be one. I was terminated from a facility where I was an aide, but through no fault of my own, rather I was lied about. Yes there were days I had to stay late to complete resident care (was a personal care home and I was helping multiple residents on my own that should have been in a higher acuity facility)
    Staying late was frowned upon by management because they had to pay me, but I genuinely cared for my residents and gave them the best care possible, essentially making the other aides that were there look bad so they lied and had me canned.
    Since my termination I've just had minimum wage jobs at an amusement park and now retail.
    How would I go about getting back in as an aide?
  4. by   Alex_RN
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    You may have to take a job in a less-desirable facility, one that is not your first choice.
    A lot of new grads without experience can find work in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Home Health. You can temp as a vaccination nurse. Some LTACs will hire you, which will give you acute care experience and you can try for a hospital job again when you have more experience.
  5. by   WinterLilac
    ShortShell
    Being a Devil's Advocate here, it may be more of your time management issues than choosing to stay late to 'give them the best care possible'. Your colleagues most likely provided thorough care within their shift time and perhaps even picked up your slack. I don't always trust people who blame others without reflecting on their own practices. Maybe work on your time management skills at the amusement park before you venture back into care work.
  6. by   VKALA
    Keep applying and improving yourself with each lesson learned you will get better.Good Luck!
  7. by   NurseDiane
    If you were fired based on lies told about you to management, you have good cause for a lawsuit against the facility. If you can prove that what was said about you is not true, I'd get an attorney & file an EEOC lawsuit for wrongful termination.
  8. by   kataraang
    Quote from NurseDiane
    If you were fired based on lies told about you to management, you have good cause for a lawsuit against the facility. If you can prove that what was said about you is not true, I'd get an attorney & file an EEOC lawsuit for wrongful termination.
    @ShortShell -- as much as we want to be idealistic and caring about our patients 100%...in the end, hospitals/LTC facilities are a business. Businesses have budgets and spending caps. Even if the patients receive great care, if your manager has to pay you overtime to do it...when she could pay another nurse regular pay to do the same exact work in less time...she's gonna pick the faster nurse. It's a cold calculation of efficiency, not competency. Today I fell severely behind. Like meds an hour and a half past their scheduled time. Luckily they're things like multivitamins that were late. I really pushed to get the important ones on time. I skipped lunch. Without food or water for 13+ hours. A very bad decision but I was desperate to leave on time. I did, but not without much stress. Time management is not able to be taught. It's perfected over time. Just think about, in the end the manager wants to nurse that costs less but does the same quality work. I wouldn't jump to it being a personal thing. Good luck!
  9. by   pammypatterson
    Hi.i just have to reply..if your an aid and your license is still active and in good standing you should have no problem getting another job..
    I have not been fired but have left jobs and got new ones..if they lied about you and it wasn't true than just be honest when applying. Don't be ashamed of what happen.you stayed late and finished your cares instead of leaving it for next shift. That's a good thing..I would not be afraid to apply elsewhere...
  10. by   Tneo8385
    I'm going through a somewhat similar issue, I was working for a staffing agency that placed me at one hospital for a year and some change, when the hospital found out that I had obtained my BSN they wanted to bring me on as staff, I thought ok great. Little did I know they never told the agency what they were doing so when I informed my recruiter she said oh I don't know anything about that let me call them. The next day she informed me that the assignment for that hospital was complete and that she wanted to get me into another facility. I was very confused, the facilities she offered were not what I was use to working and did not align with where I wanted to take my career so I declined both of them. I applied on my own to another hospital and I got the job, two months after I started working HR calls me and tells me that the staffing agency informed them that I had been terminated and that means I lied on my application when asked have you ever been fired. Now I'm really confused because I wasn't fired I just didn't accept another assignment. Of course the agency denied every getting a reference call from said job and said they never disclose specifics. And until my review board this week I wont even know if I will still have a job. Just sucks when you try and do everything right and you still get screwed.

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