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.