Trouble getting a job in a "Good Ole Boy Town"

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    Honest & professional non-judgmental feedback please.

    I served in the military for many years. When I got out all I could get were per diem positions in my area of experience. I had to change jobs frequently due to my husband's contract work. We moved out of state and I could not not find a nursing position. I returned to the university and earned my BSN with a high GPA. The husband is no longer and ten years have gone by. Despite the fact I have kept my certifications current and attended a refresher course, finding full time employment continues to be a problem.

    I took a position at a local hospital and the bullying was awful, second day. The care at this hospital was unsafe and I left after three weeks. I applied to another local hospital and the HR director called me and told me not to apply to his hospital. I have never heard of this and the hostility in the nursing community is really awful.

    The community I live in is a good ole boy town and you have to know people to get a job here. My quality of life is very poor here despite the fact I have tried to connect and reach out. Needless to say I have stopped trying in my current community because I have gotten nowhere in 2.5+ years.

    I have a great job at another local hospital but I need full-time work. I don't want to give an employer the impression that I'm moving around. I am applying for full-time in another city. All I want is to plant myself in a place where I can grow in my profession and have a good life.



    Dear good ole boy town,

    It sounds like you've been blackballed at some but not all of the hospitals where you live. Nothing is going to change at those hospitals as long as the current HR Director and other people involved are still in charge.

    At the same time you “have a great job at another local hospital”. I would try extremely hard to parlay the part-time job into full-time since you are happy there and it’s local. Have you talked to other managers in the hospital? Told your manager you love you job but (like most of us) need full-time, and what advice does she have for you? Surely full-time nursing positions must open up from time to time.

    Another recourse is to relocate and get a fresh start.


    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   NextGen
    You were in the military. Have you considered applying for a nursing position with the VA?
  4. by   MissM472
    It's time to move. Come to the dc/maryland/northern virginia area. Jobs are plentiful. MedStar hospitals are pretty good and you will be able to climb the ladder without discrimination.
  5. by   MissM472
    I agree. Try the VA!! I got an offer there as a new grad.
  6. by   RN4vets
    New Orleans, LA had a ribbon cutting ceremony last week on their new billion dollar medical center. However, they aren't taking their first outpatient until next month, and no acute care admissions until sometime next year. Part of the reason is that after their old facility was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, most of their staff were scattered to the winds. As of now, this particular VA hospital is looking at a nurse staffing need in the hundreds, as they are basically starting from scratch, so there is tremendous employment potential in New Orleans. As a veteran, you automatically receive at least 5 points of hiring preference.
  7. by   WildIvy
    Hi Nurse Beth,

    Update. I relocated and got my fresh start. I was hired on a med neuro unit in a community 70 miles south. The trouble continued. The nurse manager called me into her office and was very unpleasant. She told me she may terminate me because she must protect the unit. She called me at home and told me this as well. I continued on with my orientation feeling awful. I was able to get three written evaluations form my preceptors that were positive. The nurse manager had 5 people write me up. I was never told what was said and I did ask. She forwarded everything to the DON and called me on my day off and told me I was fired. The write up stated I was argumentative, defensive, and refused to follow direction. Also I gave patients medication with out telling me what I was giving them. This is simply not true. I have never in my entire nursing career be accused of these things and I have never been fired from a job. I contacted the DON and she called a meeting with me, her and the HR director. We met for two hours. Then and only then did I find out what the accusations were against me. This is just flat out wrong and awful. What is going on here and why does the manager need to protect the unit? I asked her and she wouldn't say. This is all very devastating. I was really happy to have this job and what I thought to be a new start.
  8. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from WildIvy
    Hi Nurse Beth,

    Update. I relocated and got my fresh start. I was hired on a med neuro unit in a community 70 miles south. The trouble continued. The nurse manager called me into her office and was very unpleasant. She told me she may terminate me because she must protect the unit. She called me at home and told me this as well. I continued on with my orientation feeling awful. I was able to get three written evaluations form my preceptors that were positive. The nurse manager had 5 people write me up. I was never told what was said and I did ask. She forwarded everything to the DON and called me on my day off and told me I was fired. The write up stated I was argumentative, defensive, and refused to follow direction. Also I gave patients medication with out telling me what I was giving them. This is simply not true. I have never in my entire nursing career be accused of these things and I have never been fired from a job. I contacted the DON and she called a meeting with me, her and the HR director. We met for two hours. Then and only then did I find out what the accusations were against me. This is just flat out wrong and awful. What is going on here and why does the manager need to protect the unit? I asked her and she wouldn't say. This is all very devastating. I was really happy to have this job and what I thought to be a new start.
    Managers say they want to protect their units when the employee is not a good fit. The best thing to do when you are being disciplined is to listen and ask specifically what behavior changes you need to make and by when. Then check in regularly with the manager to see if you're on track for performance improvement. It sounds like your manager could have handled this better, and it also sounds like you are coming across in a manner not intended. You cannot change your (future) co-workers' and managers' behaviors; but you can change your own behavior. You have an opportunity here for self-growth. Sometimes devastation precedes opportunity. Best wishes, friend.
  9. by   WildIvy
    My discussions with this nurse manager were not professional growth oriented. It was more like bullying. She wanted to see me suffer by saying things like "I don't think I'm keeping you around, I need to talk to more people." I have been a nurse for a long time and have been in leadership positions. This should have never been tolerated by this organization. I had a patient going septic and he was in bad shape. I called the MD and was yelled at for doing so. Patient safety and good care should always be top priority.
  10. by   WildIvy
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    Managers say they want to protect their units when the employee is not a good fit. The best thing to do when you are being disciplined is to listen and ask specifically what behavior changes you need to make and by when. Then check in regularly with the manager to see if you're on track for performance improvement. It sounds like your manager could have handled this better, and it also sounds like you are coming across in a manner not intended. You cannot change your (future) co-workers' and managers' behaviors; but you can change your own behavior. You have an opportunity here for self-growth. Sometimes devastation precedes opportunity. Best wishes, friend.

    Hi Nurse Beth,

    I smelled a rat because I have experience in nursing and was being told I needed "recent" experience. All the while these hospitals have been hiring much younger nurses right out of nursing school with no experience. This is age discrimination and out here in California all forms of discrimination are alive and well. This is very much against the law and older nurses need to be on the lookout. The job I was fired from replaced me with a new graduate. I have a new position and I work with older nurses who are experienced as well and they cannot get an interview at local hospitals. These older nurses are the backbone of this profession and should be in place as preceptors so out patients receive the best care we have to offer. This is not happening. The preceptors I had from the job I was fired from had very little experience and viewed their jobs as simply getting tasks crossed off the list. We all know this is not what nurses do. Nursing goes much deeper than checking the box and our patients lives depend on our assessment skills and ability to recognize and act on changes in patient condition...this old fart was fired for doing her job.

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