Penalized for Improper Outfit. Help!

  1. I am currently a Nursing Assistant and I will be graduating Nursing School next week. I had a little incident at work that it may damage my future professional reputation. About a year ago, my Nurse Manager called me to tell me I was due to renew my CPR license as part of the hospital requirements. She told me to report myself that following Saturday morning for a few hours to renew my certification. Honestly, I did not make a big deal out of it, so I wake up that Saturday Morning and wore a Sweat Pants Suit. I did not even bother to put any make up on since I thought it was not a formal thing. When I arrived that Morning, I realized that it was just not CPR, it was also an "In service" for the organization. I saw other people dressed in jeans and flip pops so, once again, I was not too alarmed. I was waiting to be sent home and reschedule, but that was not the case.

    4 months later, my nurse manager called me into her office to tell me about the sweat pants incident. I was in shock because why tell me about it 4 months later? I admitted to it and assumed all responsibility. She replied back to me, "I hope they forget about that." The following week this nurse manager transferred to another facility and was replaced by another nurse manager. While all this was happening, I was in the middle of changing from per diem to part time. The New nurse manager told me that everything in my record was excellent, except the "sweat pants incident" and that it might hold me against the position as a nurse assistant part time. I asked her if this incident was in my work record, and she told me NO. The reason why she was aware of it was because my old nurse manager told her before she left. I was never discipline or signed any written report. She told me that the president of the hospital email the old nurse manager about the incident, but no further action was required. Her words were, "do not worry; they have bigger fish to catch." So I left it alone, while some people in the unit were rumoring about this. I was wondering how the rumor has spread, since I did not tell anyone. However, I ended up with the part time position.

    Well, now a year later. I emailed the nurse recruiter about a possible position as a nurse that I am interested in. she replied back that I must pass my NCLEX first in order to apply. I found it weird because all my classmates had positions before they graduated. But, fair enough, I agreed to that. Now, last night, my assistant nurse manager told me that I am a great worker with an excellent work ethic, but if something is going to hold me back from a job in that institution is that incident with the outfit. I asked her how did she find out about this and she told me that my old nurse manager told her before she left!!!

    My question is, if this is not in my permanent work record and all of this information about the incident was communicated between managers and got spread to other people (possibly Nursing Administration), this can damage my reputation. I did not get a chance to explain myself and /or apologize. Can this incident indirectly hold me back from getting a nursing position? I have a feeling it will. All the hard work I have put into my education and this organization are going down the drain. All I have to say is, you live and learn. I hope is not too late for me.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Dec 14, '12 : Reason: Formatting fixes
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    About Newgraduatenurse2012

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 12; Likes: 1


  3. by   zieglarf
    Is this spam? I would swear that I've read this exact same post a long time ago.
  4. by   Newgraduatenurse2012
    no, it is not spam. I had to edit post due to some reasons and CHANGE in the circumstances. please I want honest advice. thanks.
  5. by   zieglarf
    The post I referred too was an old post with lots of responses - my memory might be wrong but I would've bet money that it was exactly the same post. Word for word the same.

    Don't have any real advice though. I can't that you did anything wrong. You came in for an inservice when you were off the clock. That doesn't require being in uniform and you were not the only one out of uniform. Nothing official happened. Maybe you work with a bunch of jerks and need to apply elsewhere - other than I wouldn't worry about it without a formal write-up.
  6. by   adnrnstudent
    There is something else other than the sweats issue. Someone is using that as an excuse. If they wouldn't hire you as a RN truly over that issue, you don't want to work there anyway.
  7. by   Seas
    I think that is ridiculous that you may not even get a position there for this sweat shirt issue that happened forever ago. Everybody makes mistakes, some may be very embarrassing. But you admitted it and wont repeat such a thing anymore. Why bring it up every time? I don't know. It looks so immature to me. There may be other reasons behind this whole thing.
  8. by   Newgraduatenurse2012
    well, I tried looking at other issues. I am Hispanic in a Hospital where diversity does not exist among its staff. I have excellent work attendance, and my evaluations are great. My nurse manager told me all we need to do is find you a job, but then the asst. nurse manager mentioned this incident again last night. It threw me off. I know I made a mistake. I know......
  9. by   gonzo1
    Most of the places I have worked at what you were wearing would be considered "well dressed". I'm sorry but this whole situation smacks of them picking on you for no good reason. I will say that where I am anyway hospitals will not hire you till you pass NCLX cause they don't want to be stuck with someone that doesn't pass.
    If at all possible I would take this place off my job looking list and try to find some place that would appreciate you.
  10. by   SionainnRN
    Anything that has to do with work, especially if it's on campus as it sounds this was, it's better to be over dressed than under. Showing up to something work related in sweats? I'm honestly surprised you weren't sent home. I know people who have been fired because they showed up to an in service in jeans, had to go home to change and because she missed the in service was fired. Good luck with everything.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Showing up to a work related event in sweats is poor judgement. Extreme poor judgement. If it's still being talked about this far along, I'm thinking there's more to it than just sweats, though. Did your shirt have an inappropriate statement on it? Were the sweats too tight, too loose, too revealing? Dirty? When you show up at your place of employment, you're representing the company. Seriously. Our hospital has a policy that if you're in the building wearing your work ID, you're wearing dress pants or slacks and a nice shirt or blouse: no shorts, jeans, tank tops, flip flops, whatever. And you have to have your ID badge to swipe into the parking garage. So the day I had my surgery, my husband dressed in nice chinos and a sweater to sit in the waiting room and worry. Neither of us thought twice about it. I wore sweat pants and UGG boots -- easy to get into and out of, warm and comfortable. But my work ID was in my purse, not on my chest.
  12. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I agree with Ruby. Very poor judgement. Last week, I had to drop something off at the hospital I worked at and I wore dress pants and a nice sweater. Even though I was there for 5 minutes, I dressed my best.

    If this job is meant to be then it will be.
  13. by   skittlebear
    Oh noooooo! You wore sweatpants. That is horrible! Your reputation should suffer forever!
  14. by   psu_213
    I cannot believe the president of the hospital emailed your NM over the 'sweatpants' incident. I just can't believe that is true. So either: 1. (as someone already mentioned) if the president of the hospital is wasting time over such trivial incidents, well then, you may not want to work for that hospital; or 2. (as Ruby mentioned) there is a whole lot more to this than just that you were wearing sweats. There basically has to be more to it if so many people are willing to make such a big deal of something that seems like nothing.

    Also, I wanted to echo what Ruby said. Every time you show up at your place of work for a work related function, dress professionally (by the way, the fact you didn't wear make up is totally inconsequential one way or the other), whether it be your assigned shift, a meeting, a class, an inservice, etc. Unless the flyer for the class, etc. specially says 'staff may wear jeans and a t-shirt to this class,' dress professionally--even your work scrubs are appropriate for certain situations, such as a CPR class. Also, never ever ever (never!!) wear anything that is controversial or even in the least bit inappropriate, such as a low cut top, a shirt with a vulgar saying on it, etc. You are judged every time you are there. Every time HR or you manager sees you, they are evaluating you. This is especially important if you want to advance your career by becoming an RN at this hospital.

    This incident may seem unfair, but, as future professional nurse, you had to know better. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it's reality.