A Question to the DON ?

Specialties LTC Directors


  • by Rascal1
    Specializes in Med-Surg., Agency Nursing, LTC., MDS..

I have been in recovery from alcohol addiction and have given my complete attention to my recovery for most of the past year. And because of this I feel I have a new lease on my life. A second chance. I continue my meetings, my weekly counseling appointments, maintaining my health and piecing my life back together . I'll never look at another alcoholic or addict the same way again. For me, this has been the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my life,so far. So, I'm back in the job market and struggle with how to respond to the typical interview questions,such as, "Why did you leave your last job? Can we call them? " Quite frankly,I was fired from my last job, due to excessive absences as a result of being an alcoholic. I'm not proud of it . I can only move forward with my new healed attitude and give everything my very best. Do I "come clean" and risk being judged for an ill past ? What thoughts can you share ? Thanks.

achot chavi

980 Posts

Specializes in acute care and geriatric.

I absolutely think you should. Alcoholism is an illness. If you had left your previous position due to absenses from a different illness like cancer and had made a recovery, would you hesitate to be upfront with this info?

I think you are very brave and applaud your efforts and successes.

You can take this negative and turn it into a positive by explaining how you are bringing your newly found strength and patience to the unit with you, having survived what you have, you are a better nurse for your patients .

May you go from success to success- hope you find a good job!!

Specializes in ED/ICU/TELEMETRY/LTC.

Don't you dare tell.

"I had some personal problems to work out"

In all most all cases the only thing that can be told if they do call is that dates of your employement and what your job duties were.

I check references all the time and that's all I ever get.



38,333 Posts

If you are not in your state's program for impaired nurses, I would take this as a second chance from the Almighty and never breathe a word to a potential employer. It will be difficult enough explaining a firing, why make it impossible to get a job? As said before: "I had some personal problems to work out". The truth.


659 Posts

I am a DON and to be quite honest, "personal problems" send me a much bigger red flag than "recovering alcoholic". When I hear personal problems, I immediately think drama that never ends and usually doesn't get worked out. I'd rather hear the truth and wouldn't have a problem hiring you.


511 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU, Psych, Med-surg...etc....

Be sure your sins will find you out....that's what my mom used to always say- be honest. The past is the past. You have earned the right to say, "I have worked hard for my sobriety and plan to keep it. All I need is the chance to prove myself." As a former DON, I have hired many nurses who were recovering alcholics and had problems with drugs, as well as being in programs for impaired professionals. Everyone deserved a second chance.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X