Asked to resign during orientation - is there hope for me?


Hi everyone, and happy summertime. I started my first job out of nursing school on a labor & delivery unit in January. I had no classroom time, and started off right away on the floor. My main preceptor (I ended up having about 10 different people) was wonderful, but I struggled keeping up with the fast pace of the unit, especially keeping up with pitocin administration. The fact that we had a bad trend of MDs missing deliveries didn't help. I should have paid more attention when fellow RNs were surprised that the new grad kept showing up again the next day...apparently we don't last too long around there.

I did the new grad thing of intense anxiety and trying not to cry in the locker room, but generally I was doing okay until I made a medication error. I self-reported it, and both mom and baby were okay, but it was downhill from there for me. My anxiety and terror at work were ramped up to 10, and my confidence was in the toilet. My orientation was extended, and I was asked to do an action plan that said I had to be observed giving all medications for four weeks.

Well, on two occasions I forgot to grab my preceptor first. When I realized the second time it happened, I reported it to my charge, and braced myself to be fired even though both times everything was correct. Funny enough, I had tried to resign a week earlier (after being encouraged to by a preceptor), and the director asked me to stick around a little longer. This time, the director said I could chose to be terminated, or resignation. I chose resignation. I had been there about 5 months.

I don't know how to explain myself now, to future employers or anyone, really. I've been avoiding friends, mentors and family who were so happy for me when I got that job in an area I loved (or thought I would love.) This is my second career. I have solid performances from all of the previous jobs. I did very well in nursing school and clinicals. Even my director told me I was a "wonderful person" as she was firing me. But I completely screwed up my first nursing job. Is this my last?

Any advice is welcome.


12 Posts

I just started nursing school and onlynthingbi can tell you is do not give up and pray... I'm sure something else is waiting for you! You did we'll considering not to ever worked in a labor & delivery before and they just threw you out there.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

No this will not be your last unless you have given up. Many new grads are/have been let go during orientation or shortly after. They go on to other Nursing Jobs, learned from their mistakes and became great nurses. Nursing is hard and the first year is defiantly the hardest. Many experience shock once working because of the vast amount of tasks, responsibilities, knowledge ex they still have to learn and master.

Get back out there OP :)

Has 2 years experience.

"is this my last"


I, for one, think that no new grad should be hired into specialty areas such as L&D and OR. I think everyone should start with two solid years of med-surg hospital based experience. But since I say that, I also feel hospitals should be more willing to post those types of positions and be willing to teach, seeing as how nursing colleges these days are clearly not willing to produce prepared grads. Any-who, you've had a rough go of it. was the med error super-serious, like a high alert drip or narcotic? I have absolutely no knowledge base with L&D, so sorry that I won't understand the context. I made a med error recently in which I double dosed a patient with pain meds. I reported myself to the manager and physician and was terrified. now I use that mistake to recall that despite everything, I still have the integrity and intelligence to admit my error and learn, and eventually move on. you WILL BE OK. best of luck to you.