Discrimination Against ER Nurses?

Posted
by DaveBSN DaveBSN (Member)

Good morning,

My name is Dave and I am a BSN, RN who has been a licensed RN for nearly two years. My goal after graduating was to place myself in an environment where I could gain the most well-rounded experience so I could then drill down into the area I would like to be in for the rest of my career or at least for the next several years prior to returning to school for my masters.

My career as an RN began in TN working on a cardiac tele unit but after a few months, I saw 9 nurses leave and I had 7 preceptors in a matter of just a few months. Nurses just kept leaving and I realized that I wasn't getting anywhere with regard to training, certifications, etc. I began applying for additional positions in the area and even some with the government that appeared to be exotic and exciting.

In the winter of 2012, I was offered an opportunity to live with the Navajo Indians and work at a level 3 trauma center in Gallup, NM with a 17K raise. I felt this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I mean really, who gets this kinds of opportunity after being out of school for less than a year? I felt very honored especially since I had surpassed applications sent by Native Americans who always have preference with these kind of positions. My experience in Gallup, NM was one I will never forget. There I received my ACLS, TNCC and ENPC. I made some wonderful friends and had an adventure of a lifetime.

The only downside was that Gallup was an extremely violent place where it is NOT illegal to be publicly drunk(Alcoholism is 550% above average) and the town itself is very violent, hence the need for a level 3 trauma center basically on the reservation. Gallup, NM is not a place to settle down and raise a family which always has been a goal of mine. In December of 2013, I decided to look elsewhere and began applying for ER positions in the Dallas, TX area.

Soon thereafter, I received an offer from one of the major hospital systems in Dallas with a signing bonus and relocation paid with an 18 month commitment. I also received another 15k raise. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance and moved to Dallas. Unfortunately, after only 6 days on the job, my contract was breached and a few months later, I felt it was a prudent decision to leave the position I was in due to poor work conditions, no breaks and no support. I have learned the hard way that signing bonuses and paid relocation are signs of a troubled department which this certainly was. I am still a rehire but I feel that it is now time to choose my focus for my MSN as I have had enough clinical experience to truly work on any med/surg, tele, or cardiac unit which are areas I have chosen for my focus in my MSN.

Currently, I am having extreme difficulty with hospital recruiters who state that I do not qualify for any med/surg, tele or cardiac positions because I have only worked in an ER yet each application I have sent meets minimum requirements listed. I even had one recruiter tell me that I meet the minimum but not the preferred and I will not have an interview because of that. I have yet to be able to get a single interview outside the ER. I am also finding out that some of these recruiters aren't nurses that are making these judgements. The fact of the matter is that I could work circles around most med/surg and tele nurses and my skill sets are, in some cases, far beyond the average nurse on these types of floors.

So my question is, "Am I being discriminated against?" and if so, who can I speak to about this? The latest claim of not being qualified has come from a hospital system with central recruiting. They have refused to provide me with specifics on how I am not qualified and will not let me speak to the recruiter who is making the claim. This is also a hospital system with more than 500 nursing positions to fill just in the Dallas, TX area alone. I feel the way I have been treated is discriminatory and I would like to hear other nurses opinions on this subject. I am absolutely qualified for the positions I have applied for. Is this just simply poor bad recruiters or am I being discriminated against?

Regards,

Dave

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

You are not being discriminated against, you are part of the incredible over-supply of nurses in most parts of the country. Recruiters can be EXTREMELY picky about the people they hire. My manager just got 200+ applications for a single PICU position she posted.

Also, you've had three jobs in a very short period of time, two of which lasted less than a year. That's a red flag to any recruiter or manager.

Edited by meanmaryjean
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itsmejuli

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care. 1 Article; 2,188 Posts

From what you've written I can see a few reasons why you've not been hired.

DaveBSN

DaveBSN

24 Posts

Doesn't anyone look at circumstances anymore or is everyone thrown into a cookie cutter? As for there being a surplus of nurses, that's completely wrong. There's a massive shortage of nurses in the USA. Nursing Shortage

DaveBSN

DaveBSN

24 Posts

Perhaps you can share those reasons.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

500 listed positions does not mean a hospital system is looking to fill those positions, in my experience. I had a manager tell me once that if he did not list an open position, he would just lose the ability to hire that extra person in the future - that person was not necessarily needed then. For example, if there were 11 employed nurses on the unit and 3 nursing job postings for the unit, upper management would allow that unit up to 14 nurses. If there were 11 employed nurses and no active job postings, the most nurses that unit would be allowed is 11. After all, if there are 11 nurses employed and he was not advertising for more, then it appears to the number crunchers that 11 nurses is all that unit could ever possibly need, right? It is stupid logic but we all know the people really running things aren't usually nurses.

Secondly, there is a lot of competition now. Why hire someone with related but not exactly the same experience when you could hire someone who has worked in that exact type of unit before? Lots of people looking for jobs unfortunately means lots of competition, and hospitals can pick the exact match for any position instead of just someone who is a good fit.

Third - it sounds like you have been paid well over what most nurses in your area make, and if HR has somehow gotten wind of that, you would seem like a risky hire. If you have ever put an amount where they ask you what you made in the past, take it out, and if you have put a number in the field where they ask you what you would be willing to accept to work there, take that out, too.

Possibly most important of all - from my understanding, you have had three jobs in two years. You look like a flight risk. Nobody wants to hire someone who is just going to leave in a few months or a year because orienting new staff is expensive. I am not saying you will do that, but that might be how people are reading you on paper.

Good luck. It is a bit of a tough market even for experienced nurses right now. I see no reason to believe you are being discriminated against.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience. 8,427 Posts

Doesn't anyone look at circumstances anymore or is everyone thrown into a cookie cutter? As for there being a surplus of nurses, that's completely wrong. There's a massive shortage of nurses in the USA. Nursing Shortage

No, there's a shortage of extremely qualified, specialty nurses; meaning those with 3-5 plus years are wanted and that has been harder to capture, due to the numerous candidates out there that have found a positioned and continue with their current facility, had unconventional starts to their career (and don't necessarily possess the minimum) and the floods of new grads being pumped out; it's fair to say it's NO nursing shortage. :no:

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg. 3,464 Posts

Doesn't anyone look at circumstances anymore or is everyone thrown into a cookie cutter? As for there being a surplus of nurses, that's completely wrong. There's a massive shortage of nurses in the USA. Nursing Shortage

Dave, we encourage you to read and research the nursing shortage, especially here on allnurses. You will find that the average RN new grad does not have a job upon graduating, and most are unemployed for over a year before landing their first job.

What does this mean for you. While you do have experience, which is great, recruiters can be pickier about who they interview or hire, since for most acute care positions they are receiving dozens upon dozens of applications. If they have a candidate with say 3 years straight med-surg experience applying for a floor job vs you, the other nurse will get the interview. It is not fair, but life is not fair, and breaking into a new specialty area of nursing can be hard.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

Doesn't anyone look at circumstances anymore or is everyone thrown into a cookie cutter? As for there being a surplus of nurses, that's completely wrong. There's a massive shortage of nurses in the USA. Nursing Shortage

(You're joking, right?? Do you actually believe there's a "massive" shortage?)

DaveBSN

DaveBSN

24 Posts

Sounds like I should go back to school for my NP. I would still be at the job that brought me to Dallas if they hadn't of breached my contract. It's really frustrating. I'm a damn good nurse just looking for a home.

DaveBSN

DaveBSN

24 Posts

According to the ANA, there's a shortage.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience. 8,427 Posts

According to the ANA, there's a shortage.

According to reality, that is not correct. :no:

My area, a major metro area in the NE, hasn't had a major shortage in decades, due to hospital mergers and the construction of major hospital systems; granted, nursing is everywhere, but I just have to address the hospital aspect in terms of "shortage" of nurses.