Fired. How To Get Over It.

Updated:   Published

Fired. How do I get over this feeling?

I've been an RN for over 30 years. I was terminated for the first time in my nursing career for starting an IV on a patient without having completed the IV competency. Patient was not injured and they even kept my IV site and infusion going after I had left.

I have over 30 years of infusion and hi-tech IV experience. The organization posted a complaint to the Nursing State Board that I had maliciously and incompetently performed these actions. I think this should have been a written disciplinary action.

There was an investigation and the Nursing Board found I did nothing outside the scope of my practice, or dangerous enough to warrant my license being suspended or disciplinary action. I did break policy and it was an error in judgement I admit. 

I have secured another job. There was never anything asked on the employment app about previous terminations. But, I worry that the employer learns of my firing and terminates me. Could they?

How do I get rid of this scared/apprehensive feeling? 

How to I respond if in the future I am asked by an employer?

Any and all assistance is appreciated.

Has 33 years experience.

You are highly skilled in IV placement. It would come natural to place a  line. Where was your preceptor? If you were going against policy, that would be on them. You have another job. Let it all go... work on that job... or as you have 30 years in our field, might be time to let all the bs go. Retirement is fun.

Best wishes.


klone, MSN, RN

14,406 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Holy cow. I'm so sorry!

I was fired from a management job 2 years ago. I had been there less than 4 months. Was hired by the interim director. Six weeks after I started, they hired a permanent director, who then fired me, saying I wasn't a good fit, and she had someone else in mind for my position.

It was pretty devastating, as it was the first time I had ever been fired in my nursing career. It took getting hired at another management job, and excelling at it (as I had excelled at every leadership job I had held previously) to realize it was them, not me.

I have never been asked if I've ever been terminated from a position when applying for a nursing job. The only thing I've been asked is if I have any sanctions (is that what it's called?) against my license (I don't and never have). And I've just made the decision to erase that 4 month period from my work history. I don't mention it on applications, it's not on my resume. Nobody has asked. It has not hindered me at all. 

You have a new job, so just put it behind you. I'm sorry that happened.


6,461 Posts

I'm sorry this happened, too. It sounds ridiculous.

rninformatics said:

I did break policy and it was an error in judgement I admit. 

While knowingly going against a policy is not a good idea as a matter of routine, we don't always have to "own up" in this way. It is well within the scope of an RN to initiate an IV when ordered and I get that they had a policy that supercedes or is at least relevant here, but come on. Life's too short to spend any more time worry about this or feeling bad about yourself.

They chose to be petty, who knows why, consider it a blessing.

Take care ~


465 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

I told a hiring manager at an interview a few years ago that if they contacted a particular previous employer that they likely wouldn't hear stellar things about me. I also gave a quick description of a few of their practices we didn't see eye to eye on. The manger told me she agreed with my point of view and had no interest in their opinion of me she was happy with her own. 

I think it is likely if you had mentioned this incident at your interview their response would have been something along the lines of "that is ridiculous, but our gain". You'r BON already closed the matter, unless you apply for a job that specifically asks if you have ever been fired I would not mention it, but given what happened I don't think it would be much of an issue if you did disclose it.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,183 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.
rninformatics said:

How do I get rid of this scared/apprehensive feeling? 

When we receive negative ramifications as a result of our actions, no matter the intention of our actions, we often feel as there's something wrong with us. Our perception of ourselves and reality become blurry and clouded and fear sets in.

There are two ways to overcome these feelings of fear. First, we need to believe in ourselves and make our opinion prominent. If we acted with forethought and for the betterment of others and/or the situation, then we did what was right.

Henry David Thoreau said that the one person who was more right than his neighbors represented a majority of one. We who swim against the accepted stream of the majority in numbers have to deal with the ramifications thereof. In the end, it is we who are more comfortable with ourselves while others continue to phrenetically do things like play power games in search of comfort.

The other thing we can do to overcome fear is follow the teaching of Edgar Cayce and "see the ridiculous yet funny side of every situation". Easier said than done, but the method works, and my life and experiences are the proof in the pudding.

Good luck and the best to you, rninformatics.

Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology. Has 38 years experience.

Davey Do, I can't thank you enough.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

164 Articles; 21,189 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I committed a med error that resulted in pt harm, was sued, successfully and have a judgement against me from a malpractice settlement. That occurred in 2007. I still am apprehensive every single time I prescribe this particular med. I ALWAYS look it up just to give me peace of mind. 

Many years later, this extra attention to detail has served me well - I've not made further med errors that I'm aware of. 

So...for me, the moral of the story is that even though I made a very serious error, caused a pt irreparable damage (as well as collateral damage to the family), it made me a much more cautious provider. 

Being more attentive has in the end, helped me. I wish you the best of luck in your new career


sideshowstarlet, BSN, RN

1 Article; 237 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Developmental Disorders. Has 10 years experience.

I've heard of LVN's having to take a specific IV certification course before the facility lets them start IV's, but I never heard of RN's having to do this. 

In fact, I remember as a new nurse at a SNF and not receiving an orientation to the floor taking the opportunity to also sign up for the IV certification course some of the LVN's were taking since I was bad with IV's. But not going to this course would not have changed my facility's expectation that I start an IV on a dehydrated, combative, elderly resident on the first try with no bruising. 

Your many years of experience tells me that your former workplace just wanted to hire someone new and cheaper. 

klone, MSN, RN

14,406 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.
sideshowstarlet said:

I've heard of LVN's having to take a specific IV certification course before the facility lets them start IV's, but I never heard of RN's having to do this. 

The OP didn't need to take a certification course, but just complete a check-off showing she's competent. Almost all hospitals require that you complete a competency check-off on many skills before you're allowed to complete the skills independently. The check-off is usually performed by someone from nursing education, the new nurse's preceptor, or nurse leader. It's a Joint Commission requirement.

OP, every place I've worked, if a new (to the organization) nurse does a skill and doesn't have the associated completed competency for it, it's the fault of that nurse's manager, not the nurse itself. It's MY responsibility, nobody else's, to make sure the nurses who work in my unit have demonstrated and documented competency in the various skills that they perform. The fact that they fired YOU for this is ***.


4 Articles; 2,344 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

So sorry that happened to you! I can't tell you how to get over the feeling, but I think that your opening "I've been an RN for 30 years", says WAY more about you and your competence than the people that decided to fire you for a check box. 

I was fired almost six years ago after less than a month on orientation in my first acute care job. I was told that I didn't have the critical thinking to be an acute care nurse and I should just go back to my long term care facility. I knew I wasn't perfect, but I didn't expect that. My confidence definitely took a hit, and with mine being the sole salary for our family of five at that time, I was a little panicked for a few days. But, within two weeks I was offered another position and it was the best move I ever made.

I'm sure that your new position will work out better and this will be nothing but a little bump in your road very soon!

TonyaMarie, MSN

2 Articles; 13 Posts

Specializes in Case Manager, Solid Organ Transplant Coordinator.

I do not know the employers side, but I believe the employer went overboard with reporting the matter to the state board. The boards have enough to deal with and this appeared to be more of a control issue than patient safety. If a nurse has not completed a necessary competency, don't allow them to come to work. To terminate them and report to the state board seems malicious and retaliatory.  
To answer your question, own your part in it, which I'm sure you have done, then focus on the 30 great years you have dedicated to our profession. All things work together for the good. This is no reflection of the care you provide.