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Fired two times and unable to get job now

Nurses   (3,009 Views 16 Comments)
by Newstartat50 Newstartat50 (New) New Nurse

123 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I am having a hard time getting another job. I have been a nurse for twenty years and have work in many areas. I have been fired twice - first for charting problems and second one for absences. My last job was in labor and delivery and nursery where my first love in nursing has always been there. I have had problems with absences during the two years that I was employed because of personal sickness, family sickness, and  personal problems in marriage.  I was counseled several times and written up and was given 90 days each time not to have any absences. I did better during those times but then I would get in trouble again.  The final write up was given and nurse manager told me that I would be dismissed if I called in sick again.  I called in on Dec 19th  2017 and I was sick with sinus infection.  I came back to work after another day off. I was nervous during the morning but I really thought that I still had a job and nurse manager would not fire me but was just trying to scare me when I got write up.  I was taken to her office and fired. I had to get all the stuff from my locker and was escorted to door. I was so upset and in shock.                                        I used by retirement money to live on the next year. I was also going to school online getting bachelors and then masters and just used my time for that. I applied to jobs every so often and did not get any offers. I just thought no problem I will get job some other time and not to worry.  Here it is January 2019 and I am running  out of money. I have been applying like crazy and have gotten many interviews but no job. I am so scared now and just do not know what to do for money.  I am having many fights with husband about just getting a job that is not nursing but it will not pay all the credit card bills and other bills.

I need advise to help get back on the road to working.  Thanks

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

1 Article; 2,342 Posts; 41,831 Profile Views

If you have clear license and some temerity, try agencies and/or travel. In many cases everything you need is unincumbrent license and breathing/circulation in your body. It will be hard work but you can be master of your schedule, above local politicking and paid higher. And if facility uses travelers, it means they will overstep A LOT of stuff in order to get some help. 

What is your Master's in? 

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

12 Followers; 3,351 Posts; 34,869 Profile Views

It sounds like you have bigger problems than just a tight job market.  You've had previous employment problems which seem to be following you, obviously money and marital problems as well.

I really think you need to find some low-cost counseling (maybe start with your county public health or mental health department).  Look into free or low-cost credit counseling as well.  Getting financial problems straightened out can be a huge relief.

You have a lot of simultaneous stressors and it's possible recruiters can sense it.  Look at it this way:  you need to bring your best self to any new job you start.  How is that going to work when you're preoccupied with so many other things?

I really hope you can get some help to sort things out.  You deserve a life that's easier than what you're currently describing.  Wishing you all the best.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,212 Posts; 29,581 Profile Views

I have heard float, per diem and staffing pool hospital jobs are a bit easier to get. You might not get benefits, but if you will at least be earning money. Nights, weekends, overtime and holidays will boost your pay. I work with some nurses who routinely work extra to pay off student loans.

I get the sense that you are an older nurse. Unfortunately it can be harder to land a job as an older nurse. Once you find a job, consider that if you spent through retirement money, retirement might have to be postponed, so if the job is easy on the body stay.

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3 Followers; 5,554 Posts; 27,163 Profile Views

The final write up was given and nurse manager told me that I would be dismissed if I called in sick again.

I called in on Dec 19th  2017

but I really thought that I still had a job and nurse manager would not fire me

She said she was going to fire you if you called in again. You called in again.  And you were surprised she fired you.

If you are getting lots of interviews but no offers, you may need to consider that the potential employers are calling your former supervisor and getting the story on your absenteeism. This kind of stuff can follow you around. It's a myth that employers can't give bad references. As long as they are telling the truth, they can go into detail about your performance history.

 

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9 Posts; 153 Profile Views

Im so sorry you're facing these problems and do hope you can secure a position that its best fit for you. 

I feel it is important to deal with the stressors in your life so that they do not have high impact on your next role. Did your employer offer a EAP so that you can receive support through counseling? 

If finances are the primary goal I suggest telephonic nursing. I have four kids, relocated from NY to Texas and needed the flexibility. Try insurance companies as they offer scheduling flexibility and option to work form home. 

All the best. 

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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It's too bad you didn't use FMLA to protect yourself and your job.  If you had FMLA they wouldn't be able to hold your absences against you.  

How long were you at the last job?  Can you leave it off your resume?  Do you have solid references?  Otherwise, you may have to mention during the interview that you were having health and family problems then and reassure them that they are now resolved.

Also, it is harder to get a job when you are older, especially in hospitals.  You cost more and hospitals are so corporate nowadays they really prefer new grads.  Some without union protections regularly lay off older workers without any reason such as absences.  

When you get a new job you really have to buckle down and not call in sick excessively.  You did not take the warnings seriously!  A lot of places these days are not sympathetic and will write you up and terminate you as you've discovered.  You need to know the sick policy some places have as little as 3 days a year, the more generous might have 5 to 8 depending if you are full time and then on a rolling calendar year.  You need to keep a record of when you call in and if you need to call in more than you can, you had better get FMLA to protect yourself.  Now you have to be working at a place for a year to qualify for FMLA, it is not automatic when you start a new job.

To find a job now you may need to reach out to other places such as nursing homes, assisted living, group homes, psych, dialysis or even consider prison or jail.  Others suggested agency or travel nursing.  I suggest you reach out in person and use linked in to find out who the manager is and then write a personal cover letter to the manager attached with your resume, especially to smaller places to get past HR and the computerized job filters that block older nurses from getting a job.  Be aware you may need to take a pay cut to get a job.  Be friendly, bubbly and positive when you make these in person visits.

Also, it is a terrible idea to spend your retirement money because unless you were 55 or older when you left your last job you will now have to pay a 10% federal, plus possibly state penalty as well as taxes on that money.   It would have been better to cut your expenses and try to get by on your husband's income instead.  Definitely, seek credit counseling and determine whether you can pay your bills back in 3-5 years or if bankruptcy is appropriate instead.  This is also why it is such a bad idea to use your retirement because retirement money is protected in bankruptcy, but most people spend down their retirement instead of using credit cards and/or filing for bankruptcy.  Be aware though that there are no bankruptcy options for student loans.  

I suggest reading Deal with Your Debt by Liz Weston and All You're Worth by Elizabeth Warren,  the congresswoman and current Democratic Presidential candidate.  Both discuss budgets, financial strategy for debt and considering bankruptcy when appropriate.

I wish you the best of luck with your marriage and finding a job.  FYI if worst case scenario you end up divorcing, you are entitled to half your spouse's social security if his is larger than yours and you've been married for at least 10 years.  Keep that in mind.

Edited by brandy1017

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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Try LTC or dialysis

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

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Hospitals are notorious for pushing older nurses out. Unfortunately you shot yourself in the foot by too many absences, and that's coming back to haunt you now. There's not a lot you can do about an employment history that has gaps and lost jobs. So you may want to consult a professional who knows how to design a resume that de-emphasizes these problems and puts you in the best possible light.

You would also do well, as some other posters have said, to look at other job options. It may not be your ideal, but long-term care is always looking for nurses; it's said that all you need to get hired is a nursing license and a pulse. But it's better than nothing while you look for other opportunities.

I also agree with the poster who advised you to get some sort of counseling, for both your mental and financial health. It sounds like you've really been through some rough times in recent years, so you may need a little help getting over the hump. Credit counseling is another excellent idea.

Wishing you the very best as you sort things out. Viva 

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39 Posts; 1,131 Profile Views

Travel nursing is the way to go. They will take almost anybody. Night shift as well, and Med Surg nights, will no doubt take you. In the future, if you have a hard time again, consider PRN when you can “read the writing on the wall”. Also, resume counseling and job interview practice. 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 171,993 Profile Views

6 hours ago, Windyhill said:

Travel nursing is the way to go. They will take almost anybody. Night shift as well, and Med Surg nights, will no doubt take you. In the future, if you have a hard time again, consider PRN when you can “read the writing on the wall”. Also, resume counseling and job interview practice. 

I'm not certain that a travel agency will take you without current experience.

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Persephone Paige has 15 years experience as a ADN.

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My question is, do you know why you thought calling in was a good solution? Because you'll do it again... I ask this question because it was my own issue. If you can figure out why you did it and be honest about it, you may be able to figure out a way to become employed. If you just hope no one will find out, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

If you never try and figure it out, you're doomed to repeat the past. People are more apt to forgive a truth then an omission. Take the bull by the horns, what have you got to lose?

Edited by Persephone Paige

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