Fired after 3 weeks!!!


I started my nursing career in a 24 bed pediatric CVICU and I loved it. Unfortunately my husband is in the military so I had to leave after being there for just over a year. Finding a job in our new locale was tough, so I took the first offer- Adult ICU at a small 8 bed community hospital. I was excited to learn a different aspect of nursing and to become a more well rounded nurse. My orientation was 8 days long. I asked for a longer orientation and other than that, I felt as if things were going well. I go in this morning for a meeting with the manager and he says, "I'm sorry to say, but we have to terminate your employment." After being caught COMPLETELY off guard, I ask why. His response was, "I made the mistake when hiring you of not realizing that coming from a specialized pediatric unit that you would be lacking such a broad adult care knowledge base." Dumbfound and on the verge of tears I said ok and left. I had NO feedback whatsoever about my performance from preceptors other than a nurse being rude and saying she couldn't believe I didn't know what Iodoform was and that I had never packed a wound. I know that I don't know much about adult ICU nursing, but I'm a fast learner, I helped other nurses on the floor and I was really looking forward to learning more. I learned so much in CVICU and the acuity of pt's there was WAY higher that this adult ICU floor. To make matters worse, the Holidays are just around the corner and now I'm jobless. I was told to get my ACLS cert before the end of my orientation so I forked out cash that I didn't have and now this! I feel as if my termination is unfounded and unjust. I had no idea my 8 days on the floor were not up to par and that it was a test to see if I was suitable. My resume said I had 1 yr. PEDS CVICU experience and I made that clear during my interview. My question is, should I try to appeal the decision? Contact a union rep? How do I now explain getting fired to future employers? I feel like my career is ruined, I'm frustrated, depressed, broke and i'm bitter that I left a job I loved to follow my husbands career. Thanks for listening to me rant any input is appreciated.


9 Posts

Wow. That's crazy. I'm not sure what state you are in but I'm from Illinois and orientation for nurses especially to a new specialty is no less than 12 weeks. I'm very sorry that this happened. I'm not sure if you would even still want to work with those people but I understand the situation as far as needing to provide for you and your family. I definitely think that you should contact someone. You weren't properly trained and 8 days in orientation is not enough to learn everything about a specialty. Your preceptor is there to guide you and direct you and give you feedback and train you on how to think like an adult icu nurse. I don't think you should be faulted as long as you are a safe nurse, the other skills can be developed.


70 Posts

If it's an at will state there's not much you can do. If you were only there a week, I would venture to guess that if there is a union, you are probably not a member yet as your orientation wasn't completed.

My advice would be to move on and try to find another job. Sounds like that might not be the place you want to work anyway.

As far as explaining it to future employers, who says you have to put that on your resume? You did not get fired for an error or anything reportable, and you were only there a week. It would look better if you didn't mention that job. It's not like you were there for years and now have to explain a large gap in employment. Just move on like it didn't happen (for resume purposes) and find another hospital.

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

i am so sorry, you obviously have skills, and experience that could be built on, I think Cook gave you good advice, in states where i live, at will, there does not have to be "a reason"........i dont think i would list that employer, you were there such a brief time......You may of forgot about it ;)

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

You didn't fail, you weren't given a chance to excel. Their loss, and they missed out IMHO.


38,333 Posts

The excuse he gave sounded plausible to me. I would leave this off the resume, as far as you are concerned, you did not survive the probationary period. Others have stated that when let go before, or at the end, of the probationary period, one does not need to list the experience. Good luck.

fawnmarie, ASN

284 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 21 years experience.

Sending you big hugs! What a shock to be terminated so suddenly. Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time, friend.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

No use in trying to appeal the decision. You were still on probationary status, and they can fire you any time for any reason while ou're on probation. Most likely the union won't be able to do anything for you either; my guess is you hadn't been there long enough to be a member and even if you WERE a member, you were on probation.

Eight days doesn't seem like much orientation, especially for such a new nurse and for a nuse who is changing specialties. Chalk it up to being a poor fit. I'm sorry this happened to you.


2 Posts


I think you were given some great advice from Cook, canoehead and Ruby. I would NOT list the job on your resume. I would chaulk this job up as a learning experience....even if you only learned how NOT to treat a new nurse when they are orienting to your unit. What did you learn from this experience? I think you knew 8 days of orientation was NOT enough. I think the nurse manager did make a mistake if he expected you to perform as a "competent" nurse on his unit. If that is what he wanted, he should have posted the job requiring 2-3 years experience in Adult ICU. As you told him, you were a CVICU nurse and therefore were a "novice" when working in Adult ICU. He would be a "novice" if he tried to work in CVICU. HE would not feel competent working in CVIUC coming from an Adult ICU background after an 8 day orientation and a couple of weeks on the job. Nowadays, that is almost laughable; because. I can't even imagine any facility allowing that due to patient safety. Nevertheless, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Finish your ACLS certification, because you have already paid for it. Think of it as one more certification you can put on your resume to make yourself more marketable. I realize being in the military that money is tight. I have a daughter in the military and I well know that our military are not paid enough for their service and for all the hours they spend on the job. Get a game plan. Don't let this incident get you down. So what this didn't work out ...maybe they DID you a favor.


2 Posts

Is there a maternal-child float pool at your local hospital? It may be your foot in the door. Is there a major medical center in another town close to you? or a Children's Hospital? I used to drive an hour to work. Yes, that is far; but, the experience was invaluable. I worked in NICU and had a neonatalogist; whereas, our local hospital always shipped the sick kids out. Is there a hospital that has weekend options? You may find that once you are employed there that there are other nurses from your area you could carpool with. When I was working on my Masters in Nursing, I had to travel to get to class. One of my classmates was the Nurse Manager of homecare at a Children's Hospital which was located 100 miles away from me. She tried to recruit me to do home care with children in my area that had been hospitalized there. Children's Hospitals are teaching hospitals and are more than happy to teach you the skills you need to work in this capacity. It made sense. It was cheaper to have a nurse in my area make visits versus pay a nurse who has to drive 200 plus miles round trip to make visits. Are there any home health agencies that have a lot of pediatric cases? This job loss doesn't define you. YOUR ATTRIBUTES define you. You are compassionate or you would never have chosen to work in the CVICU. In the CVICU, there are joyous times and there are sad times. As a nurse in the CVICU, there are times you offer support to parents struggling to work. Parents who are trying to deal with their child being in the hospital and parents who are dealing with the economic hardship placed on them. There are times, you see infants that never have a chance to live their lives. Trust me, there are hospitals looking for your experience and expertise.

Thank your husband for his service and thank you for the all the sacrifices that you have made being a military wife. May God Bless both of you for all you do! I believe things happen for a reason and there is someone upstairs in control. Things will work out for you. Your family is in my prayers.

Sorry, for the long sermon. You get 10 CEU's for reading this post. I want to close by saying the picture on my profile is NOT is a picture of MY HUSBAND. :yes:

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

You mentioned there is a union. I would talk to them.


17 Posts

Has 4 years experience.

That is mean and stupid what they did to you. I'm sorry you had to go through it. I also agree that they probably did you a favor. You don't want to work at a place that treats their new hires like that. Even if you appealed and got back my guess is it wouldn't be a good experience.