Past job ruining chance of new job

  1. I have a question regarding my past employment as a CNA coming back to haunt me.

    Situation is before going to nursing school I was a CNA/CMA for about 4 or 5 yrs at a LTC facility. When I was working there my kids were young and I was doing evening shift 3-11pm. I informed my employer in April that the next fall I would prefer to work day shift because my kids were going to be in school all day and then in day care until 11pm and that days would work better. I told the employer that I would still work some evenings such as in the case of nurse calling in and being needed for medication passes as I was one of the few employees that could do the evening medication pass. I was super flexible with this employer coming in on days off, letting them schedule me days and evenings when most employees did self scheduling and only one shift. Employer said ok and actually started me on days that summer. A few weeks before school started I took vacation to spend the end of summer with the kids and prepare them for school, shopping for supplies, clothes, etc. I came back from vacation on an evening shift and knew it was eveing shifts for that week. I picked up my schedule and found the whole month was going to be eveing shifts!!

    I went to talk to the director of nursing regarding previous conversations about doing day shift and that I had been doing days. She stated that I was hired for evening shift and that over the summer others have been hired and promised days. I was upset and pointed out people that had quit in just the last month that were days and there was no way day shifts were not available. I also pointed out being I had been there for years and expressed the need for day shift why would they hire others and give them shifts over me. The DON told me I would be on evenings and that was that. I told her that my family comes first and that I quit if that is how they treat long term employees.

    Anyway a little history. The DON and I did not see eye to eye on much and I was not one of her favorite employees. She had her favorite employees she would give preference to that could get away with almost anything. However I did always show up for work and did excellent care and she knew that. During 4 or 5 yrs of employment she took many opportunities to write me up. However it never got close to terminating my employment.

    So fast forward a few years and I have completed LPN school and wanted a part time job while finishing my RN. The LTC I worked at before is hiring. The DON I didn't care for is gone and a new nurse whom I do not know is in her place. I apply and the new DON will not even consider me or talk to me about what is in my file and why they will not hire me. HR relays to me that there are things in my past employment file that makes me an unfit nursing canidate as far as working for them. I was upset and wanted copies to know what they were talking about but decided to drop it and that I would never give that facility my time once I have my RN.

    So here is my problem. When I am applying for jobs now that I have my RN I need to put down my past employment at this place. I am worried that this new DON will say something about something in my employment file which is now 5 yrs old. The DON does not know me at all and wouldn't even know who I was if I walked up to her and started talking to her. I feel that nursing school has changed me and made me way more mature than I was 5 yrs ago when I quit that job. The new me would have stuck out the job because I loved it. I think the DON did this to get me to quit because we didn't get along and some of her "favorites" didn't like me on the day shift with them because I wouldn't kiss their butts or do their work for them. The DON got fired because of her favoratism to certain staff and covering for them, allowing them to get away with things that should have gotten them fired, etc.

    I am filling out applications and almost all of them have a spot to check if they may contact previous employer. I wanted to check no but was worried that they would just discard my application if I did. I read that in many places they can only contact previous employer to verify if you worked there but i am not sure if that is true. I have excellent references since I moved on from this place, however it is one of my most recent work experiences and needs to be listed. I also don't know how to answer an interview question if they ask something about my employment at this LTC facility. I simply state scheduing conflict as reason why I left which is true.

    I am worred that this past employer has and is ruining my possible future employment at other places but have no way to prove it. It's a relatively small town so if I apply at one place they know who the nurses are at another and they all know eachother from working together in the past, talking on the phone to cordinate care, etc. When i fill out applications I put down the old DON name as my direct supervisor and don't list the new DON because I don't know her and she wasn't there when I worked there. So, even though this nurse was not involved with the LTC facility when I worked there other facilities will call there and ask for her knowing she is the DON and all she has to go on is junk in my file that she knows nothing about. I honestly feel if the old director of nursing was there she would give me a good reference because she knows I was a good worker even though she wrote me up at times. This new DON only has the negative things in my file to go on and doesn't really know me or what my work was really like at the facility.

    Any ideals how to deal with this situation?
  2. Visit northern_RN profile page

    About northern_RN

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 24; Likes: 6


  3. by   dRN1
    A few things, Number 1- employers are only allowed to say if you are eligible for rehire or not. Legally they cannot disclose particular info in your file. Number 2- you can use references from nursing instructors as references. Most job applications ask "may we contact your employer" you can mark no. I have done it before and had no problems. Have u thought about getting another job as an LPN right now? This way, your last employer will be a positive experience.
  4. by   northern_RN
    When you say eligible for rehire, what do you mean? I didn't do anything bad, I quit. However they will not hire me again. So can they state that they would not hire me again? Or would it have to be that I did something to make hiring me again against policies for them to state I'm not eligible for rehire?

    I am using my nursing instructor as a reference and she will be a great one. I am also using other instructors from college. I can not get another job as LPN as I have my RN now and need an RN graduate nursing job.

    I think from now on I will just check the contact box as no and if asked state that the employment was some time ago and the supervisors I worked under are not there anymore anyway.

    I am wondering if there are any nurse managers that do hiring out there? When looking at an application if someone checked you can not contact past employer would that send off a red flag?
  5. by   caliotter3
    Either way they contact the previous employer to verify employment. The only way this will go away is with the passage of time and introduction of future employment entries on your applications. You are right to list the supervisor who was actually there when you worked there. Be ready to explain the situation if you are asked about a "do not rehire" comment at an interview. And stop dwelling on this because you can't do anything about it except get newer employment experience. Good luck.
  6. by   BradleyRN
    Quote from northern_RN
    When you say eligible for rehire, what do you mean?
    They can legally say that you are not eligible for rehire. Likely that is what they are saying, so if you have an opportunity to check NO about contacting them, you should do so. That way you can at least explain the situation in an interview. Good luck! :spin:
  7. by   chi-town_rn
    Personally I would probably just omit that job from the job application, have you worked anywhere since then? In this economy I would not want anything to cause me to look worse than the other applicants. The choice is yours whatever you choose to do good luck in your job search and Congrats on becoming an RN.
  8. by   GrumpyRN63
    I agree, I'd leave it off altogether. I know part of you wants that experience to 'count', but I think there's a greater risk in using it on your resume to lose a potential job, rather than 'not having ' that experience at all. Good luck