Grad Nurse (GN) Leaving First Nursing Job Prior To Being Licensed

Updated | Posted
by Nursemama274 Nursemama274 (New) New Nurse

Has 1 years experience.

grad-nurse-quitting-job-license-job-search.jpg.87411da253353384fcbde9cc219f76d7.jpg

Hey guys, I graduated in July 2021, with a 3 year old and 6 month old at home. My husband put us all on his back while I went through nursing school and it was very hard on him and us financially. Instead of waiting to take my NCLEX, I applied for my graduate nurse temporary practice permit (It is valid until mid July 2022). 

I started working in early August 2021 as a GN. I had a whopping 2 week orientation before being on my own. I am proud of myself for the level of improvement in my skills, knowledge & confidence in the past 10 months, yet know I’m still a baby nurse with a TON to learn. Sadly, my unit is completely toxic. Full of drama and cliques (my manager is the source of most of the drama sadly). I am turning 30 in a month and I am the “oldest” nurse on the unit, I try to take that into consideration and have compassion for these fresh 20 year old nurses, however, it’s become exhausting.

Rather than giving you a laundry list of all of my issues at work, I’m just going to say that I can no longer continue to work on this unit, my mental health is suffering. Here is the problem though:

I have not yet taken my boards (face palm). I was scheduled to take them in November 2021 but my household all contracted COVID and my infant was hospitalized for 3 weeks unable to breathe on her own and I had to cancel it. Sadly, I missed quite a few shifts during that time and was given a verbal and written warning when I returned. I can not miss one more shift between now and October or I will be terminated. The crappy part is that 4 of those days that are considered unexcused absences were the 4 days I had to wait to get my COVID results back. They did come back positive, as I knew they would, but those 4 days still count against me.

Anyways, I rescheduled my NCLEX for February 2022 & then just kept rescheduling it as I’m terrified of failing and losing my job and not being able to financially support my children as my husband and I are actually going through a divorce right now & money is beyond tight.  

I decided I was just going to take it and get it over with two weeks ago, my manager told me she would make sure I had that day off. “No problem” she said. 1 day prior to my test date, she informed me that we had someone quit and they could not find coverage after all for that shift and I would have to work it. I couldn’t call off and take the exam or I would be terminated. I went online to again reschedule my exam date, however, I was unable to do so because they need a minimum of 24 hours notice to reschedule. 

Unfortunately, I had to pay $200 again to apply for my authorization to test. I was told that could take up to 3 weeks to come in and then I’d be able to schedule my NCLEX again. My GN temporary permit will be expired by the time I get my ATT and can schedule the test. So, I feel I have no choice but to put in my two weeks notice rather than being fired from my first nursing position. 

I understand that I put myself in this spot, and I want to kick myself, however, this has been the hardest year of my life and I have just been making fear based decisions.. Does anyone have any advice? Do you feel my best bet is to put in my two weeks notice? Does anyone know how this will impact my future job searches since I’ve not yet worked as an RN? As a GN I’ve worked completely on my own without a preceptor, but I feel like I’m up *** creek without a paddle right now and I’m scared. 

Sorry for the long post, any input would be greatly appreciated.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,132 Posts

I think the thing going for you most right now is that there are so many places looking for nurses that your experience as a grad nurse may help you out. I think that only potential employers could really tell you your options without an active license. Since you know your employment is going to have to end because you don't have your license before the GN terminates, and your employer should also be aware of the dates, it sounds like giving your two week notice makes the most sense. Some of what you have experienced in the past year is clearly beyond your control so you have to focus on what you can control now. Study and take your exam, and then take it from there. Good luck. 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,437 Posts

Your not having worked as a licensened nurse yet can work in your favor. I agree with JBmom that your best bet might be to give your Two-week notice now. Take your NCLEX RN and don't look back. If asked why you self terminated you can simply say you did not feel the position was a good fit, Steer away from citing childcare issues or bad mouthing your employers with phrases like "Toxic work environment." 

Just be careful because many healthcare organizations require 1 month notice so review your facilities policies carefully before you do anything. 

IF you really want to fight for those 4 days off go for it. Most facilities mine included are receiving Federal money to compensate them for costs related to staff shortages related to Covid. How did you become aware that you might have had Covid? If you were off for testing due to a family member having covid then in most cases you would not be permitted to work while waiting for test results but different policies may apply from state to state. Bear in mind that current CDC recomendations state that if you have been exposed but are asymptomatic you can work with a N95 mask while waiting for test results. So you may not be able to take that time unless your employer specifically stated you should stay home. 

Hppygr8ful

Nursemama274

Nursemama274

Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

@Hppygr8ful

Thank you so much for your feedback, I truly appreciate it. May I ask why you feel me not being licensed yet could work in my favor? I hope that’s the case, however, I’m not sure how it would. Any input would be greatly appreciated! 

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,132 Posts

On 6/10/2022 at 2:51 PM, Nursemama274 said:

May I ask why you feel me not being licensed yet could work in my favor?

It's possible that because you're not licensed you will be eligible for new grad resident programs. If you had your license with a year of experience, you would be ineligible for some of the programs. 

kp2016

kp2016

Has 20 years experience. 450 Posts

I would call the licensing department of you BON and explain the personal challenges you have experienced due to Covid and a chronically understaffed unit and ask (plead) with them to extend your Graduate Nurse permit. 

Long story short I have had a board of nursing extend my provisional license when the endorsement process wasn't completed before my temporary license expired. The BON website clearly stated that this absolutely wasn't possible yet when I called in tears begging if there was anything that could be done to allow me to continue working in my very understaffed unit my temporary license was renewed!

Its been years so I'm not 100% sure but I don't think I even had to pay for that one.  I hope it works out!

Firstly, I’m sorry it’s been such a rough year! 

I think you have a few options. 

1) Let your current employer know your GN license is going to expire before you can become a licensed RN, and see if they will put you on desk duty (think HUC) or demote to a CNA role for a fews weeks or months while you wait for your RN license to come through. They will very likely allow this with the nursing shortage right now since they won’t want to permanently lose you and will know you can step right back into the nursing role soon. I think this is a great option if you can’t give them adequate notice (ie: if they require 3-4 weeks notice but you can only give them 2 before your GN license expires). You don’t want to be put on a do-not-hire list, and word can get around too. You can always quit later once your RN license is in and you have sufficient time to give proper notice. Because I agree this isn’t a good fit and you don’t have to stay some place that is draining you.

2) If you have enough time to give appropriate notice and leave this employer, do so and go seek out a residency program at another hospital. You worked as a GN, not an RN, so you may be eligible. 

3) Give 2 weeks notice and go work as a CNA somewhere that you think will be willing to hire you as a nurse after you pass your NCLEX. 

Biggest moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and ask for what you need. The worst they can say is no and you still have other options.

Edited by K. Everly

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,437 Posts

On 6/10/2022 at 11:51 AM, Nursemama274 said:

@Hppygr8ful

Thank you so much for your feedback, I truly appreciate it. May I ask why you feel me not being licensed yet could work in my favor? I hope that’s the case, however, I’m not sure how it would. Any input would be greatly appreciated! 

This is because you have not worked as a nurse in the official licensed capacity 

chare

3,442 Posts

2 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

This is because you have not worked as a nurse in the official licensed capacity 

I think this might vary from state to state.  Back in the day, I worked as a graduate nurse in WV, and there was no difference in my practice as a GN and RN.