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Has been fired twice from 2 different jobs. Need a job and references desperately

Amy888lee Amy888lee (New) New


i graduated in2015's RN program in Alberta, canada. I got 2casal jobs when I graduated. One in Medicine, one in L&D. When i was working in medicine, i made a lot of mistakes... wrong meds, not being able to react to a critical situation, etc. The managers thought that my practice would affect patient safety. As the result, i was suspended by medicine. At the same time, L&D suspended my position too because they see my record in medicine. A year later, my suspension status got removed because there is no further discipline has been made for over a year.

A month earlier , a got a public health position. I thought i was doing well there. However, during my last day of orientation, i got terminated again. The manager said that i am still not capable to work alone to do home visit. However, there is no more budget she can provide to supervise me.

i wanted to go back to L&D, but the manager said that since i have not worked at L&D for a year. I need to reapply the position again.

I need a job, but I dont hve any good references. Can anybody share some idea about how can I get a job with no references?

Also, it seems that i always hve a problem to make a decision when critical situation happens. At the beginning, i thought that it is ok to ask for help. However, the staff or the managers dont see that i am asking question. They think that i am incompetent.

I feel that i am stuck at a black whole now. I need to find a way to get out of this termination situation. Please somebody advice...or share similar experience. Thank you so much..

Edited by Amy888lee

Ruby Vee, BSN

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

So you've been fired from three jobs in two years, and at least two of those terminations were for cause. (L & D, it's possible that you weren't making mistakes, but if that were the case I would think they would give you a chance to work on your weaknesses without firing you. Either the mistakes you made in Med/Surg were so egregious that there was no way to keep you on, or you had already made a number of mistakes in L & D and you just weren't that far along in the disciplinary process yet.

What mistakes did you make and why did you make them? Have you taken responsibility for your errors and asked for remediation?

Possibly you could find a position in LTC, although I hate to recommend this because our elders need good nursing care as well. You say you have difficulty making decisions in critical situations -- you need to get over that. Everyone asks for help, and most of us will bounce ideas off other nurses to help us with decision making. But if literally cannot make a decision at all, you're not just "asking questions", you're asking someone else to make decisions FOR you and that is indicative of incompetence.

Can you take a refresher course in nursing? Perhaps then your instructors would be good references.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Has 25 years experience. Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

OP, I see you've edited your post and removed reference to the union as pertains to your suspension. But you need to know that once you've put something into cyberspace, it's never really gone. So I'm compelled to ask, what conditions were placed on your registration by CARNA at your disciplinary hearing? Have they been fulfilled? Because those two factors will have great bearing on what happens next. You may not be aware, but any conditions that have been placed on your registration and remain outstanding are visible to both prospective employers and the general public through a simple search on CARNA's website. Your difficulties go a lot farther than not having good references in that scenario. Even though your personnel file has been wiped clean, unless and until you've made CARNA happy, it's going to follow you.

Another factor you have to consider is that in Alberta, you either work for AHS (by far the largest employer), Covenant or private LTC... that's it. If you worked for AHS, you know that whether you've provided them as references or not, any hiring manager also with AHS will contact your former managers and ask them about you informally. There's even a lot of interaction between managers with AHS and those with Covenant. The health care world is really very small in Alberta. How many postings have you applied to? How many interviews have you had? How do you respond when asked why you left your previous positions? I'd say you're in a really tough situation and there are no easy ways out of it.

Since you have been away from the acte care setting for so long, I recommend taking a refresher course (in my province recommendation is to take refresher course after 3 yrs of not working in an acute care setting prior to applying to acute care). i don't like recommending ltc because its actually a different animal and a learning curve. If you don't know how to fix the problems that got you terminated, it might be better to relearn nursing, if you really want to do nursing, in a supportive setting with supportive instructors with knowledge. Just getting rehired to a different area won't fix the problem I think in your case. It will help you get a second chance with job offers as well

Thank you for all the comments!

My license is clean. the situation has never been escalated to CARNA. I have not had any interview since the public health position last month. I am hesitant to apply for jobs now as I don't have good references and I don't have a good explanation on my last 2 years job experience. I understand that my situation cannot be fixed by changing positions. I have looked at some refresher courses but they are going to take couple thousands dollars. I don't have the money to do it now.

I am thinking to work as a health care aide at medicine to gain some experience by observing other nurses and get myself familiar with the health care system again. But, I am not sure how much it will help me on my references.

Or, I have thought about change career too. However, my mind is very stuck now. I need some inspiration. I wonder if anybody knows where have other nurses changed their career to? Is there any job that would take my nursing experience so that I don't need to obtain any new certificate?

Thank you again!

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Has 25 years experience. Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

Do I understand then that you were dismissed while still within the employer's probationary period from all three jobs? What have you been doing in the time between being let go from the L&D job and the public health job?

You might be able to get a health care aide job somewhere, but you'll have to be very careful about scope of practice. There are lots of things that you are legally permitted to do as an RN that you would be in big trouble for as an HCA. At the same time, you really wouldn't be adding anything to your skill set as an RN or gaining experience that would be super-helpful in RN practice. BUT... you might then have some references to include in subsequent applications.

this is what I have done after graduated: medicine+L&D (done probation)-->study RN exam-->flu clniic(seasonal)-->public health (still in probation)-->part-time retail job.

Also, I just realized that I need CARNA's approval to take a refresher course. I am not qualify to take the course because I have not been away from school for more than 5 years and I have worked more than 1125 hours already. However, the refresher course is the only course that include clinical component. All other courses are only one day workshop or online courses. This is all I know so far. Please let me know if there is any other schools that would provide clinical courses to people like me.

Also, what are the chances that an employer would hire somebody with only seasonal job?


Specializes in Medicine.

Try applying to clinics or home care to gain some experience.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

Can you take a refresher course in nursing? Perhaps then your instructors would be good references.

Or better yet find a class in critical thinking. I don't know about Canada but most reputable nursing programs in the United States have such classes. The ability to think clearly and act in critical situations is one of the hallmarks of good nursing. Still critical thinking can't always be taught. You are either able to do it or you are not. How are you when it comes to making decisions in other walks of life. You need to take a long sit down with yourself and figure out if nursing is right for you.

Like Ruby I would caution you with regard to going into LTC. There is a misperception that LTC nurses don't work very hard and that the work is routine. The reality is that LTC nurses may have as many as 20 patients to care for and have little on-site support. You have to be very confident of your skills as well as having a good grasp on staff dynamics. I do not mean to discourage you but it's best you find out this things early in your nursing career.

Peace and Namaste


I'm curious...where did you attend school? They obviously let you graduate while being severely underprepared. Also, did you pass the NCLEX??


Has 18 years experience.

I'm curious...where did you attend school? They obviously let you graduate while being severely underprepared. Also, did you pass the NCLEX??

She mentioned CARNA, so I'm betting it's a university in either Edmonton or Calgary.

Penelope_Pitstop, BSN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

You say you need a job and all but please be honest here...do you think nursing is right for you?

I can only advise you to get employment as a care aide while you figure out your future steps. At least you will be earning a living and working on obtaining good work references.

Another possibility is extended care home health. I don't know how this is structured in Canada, but you could possibly salvage your nursing career by getting a job where you only work with one stable patient at a time, providing routine care. Much of your shift involves help with activities of daily living. You could work as a home health aide or as a licensed nurse. Perhaps a nurse familiar with the Canadian system can provide some insight.

I got dismissed because of unprofessionalism. I was being too friendly with my fellow caregivers and clients. I was sharing personal stuff. Didn't know it was bad.


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