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HELP!!! bad evaluation

First Year   (5,867 Views 7 Comments)
by Hannah7R Hannah7R (New Member) New Member

575 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I had a rough time finding a job as a new grad, despite a great GPA etc, bc of the ****** economy. Finally found one in a different state & relocated. Have been on my own for 2 months now and just today got an eval where they rate you as a "high, medium or low performer", and i was ranked as Low. My charge nurse said i have 5 days to come up with an action plan where im supposed to state goals and say how i will reach them. First off, i have no idea what format this action plan is supposed to be in, she just said it can be whatever i want, but ive never seen/written one so i have NO CLUE where to start. Second, i was ranked as a low performer because apparently i ask too many questions. The Charge RN says i ask more questions than the other new grads, she says i need to figure things out on my own. I said, im a new grad so i feel more comfortable asking someone with 10+ years of experience for input, even when i feel like i know the answer, i want someone with experience to agree that im not missing anything. This is the ICU, these pt's are sick! Charge RN said the other nurses come to her bc i ask too many questions, instead of just saying something to me. Everyone is nice to my face but complain to charge RN. ANd this is the very 1st time my charge RN told me of this- why couldnt she have told me theres a problem before i was ranked as a low performer? She also stated that all of the charges agree that they dont feel comfortable giving me the higher acuity pt's on the floor bc i need a lot of help when my pt's become unstable, which creates problem for staff bc more exper. nurses have to take on 2 higher acuity pt/s at a time. I do get her concern and it sucks that the more experienced RNs get stuck with hard assignments bc of a new grad, but in my defense, i only have 2 months experience and i was told while i was on orientation that the new grads would be given the easier pt's anyway. Its like they pulled out the rug from underneath me, telling me one thing while i was on orientation but now saying that it is a problem that they cant give me the higher acuity pt's. I have never had any complaints of anything i did wrong- im sure i made little mistakes just like all humans do, but i mean ive never had a charge RN/manager come to me and say, look, you did this, you messed up, etc. Ive kept my pts safe and had no complaints to my face about my care. So right now i am extremely frustrated bec i feel as though they made themselves out to be so nice and welcoming of questions etc but are now discouraging them, saying i need to figure stuff out on my own, ask less, etc. WHat should i do- i only have 2 months of exper so i will have a ****** time finding a job at a facility that has better education/better learning environment. I relocated for this job and still have several months on my apartment lease so i have no idea what i'll do if in 30 days they fire me (they said they would if i did not meet standards in 30 days). SHould i quit now before they fire me though? Should i just keep trying for 30 days and save up money to pay off my leases and move back to my home state with my parents? And what on earth do i write on the action plan..?? I mean i read up on material when i get home if im not too familiar with something, i research stuff, etc. What else can i do? Book learning cant replace experience, which is what i dont have. I study hard but my work environment jsut isnt very good for learning on the job. Nurses get agitated when i ask questions. What is a new grad to do???????

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llg has 42 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

5 Followers; 13,173 Posts; 58,644 Profile Views

1. First of all ... take a deep breath and give yourself a chance to calm down a little. Your post above is "all over the place" and I suspect that your thoughts are similarly scattered right now. You have 5 days to come up with a plan ... so give yourself a little time to absorb this new information and sort it out before making any decisions.

2. Identify your resources ... Is there anybody in your immediate environment you can go to for help? I am thinking about a unit educator, or former preceptor, of just an experienced nurse who knows you and knows the environment. Call that person and ask to sit down with them and talk about making a plan to improve your performance. They don't need to be "your friend." You don't have to be entirely comfortable with them. They just need to be someone who can be objective and fair about your performance issues and/or someone who can give you practical advice that would be suitable for your work environment.

3. Clarify exactly what behaviors are bothering the other staff members and/or making them feel uncomfortable in working with you. That may be difficult because we all are a little biased when evaluating ourselves. You may not like or agree with their assessment of your performance, but your "agreement" is not the point. The point is that some of the things you do (or don't do) give our colleagues a bad impression of you. You need to identify exactly what those things are so that you address them 1 by 1. It might mean meeting again with the Charge person who talked to you today and asking for more specific information. (If necesay, say that you were a little stunned at today's conversation and may not have clearly understood what she was trying to tell you.)

For example ... You may find that changing how you ask questions can change the impression you give other people. If you ask, "How do I ...?" or "What should I do about ...?" it suggests you don't know what to do. However, if you say, "I think I know the answer to this, but I just want to double-check to be sure ..." or ... "Can I double-check this with you?" it gives the impression that you are just a little insecure and need reassurance -- but that you actually know what to do. Do you see the difference? You need to evaluate your interactions with others carefully to assertain what impression you give. Then be sure that you give everyone a positive impression.

4. As for writing your plan, I suggest either using columns or outline form. State an issue or goal ... then list 3 or 4 things you are going to do to achieve it ... then leave space to document that you did those things ... then leave a space to come back and state how that issue was resolved or how your performance improved.

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69 Posts; 2,091 Profile Views

They ranked you as a "low performer" because you ask too many questions??? How stupid is that? From all of the nurses I've talked to while in NS, the thing that scared nurses the MOST is when a new nurse DOES NOT ask questions!

YOU ARE NEW! Of course you're going to have lots of questions. If I were the charge nurse, I'd be wondering why the other new grads aren't asking as many questions as you. :confused:

Sorry I can't help you with the action plan, but good luck.

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38 Posts; 3,163 Profile Views

I agree with llg about your next steps. Take an objective look at your performance and I know you will discover things about yourself that you can improve. All new nurses (and even experienced ones) have room for improvement in particular areas.

Regarding preceptors/managers, it would seem more beneficial to have a 5-10 minute session at start of the shift to set priorities/goals, and likewise have a 5-10 min session at the end of the shift to review the day and discuss accomplishments/issues. Perhaps you could include this in your action plan so that you get immediate feedback.

I'm sorry for your troubles; hang in there.

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@ICUnursing Yeah....a lot of medical treatment facilities seems like they torture their new grads....and the stress of doing the right thing and to be perfect and not make any mistakes is difficult...and you are never comfortable. And Sadly, if your personality does not fit their expectations makes it twice as hard. My suggestion is if you are not comfortable where you will be working then its not worth it. You will just end up trying to find another job somewhere else. As a new grad myself back in 2008....I knew the best way to get experience, upward mobility, and respect was to join the armed forces....it does not matter which service because you will be doing what they want you to do which is nursing...Just have to have an open mind, be physically fit, and have fun. The military will train you on what you need to do. The deployments are the best way to get experience because you will see lots of acute illnesses and trauma. You will learn and take it all in. And then when you decide to get out and go back to civillian life you will have a lot of experiences to put on your resume plus management skills. Or you can make a career out of it. Checkout the specific nursing recruiters to get more info. Although you have to have patience because it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to process your papers. Meanwhile, do what you can to keep your civillian job....but put an application for the military nurse and you can look at the bigger picture of your career. GOOD LUCK!

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Nurse SMS has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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Doing your action plan sounds a lot like doing a care map. Identify your five problems, come up with a realistic goal for each problem and then identify three action oriented things individual to each goal you are going to do to achieve the desired outcome. This will not only show you can identify where you need to improve but break down actually improving into manageable steps you can keep in mind during each shift. Best of luck.

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SummerGarden has 10 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in ED and Acute Care.

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an action plan is a goal oriented agreement where your employer states the goals, a timeline to meet the goals, and consequences or rewards based upon re-evaluation of performance. i have never ever heard of an employer asking the new grad rn to come up with the action plan on his/her own. your manger is either a really lazy or he/she is planning on letting you go and using this as some sort of formality. honestly, he/she is having you do his/her work!!! well, since your nm is the one giving you the job to write your own action plan, write in a transfer as the consequence of not meeting expectations, not termination!

i agree with the others that you need to find someone with experience to help you develop your action plan. however, be sure to insert the consequence of not meeting your goals as the icu manager providing a letter of endorsement to transfer to another floor. maybe the icu is for you? maybe it is not? while you figure out where you fit, you could be working and gaining nursing experience on a different floor. after a year or so, you can find another facility and work in that icu or you can wait out the firing of your current manager and transfer back… by the way, the talking-behind-your-back-to-other-nurses-and-waiting-until-the-last-minute-to-formally-tell-you-of-the-gossip is prevalent in bedside nursing. sadly, i do not know if you will ever be able to escape that aspect... if you manage to do so as a bedside nurse, please post!! gl! :up:

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