How do u explain a termination on an application?!?


Hi there everyone. I have no idea what to do.... I was fired from my first nursing job. I worked there for 1 and a half years at a Doctors office. I was the Supervising LPN for the Pediatrics Dept.

This was a young new practice and everything was constantly changing. Sometime you didn't know which way was up and which way was down. It all started out when a pt's mom called who was involced with DYFS, she said to me that she was gonna call the Board of Nursing along with other very important places that no medical provider of facility wants called on them. We had EMR charting, I chart everything the pt's mom stated and signed off on my charting. Then went on to notify my DON. 1 hour later my DON called along with CMO and they were both screaming at me for charting that. They said I was tryong to make our facility look bad. Honestly I loved my job and had my qualms with some of the way things were done but i would never try to make my employer look bad. Needless to say from there on out they hated me.

Thats when the medical errors started. I take total ownership of my errors and was always just concerned for the pt's safety and making sure that they would be OK. I still loved going to ork but had such high anxiety that they were gonna fire me or that I was gonna mess up again that I actually just started messing up unconsciously.

My mistakes and med errors:

At one point I received an email stating to not give out a certain lot # for the H1N1 intranasal vaccine. I had 700 doses. I was told security would be there to pick them up. I put a big piece of paper on the H1N1 doses that said "DO NOT USE!" I did not know I was suppose to take them out of the fridge and box them up. Needless to say security never came and got them and they sat there for a good month. I sent emails asking what to do with them but never received any responses. This was a big NO NO. ......My first BIG mistake.

I gave and expires Vaccine. I was giving vaccines for two providers that day. Now really quick where I worked was a clinic (more like and ER for well and sick visits) it was very chaotic there. It was my first time not looking at the exp. date. Well that will never happen again. Why it was in the fridge I have no idea but the point is, is it was and I gave it.

My final "MED ERROR" It was a new policy that the CMA were not aloud to give intranasal vaccines anymore but if the DON or ADON saw them give one they would say anything to them. Or would once in awhile tell them to do it. They made it seem like it was OK still. Now all the CMAs I worked with were amazing! Well one of the CMAs gave an intranasal H1N1 that was expired and signed my name to it :o. I didn't know what to do, I mean I said to her yeah sign my name go ahead. (Never will do that AGAIN!) Needless to say when they asked about it I didn't say that I didn't do it.

I was fired.

What I need help with is what do I say to a future employer about why I left my last job. How do I explain all of that?? I haven't worked in a little over a year. I have filled ot many applications and have given many of my resumes. Also a lot of online applications.

Someone please help me!! Thanks

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.

step 1: i highly suggest you learn your scope of practice. from what you have written, you know that it is a bad idea to allow others to sign your name, but you may not know that it is illegal so look it up. also, i do not get the sense that you understand that you may not be allowed to supervise the medication administration of others. within the states i have lived lpn/lvns are not allowed to supervise medication administrations from anyone to include nursing students, though this may not be the case in your state. if this is the case in your state, you not only made two medication errors, you made multiple errors when you supervised the mas and allowed them to sign your name just because your policy said it was “ok” and your co-workers did the same. please understand that many policy makers of health care facilities are not nurses and your nursing co-workers may be breaking the law too. if you do not know your own scope of practice, you will lose your license eventually. you worked hard for it, do not lose it because you followed the rules of an employer or followed the unwritten rules of co-workers rather than those set up by your state’s bon.

step 2: now that you know your scope of practice, fill out applications with your positive attributes in mind. have others review your application and resume. in addition, i do not think you should explain terminations on applications unless asked to provide details.... otherwise i would wait until you have a chance to talk about your situation in the interview (again focusing on positives and reassuring employers that you know your scope of practice now).

step 3: while applying for jobs, volunteer in your nursing community. also join organizations where you can network with hiring managers.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

oh, yeah, what she said. run, do not walk, your fingers to your state bon website and pull up the standards of practice for lpns. read them. do make note of how they were not observed in your old job, and promise yourself on a stack of whatever books you hold holy that you will never, ever go outside your licensed standards of practice again.

and for heaven's sake, do not make any more basic medication errors! those five or six "rights" are the first things any nursing student learns. nobody can give "i was too busy" or "i don't know why i made that mistake" as an excuse and then be surprised when an employer or surveyor metes out perfectly foreseeable consequences.

now, as to next steps.

one, own your errors. you tell a prospective employer exactly why you left your old job. you made some medication errors and errors in supervising unlicensed personnel. you are thankful that no one was injured and you learned a hard lesson about your responsibilities. you have taken it upon yourself to study up on your standards of practice and you will never make those mistakes again.

two. call up the bon and find out when the next remedial/refresher medications class is. take it. pass it. then you can put it on your resume, tell people nobody forced you to do it but you realized your skills had gotten stale working in a physician office, and you wanted to upgrade yourself. you don't have to tell them that your skills eroded because you didn't have adequate competent supervision (which sounds true); they may get the idea without your having to say so. never knock the competition.

good luck!


38,333 Posts

For the application: write in "will explain in interview" in the 'reason for leaving' blank. You don't want to be trying to explain anything about a termination in a few words.


29 Posts

Hi, I hope things have started to look up. I have recently been terminated from my first nursing job at a major teaching hospital. I was told that I don't have to be given a reason for termination since I was still on probation as a new nurse. I know most nurses will be let go because the unit they're working on is not the right fit, yada yada. I'm curious, noticed that you got your first nursing job at a doctor's office. How long did it take you to get the job and how did you find out about the opening? I am seriously considering an RN job in a doctor's office, any tips or advice greatly appreciated!