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I quit my first nursing job after 2 weeks


Specializes in LVN. Has 2 years experience.

I am a recent LVN graduate and got my first job at a long term care facility and ended up quitting after only 2 weeks! I quit because I didn't feel ready to be on the floor alone and I didn't feel like it was the right place for me. I felt like my license was at risk. I was supposed to have a longer orientation but they pulled a fast one on me and threw me out on the hardest station alone. It felt dangerous and extremely stressful. The orientation I had placed me around to different stations, which made it even harder. I was so overwhelmed and stressed that I had to quit without even putting in a 2 weeks notice. I am very disappointed and depressed that my first nursing job turned out this way. I am worried that this bad experience and me quitting will affect my future opportunities of getting hired. I have applied to a couple places but left this last job off of my resume because I was only there 2 weeks. I would appreciate any advice about how to address this bad experience with future employers. I don't have any family members or friends in the nursing field so any advice would help. Will the last job show up on a background check if I only worked there 2 weeks? Was it a bad idea of me to quit without a 2 weeks notice considering I was supposed to still be in orientation and was just thrown out on the floor? It was "at will" employment and in the employee handbook it stated that both the employee and employer are free at anytime, with or without notice and with or without cause, to end the employment relationship. I am really upset and stressed about all of this and worried about how it will affect my future opportunities. I hope I am just overthinking the whole thing and it won't be as bad as I am thinking. Any words of wisdom would be very much appreciated at this time.

Edited by moomin

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

You were wise to trust your gut instincts. The situation was not safe for your license, or the patients. These kinds of facilities only want a licensed nurse in the building so they can bill the insurance companies and medicare.

" the employee handbook it stated that both the employee and employer are free at anytime, with or without notice and with or without cause, to end the employment relationship. " Absolutely true. You can leave without notice. In the future.. if it is even brought up... all you have to do is explain " it was not a good fit". I would leave it off my resume. This is a do-over.

Best of luck with your next position... you have learned a lot from this.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

All new grads stress out. That being said LTC is notorious for poor orientation and abysmal staffing. Not sure if what you went through is "normal" (and would get better with time) or extra-awful and worth getting away from.

What kind of expectations did you have about work?

Also, "at will" employment doesn't mean that the employer can't put you on a "no-hire" list for that company. Are they a large employer with multiple facilities? If so, you might not be eligible to work at any of them.

re: the license at risk factor- A lot of people talk about that, but if you search similar posts on AN you'll find responses from experienced nurses that have NEVER seen anyone lose their license due to unsafe staffing...

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Sometimes you just have to run away screaming. There are LTC facilities like the one you described. They threw you in to sink or swim and you jumped out before you sank. That's the chance they take operating like that.

Now go find a job at a reputable place. In your interview tell them that your orientation had been shortened and you felt unable to provide safe care. Discuss a proper orientation so that you can feel ready to perform to the standards the patients deserve.

Anyone who doesn't hire you based on that is just outing themselves as another pit. Good luck.


Specializes in General.

I quit my first nursing job yesterday after 1 week. Just like you, I didn't think I'll be placed alone on a floor with no preceptor or anyone to guide me. I came fresh out of nursing school and was thrown out to manage 15 to 30 something patients by myself because the organization is severely understaffed. I had no one to guide me or ask questions to if I was unsure about something. I felt COMPLETELY lost and didn't know how to start to care for these patients the way they deserved. On top of that I was required to wear PPE for 6-8 hours at a time with nothing to eat, drink or any bathroom breaks (some patients were covid positive). It was overwhelming for me as a junior RN fresh out. I know my capabilities and I couldn't see myself adapting or grasping anything in that environment. Some of my family members were disappointed and think that I've ruined my reputation and career which makes me feel even more bad. I've tried explaining I can apply elsewhere. I feel so traumatized from this first experience that I'm afraid of applying for another RN position, yet I don't want to be at home sulking. It brings me some comfort to know I'm not alone..

moomin, LPN

Specializes in LVN. Has 2 years experience.

You have not ruined your reputation. You did the right thing by getting out. It sounded like a toxic and dangerous environment. I would have quit too. You can leave that job off of your resume if you want. I left the one I quit off of my resume and have been hired at a different place. You don't have to disclose that job to future employers. If you do tell them about it, you can explain that you didn't get any training and you felt like your license was at risk. We have entered the nursing field during very chaotic times. A lot of new grads are having a difficult time adjusting and I have talked to a lot of nurses who have quit positions after a few weeks. It is a common thing in this field. I have been told by seasoned nurses that it took them 1-2 years until they felt comfortable. One nurse told me he quit his first 2 nursing jobs because he had too much anxiety and didn't go back to nursing until 1 year later. You're not alone. There are days where I seriously consider changing careers. But then I think about all the time and money invested into my nursing license and think I should stick it out. I am trying to stay positive and learn as much as I can in a skilled nursing facility and then plan to find something more chill.. Maybe home health, I heard you can make your own schedule and chart at home. Best of luck to you. I think it just takes time to feel comfortable and get the hang of it.