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I really messed up on my first nursing job!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, PCU.

If anyone is a nurse manager or nursing director, I can sure use your advice. I graduated in April of this year with a BSN. Recieved RN licensure in June and began an internship/preceptor program in July. Of course there is a 90 day probationary period. At the risk of not being too hard on myself but yet recognizing that I made big attitude mistakes with 4 different preceptors, the entire situation led to a termination. I have been humbled and have learned a great deal about myself, what I need to change in order to succeed in a career that I love so much.

Please help me. I don't know what to say on my next interview when asked why I left the internship program. While I don't want to lie, I want to stress my strengths, the love I have for nursing and the skills I learned in the program! When it comes to references, unfortunately I can't use my ex-nursing director as reference.

What can I do? This situation has truly been a learning curve for me, but I certainly don't want it to stop me from moving forward in my career. I am definitely a hospital Med/Surg nurse and that is what I love to do.

Your counsel would be appreciated.:crying2:


Specializes in LTC, MDS, Education.

Well, just tell the truth. Sounds like you learned a lot on your first job, both good and bad. It was, after all, your first job. You hit the nail on the head when you said you have learned to be humble. That is the key to a new start. Good luck and keep us posted! :nurse:

Jolie, BSN

Has 34 years experience. Specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

I agree with bedpan's recommendations.

When I interviewed job candidates, I never had a problem with anyone who owned up to their past weaknesses and discussed the need for and desire to improve upon them, especially if they could offer concrete examples of what the would do differently. That showed an awareness and a desire to improve, which I was willing to support.

My problem was with candidates who tried to gloss over their past problems or badmouth former employers. That kind of behavior in an interview raised a huge red flag with me.

Practice answering questions about why you left your job. Maybe you could ask a friend or a former instructor to do a mock interview with you.

Good luck.

Blee O'Myacin, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, Heme/Onc.

Not a manager, but from my POV as a nurse that enjoys precepting students and new grads, I would be far more comfortable with a nurse who learns from his or her mistakes and moves on. Sounds like you are on the right path and that your next experience will be better.

Good luck!



Specializes in med-surg.

Wow I am going through the exact same thing! I was feeling a lot of self-doubt,lack of confidence and was down right scared and i quit my job 2 and 1/2 months into my job. That is sending up a red flag to future employeers and I have been out of work for over a month.I can not even get an interview. If i did get an interview i would tell them i made a hasty decision out of fear and self-doubt and I wish I would have talked to someone instead of quitting...sigh

Bocephus71RN-BSN, BSN, RN

Has 15 years experience. Specializes in med-surg, telemetry,geriatrics.

Hate to say it but health care can be very "catty" . Many nurses have been black balled. My best advice is to NOT even put them down as an employer. Start fresh as a new grad some where else. Also with it being and internship and only lasting less than 3 months I would just not even put them down. Learn from your mistakes at your new job. Otherwise you are gonna find it hard to even get an interview at a place you WANT to work and not any job offers from a job you will be miserable at.

Dolce, RN

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

I applaud your self-examination and willingness to own up to past mistakes. This is an excellent quality in a nurse.

GoNightingale, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, PCU.

Hi there 1styearsucks, please..please..hang in there. The important thing is that you will improve every step of the way towards a nursing career filled with positive outcomes and a love filled heart, as will I learn.I am seeking feedback and counsel from every resource that I respect. I have never felt so supported and moved ny the feedback I have received at allnurses.com. Thank you and I know we will both find the right job. Best wishes and keep on posting.

GoNightingale, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, PCU.

:cry: To all that responsed to my request, please know that today is my birthday, I have a bad case of influenza and I'm still looking for a job. Nevertheless, I decided to go online to continue in my job search (since I have bills to pay). But first i wanted to browse into allnurses.com to see if someone had responded to my request for advise. I have never been so moved to tears by the wonderful people that have responded to my plea for advise. After reading all of your responses, this is the first time I have actually been able to break down and cry over all that has happened. Maybe this is the first step towards accepting that there are wonderful people in the nursing field. Truly, I've had such bad experiences I really began to doubt it. Thank you for giving me back the faith and knowledge that there are many caring colleagues out there that don't just want to "eat their young". Thank you so much!:heartbeat

Flightline, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

I won't offer any advice at all, only a couple of questions:

Is it wrong to lie to people who only want the truth in order to reject you?

What is the difference between not getting a job because the only true thing on your application was your name and SSAN and not getting a job because you told the truth and they rejected you?

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