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Let go after orientation and feeling lost now. Need advice


I was let go from my first nursing job about a week and a half ago. I was a med-surg nurse for 3 months and let go on my last day of orientation. I really feel like I need to see a counselor, but I don't have health insurance now so here I am posting on allnurses. Losing my first job hurt my confidence in being a nurse a lot. My anxiety has also gotten worse over this week and a half and I feel stuck. I don't have the motivation to apply to any jobs even though I know I need to. While I haven't applied to any, I have been looking. A lot of the areas I want to go into (post-partum, school nurse, neonatal) require at least a year of experience. There is this one program that I found that is 8 weeks in any specialty you want, but I wouldn't be getting paid at all and a job isn't guaranteed after.

I just really don't know what to do anymore. I originally planned to stay at my med-surg job for a year to get the experience needed, but it didn't work out. I won't allow myself to go back to med-surg since it caused me way too much stress and anxiety. Any advice at all is helpful!

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Two quick impressions:

Once your feelings have settled a little bit, reflect on why you were let go and see if you can gain any insight/learn anything from the experience. Don't jump into another job super quickly just because it's a job.

The idea of an 8 week program in "any specialty" without pay sounds really shady...


Completely agree with the above.

I agree the 8-wk program thing sounds super shady. I don't think you should focus on looking for any possible way to get into one of these areas that you feel interested in because your first job didn't work out.

You do need to reflect on the elements that contributed to the outcome you have experienced. Some of them may have been you and some of them may have been them. Maybe a combo. Either way, other jobs for which you are qualified can't be assumed to be completely less stress than what you've been through, although it's very possible that a different workplace/organization might feel like a better fit and cause you less stress that way. I just think you shouldn't rule out med/surg because of this one unfortunate experience. You could also check out LTC, etc.

It'll be okay. Don't let yourself get completely discouraged.


Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

 "let go on my last day of orientation." Please expound. Did you have weekly reviews with plans to improve your performance?

Not everyplace is a good fit for everybody, mourn the loss for a little bit then remind yourself that somebody else's opinion matters naught, its just that their opinion... If you have any clinical instructors or profs. you had a good relation with contact them and see if they will discuss with you, the job, your feelings, etc. There are alot of nurses who lose their first job for a variety of reasons, you're not the first, nor will you be the last. Best of luck to you.


Specializes in Operating Room Charge Nurse. Has 4 years experience.

I agree with the previous comments. Take this as a learning experience, reflect/make changes, and don't give up. I have a co-worker who was let go from her first nursing job, which she thought was her "dream" job. She ended up finding a nursing job that she was better suited for and has been in that specialty for 20 years. 

On 11/5/2020 at 4:46 PM, JKL33 said:

You could also check out LTC, etc.

This is very thoughtful advice and has worked for many a nurse.  You will get hired and it does pay new RNs well — if you ask for it.  However, my experience in LTC was exponentially more stressful and anxiety causing than any job I have ever worked in.  

Fresenius and Davita are always hiring and you don’t need experience because they teach you everything.  It seems that many of the position have long hours though.