I'm Scared of Getting Fired

  1. Hi all,

    I am probably in a unique situation regarding nursing. I am a registered Civil Engineer and have my master's in civil engineering. I hated it, and I gave my life to that profession and left my job with the Corps of Engineers (position was in West Virginia), and was fired from 3 jobs which were for different reasons unethical or just me getting into kind of a scapegoat job where the person I was hired mainly so someone else could be fired.

    I've done some amazing things, I've worked as a driller's helper at the coal plant, inspected the foundation for a high rise in downtown charlotte, and worked on multiple highway projects with paving crews through the hot summer and at night with lots of drunk drivers.

    I've made enough money that I've paid off my car and bought a small really awesome townhome finally back in the area I grew up and want to be in, RDU after 7 years of working out of town. I never let my professional failures hold me back and stuck to my guns and always quickly found new work. To not get too detailed I never did anything wrong, but more or less didn't fit in. I cried so hard when my boss fired me from my last job because I knew I had done everything I could and I was going to leave engineering. He said the job I was in didn't require a professional engineer and it was most likely because I was paid more and they were going to bring in someone entry level (I was working on the highway on a very dangerous project).

    I started at a home health agency and started getting a lot of praise from my clients family and boss for like the first time ever. I am getting my CNA while taking pre req's for getting my ADN. My plan is to start working for Duke as a CNA (already interviewed for med surg) and later when I get my ADN to work there and get my BSN online (cheapest way to do it if it works). The home health job (I mainly worked with people in a facility though) is sporadic and as with the territory people end up dying. I was lucky enough to hold my clients hand and comfort him as he died (he had no family). I felt so good doing that. Now I am getting a part time job at Harris Teeter while I finish CNA school for bills.

    I just really need some internet love and good vibes because I've literally gone through hell and worked some very dangerous jobs and just horrible projects in construction and engineering. I'm 30 and I read a lot of stuff that makes me feel like with nursing I could be fired at any second is that it is like the most intricate impossible job ever.

    I know that if have the smarts to make it through engineering licensure and practice that I have what it takes to be a nurse.

    I have this terrible feeling that I will pass everything, get my NCLEX, and then be at work one day and some ambiguous situation where I'm just moving to fast or slowly for someone's personal taste and it results in my being fired and thus unable to be a nurse anymore. As a second career I feel obviously very strongly that this isn't really an option. Can someone tell me everything is going to be OK or give a little advice? I've given a lot more of myself than most people by the time they are my age (30) and honestly don't have the strength to fight against whatever the counterpart for bad companies and shady construction middlemen are in the health care field.

    I don't know if originally I would have considered nursing, but I feel that I have been shaped into the caring person I am today because of what I've gone through and that is something unique to me that will make me a great nurse and team member.
    Last edit by Happychicken on Mar 15
  2. Visit Happychicken profile page

    About Happychicken

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    7 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    You have been burned often enough that it has made you gun-shy. From your post it sounds as if you never learned the fine art of getting out of Dodge while the gettin' was good. Just go into each job with the attitude that you are going to do your best. Should you find shady situations that go beyond your tolerance level, proactively move on to the next job for "career advancement" before anyone successfully targets you.
  4. by   adamg
    Its nice to hear your story to hear that I am not the only one.

    I have been a Civil Engineer/construction field and also making the career change this summer semester after a few mmm unfulfilling jobs in the past at 30 years old. I've worked for heavy highway contractors, electrical contractors, engineering firms but am already sick of the field and need to do something else to make me happy. I have seen some cool stuff been on some awesome projects but want something more.

    I started doing some volunteer work and taking my CNA in May and working on my this summer semester prereq for my ADN and also doing some things for my BSN (BSN@home here in wisconsin) to speed up the process and also doing it the cheapest option.

    I also have the fear of failing but I think I will miss out more if I just keep life the way at it is and am really positive that in about 2.5 years be extremely happy with my decision!
  5. by   barcode120x
    The only thing I can really send you is my best regards and good luck. Go into nursing to win it. Honestly, you should stay away from reading the negativity about nursing. I actually think it's kind of odd how some people search for the "bad part of nursing" before going into nursing. In regards to your past and the thoughts of getting fired. This can happen with any job, anywhere, any time even in as a nurse, even as a CNA, and even as a volunteer you can get fired. In nursing, as long as you do what you were trained to do and keeping your patient safe, you will be fine. If it comes to a situation where it's a conflict of interest between administration/management, you, and a patient, you may want to consider stepping down and/or seeking help from higher ups or through the law. @ caliotter3 said it best:

    Quote from caliotter3
    Should you find shady situations that go beyond your tolerance level, proactively move on to the next job for "career advancement" before anyone successfully targets you.
  6. by   KrCmommy522
    Quote from Happychicken
    I have this terrible feeling that I will pass everything, get my NCLEX, and then be at work one day and some ambiguous situation where I'm just moving to fast or slowly for someone's personal taste and it results in my being fired and thus unable to be a nurse anymore.

    I don't know if originally I would have considered nursing, but I feel that I have been shaped into the caring person I am today because of what I've gone through and that is something unique to me that will make me a great nurse and team member.
    Unless you do something that could lead to you losing your nursing license, even if you are fired you will still be able to be a nurse...just somewhere else! Like barcode120x said, "In nursing, as long as you do what you were trained to do and keeping your patient safe, you will be fine."

    Like you said, you are caring and you feel you will make a great nurse and team member. Focus on that attitude! Don't worry about what may happen, don't worry about bad situations, don't worry about being fired. Just focus on the attitude of being caring and being a great nurse and team member, doing what you are trained to do, and keeping the patient safe. Everything else will work itself out! If not, as caliotter3 said, "Should you find shady situations that go beyond your tolerance level, proactively move on to the next job for "career advancement" before anyone successfully targets you."

    Good luck!
  7. by   caliotter3
    Keeping yourself busy doing what you are supposed to do and keeping the patient's comfort and recovery uppermost in your mind, will keep you too occupied most of the time to even worry about what may befall you. However, you still need to keep your "Spidey sense" (or sixth sense) aware on some level about what is going on around you so that you can read any handwriting on the wall or so that you pick up subtle rumblings. That way you will get an inkling of when you should consider moving on down the road.
  8. by   Mavrick
    Quote from Happychicken
    Hi all,

    I am probably in a unique situation regarding nursing. I am a registered Civil Engineer and have my master's in civil engineering. I hated it, and I gave my life to that profession and left my job with the Corps of Engineers (position was in West Virginia), and was fired from 3 jobs which were for different reasons unethical or just me getting into kind of a scapegoat job where the person I was hired mainly so someone else could be fired.

    I've done some amazing things, I've worked as a driller's helper at the coal plant, inspected the foundation for a high rise in downtown charlotte, and worked on multiple highway projects with paving crews through the hot summer and at night with lots of drunk drivers.

    I've made enough money that I've paid off my car and bought a small really awesome townhome finally back in the area I grew up and want to be in, RDU after 7 years of working out of town. I never let my professional failures hold me back and stuck to my guns and always quickly found new work. To not get too detailed I never did anything wrong, but more or less didn't fit in. I cried so hard when my boss fired me from my last job because I knew I had done everything I could and I was going to leave engineering. He said the job I was in didn't require a professional engineer and it was most likely because I was paid more and they were going to bring in someone entry level (I was working on the highway on a very dangerous project).

    I started at a home health agency and started getting a lot of praise from my clients family and boss for like the first time ever. I am getting my CNA while taking pre req's for getting my ADN. My plan is to start working for Duke as a CNA (already interviewed for med surg) and later when I get my ADN to work there and get my BSN online (cheapest way to do it if it works). The home health job (I mainly worked with people in a facility though) is sporadic and as with the territory people end up dying. I was lucky enough to hold my clients hand and comfort him as he died (he had no family). I felt so good doing that. Now I am getting a part time job at Harris Teeter while I finish CNA school for bills.

    I just really need some internet love and good vibes because I've literally gone through hell and worked some very dangerous jobs and just horrible projects in construction and engineering. I'm 30 and I read a lot of stuff that makes me feel like with nursing I could be fired at any second is that it is like the most intricate impossible job ever.

    I know that if have the smarts to make it through engineering licensure and practice that I have what it takes to be a nurse.

    I have this terrible feeling that I will pass everything, get my NCLEX, and then be at work one day and some ambiguous situation where I'm just moving to fast or slowly for someone's personal taste and it results in my being fired and thus unable to be a nurse anymore. As a second career I feel obviously very strongly that this isn't really an option. Can someone tell me everything is going to be OK or give a little advice? I've given a lot more of myself than most people by the time they are my age (30) and honestly don't have the strength to fight against whatever the counterpart for bad companies and shady construction middlemen are in the health care field.

    I don't know if originally I would have considered nursing, but I feel that I have been shaped into the caring person I am today because of what I've gone through and that is something unique to me that will make me a great nurse and team member.
    But you must be prepared to face these demons. As healthcare has devolved into a for profit business these creatures are part and parcel of the healthcare environment. You are paid to make money for a corporate task master that judges you by survey results. It will take a lot more than being a caring person to make a career out of nursing.

    You will make hard decisions on how much you will sacrifice to keep a job or your integrity. Some employers will make it pretty easy to do the job and come home to your family as a whole person. Others won't be worth the struggle and you will hopefully leave before getting fired to find another employer to tangle with.

    I think people who come to nursing with sky high expectations of being a "healer" and changing peoples lives are the most disappointed and have the hardest time making the necessary attitude adjustments.

    Nurses are now just a necessary "labor cost" and are being farmed out to automation and technology as fast as machine-ly possible.

    It is so sad and I believe I am the last generation of nurses hired to actually care about patients.
  9. by   Oldmahubbard
    I agree about not coming into the profession with ideas about being a healer, and changing people's lives. Things like this may happen in your nursing career, but only very, very occasionally.

    I have been, first an RN, then an NP for 27 years, and I can think of only a handful of people whose lives I have actually changed.

    Certainly you have the intellect to pass the program and the boards.

    Realize there are many, many, many different types of nursing.

    Realize also, that people typically come here to complain, or seek support about some type of problem at their work place.

    Sometimes it's an ethical issue, or clinical conundrum.

    People seldom come here to post about how much they love their job. It is only human nature to hear more from the dissatisfied customers.

    As far as being fired, yes, it can happen, and I am a survivor of it.

    It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.

    It very seldom ends a career. Oftentimes it is nothing more than politics, and has nothing to do with you as a nurse, or a person.

    Sounds like engineering?

    More often, the nurse takes stock of the situation, and goes on to excel in some other type of nursing.

    As far as losing your license, that is much more difficult. Only a very small number of nurses ever lose their license.

    Probably the most common reason would be impairment and/or diversion, with subsequent failure to comply with monitoring programs, ie maintain sobriety.

    I invite you to research, ie google, stories of nurses who have lost their licenses, and you will find that invariably, some rather egregious conduct is involved.

    My personal story is that I was a teacher who had very limited employment prospects. I became an RN, which was not for me.

    But I have loved being an NP.

    The world of work is very competitive and full of ethical quandaries, no matter where you work.

Must Read Topics


close