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Need advice for a relatively new grad with <1 year experience

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karmaculture is a BSN, RN and specializes in cardiovascular.

93 Profile Views; 1 Post

Let me start by saying that I love being a nurse.  I love working with patients and their families.  But I'm at a loss for how to proceed.  A little about myself...I came into nursing school with no prior medical experience.  I graduated with my BSN in December 2017 and passed the dreaded NCLEX the following January.  From there, I began work at the same facility that I had completed many of my clinicals, as well as a coveted preceptorship in the ED.  I was reluctant to begin as a staff nurse, but at the time no new grad residencies were available.  

After six months, I was fired. 

The environment on this unit was very much a "nurses eat their young" situation, and I felt that I was constantly targeted for behavior which was excused in the rest of the staff.  Ultimately, however, I recognize where I should have held my tongue.  It was my choices, in the way that I reacted to this unfairness, that led to my termination.  Specifically, I was at odds with my primary charge nurse.  I don't fault the manager for doing what needed to be done to ensure peace among the staff.

I won't get into the details, but suffice to say that my life outside of work was probably the most chaotic it's ever been, with family issues, and problems with the people who lived with me at the time serving to drive my anxiety to its peak. 

My employment ended August 2018.  For a few months, I took time to do some soul searching.  I moved away from that toxic environment to a larger city where the jobs were plentiful, and I was looking forward to starting fresh with a new employer.

The first few months, I tried getting into the same specialty that I was in before.  I worked in a heart and vascular unit that was a blend of med-surg and telemetry, with mostly stable angina and CHF patients.  Then, I broadened my search.  I attended open houses, hiring events, and spoke with nurse recruiters.  In March, I had a promising interview after attending a hiring event.  Despite the lack of experience, my personality was able to shine one-on-one.  The manager that I interviewed with ended up choosing another candidate with more experience, which I understand, considering it was a cardiac step-down unit.  But now it's nearing the end of May and I've yet to find work. 

I'm in a better place, mentally, than I was a year ago.   I'm embarrassed, looking back on how I allowed my home life to dictate how I interacted with my immediate supervisor.  I was short-tempered, and though I still provided excellent care to my patients, I know that I was part of the problem.  I accept full responsibility for that and have learned by leaps and bounds by then when it comes to managing my stress in a safe and effective way.  I know that if I was given a chance, I could prove myself. 

I'm in that awkward position of having too much experience to be considered a new grad, and too little to be taken seriously.  And the longer that I'm out of work, the less appealing I am to potential employers.

At this point, I'm willing to take anything, and it may very well come down to taking a job outside of nursing simply to make ends meet.

How do I market myself to potential employers? I have six months of cardiac staff experience with certifications in BLS and ACLS. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.


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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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Branch into things outside of acute care. Look at LTACH, SNF, correctional health. These areas tend to be more forgiving and more desperate for nurses than acute care. After you have a good couple of years under your belt you should have an easier time making the switch back to acute care and smoothing over the rough bumps of your termination.

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