New RN in trouble-- Please help!!!

Nurses General Nursing


Hi everyone,

I am a new nurse, and I really am in a bad situation and don't know what to do. I made a mistake earlier this year (please see my previous post if you would like to know the details), and ever since then I have been picked on, made to feel stupid, and now wrongly accused of something I did not do. I have proof that the person is lying, but I dont know what to do since I already told my manager that it wasn't true, but she wasnt willing to look in to it. She wrote me up and said that one more mistake and I would be fired!!!

I have been applying elsewhere for about a month now and finally got a job offer that I REALLY wanted. I had to turn it down though because they wanted to speak with my manager for a reference. I gave them 12 other references, including current co-workers, former bosses, former co-workers and teachers. They were unwilling to budge :(. I feel as though I am stuck in this job and I really dont know what to do, but I fear very greatly that I will be fired! I tried applying to other units in the hopsital, but they told me that I wasnt allowed to since I am involved in the disciplinary process. I really feel like just quitting altogether :(. Every day I go to work is torture, and I live in so much fear. I am unable to sleep and keep getting sick because I am so stressed out by this whole situation.

Is my nursing career over?? How do I get another job without them talking to my manager? Is it really better to stay in this job, or to quit and have no reference at all?? I am so confused and depressed. :crying2: Please help!!!

Specializes in LTC, camp nursing, LTAC (new to this).

If you think your current manager wants you out, she will probably give you a good or at least decent reference in order to avoid the performance improvement plan or the termination paperwork. Call the place back that made the offer and give them permission to contact your current employer. You already -don't have the new job- so they can't take it away from you.

Is there an opportunity to meet quietly with your manager and share that you are considering other opportunities and ask her directly and professionally how she see herself supporting you with this and I she is comfortable giving you a positive reference. Identify your own strenghts first (Punctual, teamplayer, Strong sense of integrity,Eager to learn new skills, good with difficult families, calm in a crisis, etc...) and then ask her if she is comfortable sharing your strong points with a potential employer.

Good Luck and remember to Breathe


Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

I am sorry that you're feeling frustrated and upset, but what you're describing is actually the normal standard for most organizations. Employees are not allowed to transfer until they are clear - have satisfactorily completed any disciplinary processes. If you feel that you cannot talk with your manager, use your chain of command and go speak with your Human Resources department.

This does not have to be the death knell of your career. Most of us have faced disciplinary action at one time or another for various offenses. Just grit your teeth and keep on going. This will pass. At some point, another co-worker will make a booboo, and the focus will shift to him/her and you'll be out of the spotlight. In the meantime, be honest with yourself - reflect on what you should have done, and learn from your mistakes. It will make you a better nurse in the long term.

It is not unusual to request a prospective employer not to contact your current manager so I cannot provide any insight into that issue. It seems strange. If you decide to quit, be sure to fulfill all of your obligations as outlined in the employment policy. This usually means submitting a written resignation and working out your 2-week notice.

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Ive heard you can ask the potential new employer not to contact your first by saying they dont know you are looking for something new yet. I dont know how that works exactly, but Ive heard some people say it.

I agree with the pp--I would say that your manager doesn't know that you are looking, however, they can contact HR. Regardless, the facility that you work for now is sometimes in some states censored on what they can tell a potential employer, and I would research what they can and can't tell potential future employers....But, again as a pp suggested, let them contact your manager if that is what they are insisting on, and should it not be the best conversation, I would be clear with the job you are seeking that you have learned, grown, made xyz changes in your practice in response to an error. That the error in question did not restrict your practice in the facility. And that your goal in their facility is x,y,z...whatever you can bring to the table for them.

And I would be clear with the manager, that the mistake you made you most certainly learned from, and changed your practice. But unfortunetely, you are feeling that people's perceptions of your skill level as a nurse is making your working atmosphere less than desireable. Therefore, you would like to explore other options.

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

Ask your manager what she will say................... what do you have to lose at this point. It sounds awful.

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

i still believe you need to stick it out, work through this disciplinary process and learn everything you can. i cannot speak to whether or not anyone is picking on you, but i can tell you that no one can "make you feel stupid" unless you allow them to. there's nothing unique about making mistakes or being in a disciplinary status -- it happens to the best of us. work through it and learn from it. i've made some whoppers. i've also worked with new nurses who have made some horrific mistakes -- mistakes that resulted in patient death -- who took their discipline with class and humility and worked through it. today, those are some of the nurses i respect the most.

Sorry to hear you are upset and stressed. Nursing is, by it's nature, a extremetly stressful career. Although most people make mistakes in their chosen careers, most mistakes in other fields are not life-threatening. This type of pressure causes many nurses to lash out at those they work with which is pretty unfortunate. I know that I am making a huge generalization, but compared to other fields that I have worked in, healthcare is brutal. The stakes are just so high!

As for your predicament, I believe that many organizations have policies that they do not give positive or negative reviews regarding employees d/t fear of litigation. Instead, they will just verify employment dates. I know that the facility that I work at operates under this policy. Ask someone in HR. Also, you are totally assuming that your manager will not give you a good recommendation. Bite the bullet and ask her! Living with the unkown can be way more brutal that knowing a dissapointing truth. I also agree with the above poster that you have nothing to risk by letting your potential new employer talk to your manager. You are definitely not going to get the job by not letting them at least speak with her.

Also, could you please fill us in on what you are being accused of? Just curious....good luck and don't give up. In this economy, there are a lot of people that would kill for even a stressful, soul-crushing job:)

Sorry Braden, just realized that most potential employers can ask if the employee is eligible for rehire...since you are currently in disciplinary action, your facility will probably have to say no...

Specializes in Home Care.

I was in a simiar predicament a few months ago. I tried to stick out a job in which I was subject to bullying and mobbing by co-workers. I wound up making some errors as a result of my anxiety that eventually lead to disiplinary action by my employer. And yes my manager knew about the bullying and did next to nothing about it.

I was stuck with a lousy reference and really stressed about how on earth I was going to find a new job.

I tried interviewing and saying nothing about my disciplinary action and nothing about my bad work environment. That didn't work well. Then I decided to tell the truth in the interviews. The employers I interviewed with respected me for being honest and I did land a good job. But I also know that where I am the job market is good for LPNs.

So, start looking for a new job and be honest about what happened and put a positive spin on your bad experience. Explain what you've learned and how you've improved.

Also take advantage of the employee assistance program if they have it, talk to your union rep if you have one and most importantly talk to your doctor about any stress you are experiencing. You should also keep out of any gossip, do your best at work and document any harrassment.

What is the reason? Does your hospital have a Nursing Education dept? Can you go to your Nursing Educator/ nursing education dept and discuss these events with one of them. or a clinical nurse specialist for telemetry or critical care

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