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No, I'm not a job hopper, it's just that....

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I need some advice. A December 2005 grad, I've had 2 jobs since graduating and I need some guidance on how to position this.

First, let me explain. I'm 46 and this is my second career. My first job out of nursing school was with an oncology clinic where we saw 50+ people a day for chemo. There was no orientation to speak of and I felt like I was in over my head. After 6 months I felt it was time to find something else. What I didn't know was that my son was about to be diagnosed with a tumor. I took 6 months off to deal with that and went back to work in December.

This next job was wonderful. I loved the patients and what I was doing. It was intense and I stuggled but I was determined to be successful. Unfortunately, the (much) younger staff felt I was wrong for the unit and set out to make sure the nurse manager knew it. Essentially, the story line about nurses eating their young also goes for the older ones too.

When I was given notice last week (after 6 months) I was told the reason was that I hadn't challenged a superior on an order, one I went over line by line with the person standing at my side. It wasn't a medical error, just when to d/c a PIV.

So how do I go about presenting myself without looking like a job hopper? I know, be honest with potential employers but I need to get past that first glance of the resume. I even had trouble writing this because I couldn't begin to share the ridiculous things that have happened without it sounding made up or like sour grapes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3 specializes in Tele/ICU/MedSurg/Peds/SubAcute/LTC/Alz.

253 Posts; 4,210 Profile Views

Although, I it is not the same situation, I can relate. I started my career in Long Term Care. After a year, I left to get my Medical/Surgical experience in a hospital. My floor closed in the hospital and I was left with no hours. That was my second job since January 2006. I was only at my second job for 3 months.

To me sometimes things in life happen. Some people find what they like and where they are. I feel as I move along in my short career, that I will learn to new questions to ask before I take a position. All I would like is a home to enjoy my career in.

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loricatus specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

1,446 Posts; 13,033 Profile Views

First of all, you are not alone. I have just started my 4th job in the 2 years of being a nurse. Nobody has even mentioned that I am a job hopper. It is kind of expected that you must go elsewhere to advance your career or find a better working environment.

It seems that you were given an excuse for your dismissal. An error like that only warrants, at the most, a written notice. Did anyone else who did things more serious than what you have done not get terminated? Why were you not counseled first? Does your facility have a policy regarding discipline? These are things that you should discuss with your manager & HR, at least, to advise them that you feel that you are being unfairly singled out and may have to pursue things further if they are not willing to give you a reference for another position. When you don't fit into the age mix, you will never be directly told that & alternate reasons usually arise to either have you leave or be dismissed.

Just go ahead and look for another position. Changing specialties/ departments may be all that is needed to demonstrate to a new employer your desire for growth that was not available from your previous employer. For example, you could say: After 6 months with so & so, I saw that my personality and skill mix were more suited for _______ nursing and I would have liked to be given that opportunity for that in my facility, but no openings were available. You can also ask the age mix for the department & if that department has had any difficulty with, or turnover of nurses your age--this let's them subtly know what the problem was at your last employer, without seeming to be resentful.

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