Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a 37 year old who graduated from an ADN program in May. My nursing experience previous to graduation was limited to a few months of working as a PCA. The first job offer I received out of school was in long term care. I accepted a position on a med cart with the understanding that I would be trained into a unit manager position and fill that position when an opening presented itself.
My DON recently interviewed and hired another, more experienced RN for a unit manager position that will be opening soon. I don't like working the med cart and am feeling very discouraged and disappointed. My DON told me that she still has me in mind for the position in the future, but is giving this opening to the more experienced nurse.
I'm not sure if I want to stick with this job, as I don't know if she is telling me the truth, or just keeping a nurse on the cart. My goal is to go into psychiatric nursing, so this job is just a stepping stone. However, I also have enough life experience to know that several short term jobs don't look great on a job application either.
What would you do?
Dear What to Do,
I would be actively looking for a new job for the following reasons:
- It takes time to locate, apply for, and land a new job
- Employers realize that new grads often take their first jobs in long term care because of the market, but don’t plan to stay there any length of time. Don’t stay in a bad working environment in order to have a a few months more tenure on your resume
- Your employer has not been truthful with you
- You deserve better
There are a couple of lessons to be learned from your experience that will help you in moving forward. If a job offer/promise is not in writing, it holds no weight. The DON’s “carrot” of promoting you to unit manager was just that- a “carrot”. You need to step back and question the motives of a DON who is telling a brand new grad that she/he will be the next unit manager.
When the top employees at a facility do not have integrity, it’s a good sign that the organization has a similar lack of integrity. Things do not get better- you are the one who has to change. By leaving.
I wish you the best of luck in your next job.