Horrible first job, how to move on?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I worked for 4 months right out of nursing school at an awful facility for teens with substance abuse. It was basically like a prison in how the staff regarded their "patients." Some staff were well intention-ed, some were cruel. I liked working with the teens, I related to them and learned a lot, but it overall was the worst experience of my life to be part of an organization like that. I so wish that I had spoken up earlier about what I had seen, it haunts me everyday... I quit in 09/2017 and the place was shut down for abuse in 11/2017. I voluntarily was part of the abuse investigation against the facility but I did not make the initial report. I was investigated by my BON but it looks like my case will be closed without any public notice or mark on my license. I have been working in a similar psychiatric facility since 9/2017. Again, I like the patients but given my bad experience last year and wanting to do more direct care, I want to leave psych nursing (for now.) My question is should I include my first job when sending off applications? If I do, I have more than a year of experience and I can talk about the skills I learned on that job (sexual health, substance abuse) but anyone can look the company up and see the awful story. If I don't, I seem less experienced but I don't have to explain anything and I will only have great references from this job. I'm not in a huge rush to switch jobs, I will probably start looking more seriously in August. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
  2. Poll: Put first job on resume?

    • Yes, full disclosure!

      50.00% 3
    • No, the past is past

      50.00% 3
    6 Votes
  3. Visit alwayscool profile page

    About alwayscool

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1
    from OR , US


  4. by   beekee
    That experience is valuable too. You learned a lot from being in an environment like that and it likely made you a stronger nurse, a better advocate and likely someone who values the mission, not just the job. So, I'd include it.

    And have an answer ready for the interview questions.
  5. by   nightlightnurseaide
    I think, even if you explain it, future employers will frown on the fact you worked at a place shut down for abuse.the experience is good, but not worth it
  6. by   llg
    If you don't disclose and a new or prospective employer finds out about your first job, then you will be labeled as someone who lies on job applications -- and probably terminated immediately with no chance of rehire. That is a black mark I would not want on my record. That is worse than choosing a bad job as a new grad and leaving when you realized how bad it was.

    You only worked at that first job for 4 months and left when you realized how bad it was. You were not at fault for the abuse and your record will show that. Thus I would not hide it. Getting caught trying to cover it up would be a lot worse than be honest from the beginning.