Terminated from first nursing job.... not really sure where I went wrong

  1. I was let go from my first nursing job and was really caught off guard by it. I was told that I was eligible for rehire with May grads. I did not feel as if things were going great, but I certainly didn't think it was headed down this road either. I began working in NSICU and after 4 weeks (without any previous meetings or updates) I was told by my ANM that there were concerns -- for example, my preceptor said that I did not give good report, that my assessments were not thorough, and that I took too long giving meds. I was really blind-sided by this and I asked my ANM how come my preceptor didn't say anything to me. In my mind I just thought, oh my goodness, she has been watching me fail and not saying a word. I told him that I did struggle a bit at first with giving report until I developed a form that worked well for me so I wouldn't forget things, I was still learning with doing assessments but I was charting on this information; so again how come nobody said anything to me. He seemed a little surprised that I was not aware of these issues and he said he was going to follow up with my preceptor and the educator. He also asked me if I had thought about med-surg or progressive units, and I said no because I had been working in ICU and I thought that was going okay. Nevertheless, the next day he and the educator terminated my employment stating that I was not where I needed to be and that they thought I should first work on med-surg or progressive. They said that they looked throughout different departments but there were not any current openings for new grads (and there are not, the job market is terrible in this area right now for new grads) so I can interview with May grads..... I was completely devastated wondering absolutely what happened. What did I do to screw up and wondering how I can improve. What makes it so bad, is that I called the ANM a couple days afterwards and I left a message (hoping maybe to get some tips and pointers on what I can do differently in the future) and I did not get a call back. My job search is going okay I guess, but I am hoping some experienced nurses can help me make sense from this. I really want to learn from this experience and move on in a positive way.... but maybe I am reading into it too much and I am just not ready for ICU and just need to start in Med-Surg.... I welcome any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions..
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    About newnurse4

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 1

    5 Comments

  3. by   llg
    You seem headed in a good direction ... applying for med/surg jobs. This one problem need not become a huge stumbling block in your career as you can easily explain it as "The ICU environment just wasn't a good fit for me as a new grad. I think a general med/surg unit would be a better fit me at this point in my career."

    Was the SICU a unit that typically hires a lot of new grads? It sounds like they did not have a proper orientation set up for you. A new grad usually needs a lot of feedback on their performance -- regular feedback that you didn't get. If they often hire new grads, they should have known that.

    Ask about that in your current job search. Seek regular feedback as part of your orientation if it is not offered. Talk a little with your preceptor at the end of each shift about "how it went" ... or at least once a week to monitor (and document) your progress. That way, there will be no such surprises in the future.
  4. by   elprup
    HI, I feel like I had the same experience you did. Beginning of my shift I was pulled into Managers office who stated "this is just not working". My problems were "too many incident reports written on me" which they still refuse to show me, "need to get the whole picture as well as be able to remember all of my 4-5 pts info without looking at my notes and give report". Basically, when I researched the literature, I was on track but needed more time they obviously did not want to have.
    Sadly, they loose good new nurses this way, because I moved 5 hours away for this job with my kids, which they new and did not care about. Total bummer because it''s always about their bottom line....not the patients..
  5. by   canoehead
    There is something I really hate about nursing that is showing up in these posts. We get feedback from a thrid party all the time, or incident reports, but the person accused does not have the right to know what was written or by whom. Just a vague indication that they are not happy, and no rebuttal or discussion allowed. If someone is going to complain about what I'm doing and they don't sign the paper, I don't think their comments should have a whole lot of credibility.
  6. by   Valerie Salva
    Great advice from llg.
  7. by   lpnflorida
    I am amazed that they could make such a determination after only 4 weeks. Orientation at least in our area is 12 weeks.

    I am sorry this happened to you. I agree they are not set up to work with new grads.

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