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Please Read: Fired from first nursing job

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newRN109 newRN109 (New) New

Hi, I'm writing this in hope to get some insight on my situation and advise or what I should do. So I was recently fired from my first nursing job. It was a residency program and I basically "just wasn't progressing". I honestly agree with their decision to fire me because I found the residency program extremely challenging and was having a really hard time even managing two patients. 

During this time, however, I was suffering from an eating disorder, which, although I am by no means "cured" of, I have at least gone through a rehab program and regained my physical health. I don't know if my eating disorder had anything to do with my lack of success in the residency program, but it definitely didn't help. 

I'm now debating what I should do as far as work. I know it will be extremely difficult finding a job after being fired, and there's no way I feel ready to do anything other than another residency program. I'm contemplating writing a letter to my old job and explaining my situation, but am afraid that I will fail again. 

Does anyone have any advise or insight?

Chickenlady, ADN

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 6 years experience.

What do you think (besides the disorder) was impeding you in progressing the first job?  Until you address that, and have a concise way to explain it and show how you have overcome it, it will be difficult to get into another residency

It is extremely unlikely that your old job would hire you back into the residency program after firing you.  To put it bluntly, they don’t care why you failed, just that you failed. I would not send them a letter outlining your eating disorder and treatment. You need to move on and look at other employers. 

I agree with you. I feel like such a failure. Obviously I can't completely blame my job failure on my eating disorder but at the same time, when you weigh about 2/3s of what you're supposed to you're likely going to have a hard time at work. I'm shattered because I don't know how I'll find a job anywhere now that I've failed once (and to be honest, I don't even know if I'll be able to succeed at a new one.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 9 years experience.

You aren't a failure. Most people get fired at some point in their life. It feels like crap but it isn't terminal. 

You aren't likely going to get into another residency. That's just the honest truth. Have you considered psych nursing? You have an eating disorder and you may very well do a lot of good for others struggling with issues such as this and may keep yourself in an environment where you are able to stay in your recovery. 

You don't say how long it has been since you were in your residency. Consider trying nursing outside of acute care. There are plenty of things to do outside of the hospital and most of them are lower stress. 

Hang in there.

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

You will find another job.  You aren't a failure.  You are a person who had a major setback.  Apply!  Apply to different areas.  Maybe you need a smaller hospital or a different setting.  I got fired during my residency probationary period.  I felt like I'd never succeed at anything after that.  I got into a new grad home health program and it opened me to a new world of nursing.  Look around and see what different types of jobs you can get.  Apply and see who grabs you for an interview.  If they ask what happened in the interview say that the job wasn't a good fit, you've assessed ways to improve your skills, and you're ready to take on this new challenge with a different outlook.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

You are far from a failure. You graduated from nursing school.  I feel home health is difficult for newbies, as you are the only set of eyes on the patient and you still have a lot to learn. Apply with several nursing agencies... and go for a private duty assignment.

Best wishes.

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

37 minutes ago, Been there,done that said:

You are far from a failure. You graduated from nursing school.  I feel home health is difficult for newbies, as you are the only set of eyes on the patient and you still have a lot to learn. Apply with several nursing agencies... and go for a private duty assignment.

Best wishes.

Yes I was private duty/home health (for some reason they had an issue with calling it PD) with an excellent new grad program.  Step into any job carefully.

Thank you so much for your encouragement

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 27 years experience.

Try dialysis, LTC, or LTACH. Can be great places to start, learn time management and hone assessment skills

The Seasoned Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma ICU. Has 6 years experience.

In the long run, this is a minor setback. Like others have said, apply to various positions and see what fits. There is life after being fired. When you interview again, carefully articulate that the residency program wasn’t a good fit and you’ve learned a lot from the experience. Don’t say anything negative and show your excitement about where you are interviewing. It doesn’t hurt to do a little research first and ask a lot of questions. You’re going to do great!