I just got a call from a former co-worker who is asking me for a character reference. We were both new-ish nurses when we started working together, and she had numerous problems at the facility. She was very boisterious, and had a potty mouth at the nurse's station. She's not the only nurse known to swear at work, but she tends to be loud.
She had a write up over the swearing. No compliants were made by staff, residents, or family--she was heard by a manager and was written up. IMO, this was likely unfair d/t the fact that most of the staff have heard swearing by virtually every manager. I've never heard another manager write up staff for swearing even though it has happened.
Her second write up was about her treatment of a CNA. The problem, IMO, was that this CNA's mother got her the job (Mom is also a CNA, has worked at the facility for a long time), and the daughter CNA was very insubordinate. The nurse asked for help from other nurses (myself included) on how to handle the situation with her. She asked management for help in how to handle the situation. She was told that the CNA was not the problem, that the nurse was the problem and that she needed to correct her own attitude first. For the record, the CNA was eventually fired for insubordination, poor work ethic (calling in a lot, showing up late, etc). From what I saw, the CNA was insubordinate and needed the write up, not the nurse. The nurse had asked for help and ended up with a write up!
The final write up that resulted in her firing was an incident between her and a combative, resistive resident. She offered to let the resident hit her if it would make her feel better. It was reported by the CNA (the mother of the insubordinate CNA) that she was shaking her butt in the face of the resident. She also stated that the nurse said something about the resident's attitude. There are a few details that I'm leaving out but that is the gist of the situation.
I have no first hand knowledge of the incident that resulted in the firing.
It's now 18 months later. She's working as a nurse, she's back on her feet, and she gets a letter from the board of nursing. She needs to respond within 10 days. The letter lists the swearing, the write up for treatment of a co-worker, and the incident of shaking her butt in a resident's face.
She would like a character reference, and I want to help her. However, I am now a manager at this facility and am hesitant. Any advice for her or for me? Any potential conflict with me writing a personal (not as a manager of our facility) type of reference? Will my employer find out if I do?
Is there a time frame on this sort of thing? How long do employers have to report to the board of nursing? Is there a statute of limitations on such things?