"Let go" from new onc residency

Nurses General Nursing


Just "let go" from my new nurse residency from major urban hospital (onc unit). Now what? They liked me, said I was good with pts, but hands on clinical skills were not good enough and I really did feel overwhelmed. My quickie second BS program only provided us with 1/2 the normal clinical hours of other RN programs. I worked as a nurse tech last summer but was a float so I didn't get to pick up many new skills. My x-employers suggested an RN refresher class. I can't afford the time and money to do this and said I will be a great nurse once I get my skills up.

How should I handle this? I had interviewed favorably with other hospitals and was offered another job. Should I keep interviewing and just be upfront about the extra help I will need adjusting (our school told us we would need it). Should I disclose the fact that I lost a residency when I interview or just not reveal it til asked. If I do disclose the fact that I lost the residency will that stop people from hiring me?

I would like to work in acute care but will consider other options.




113 Posts

Hi :)

Prior to entering nursing, my specialty was HR. Tough situation you have there! I can only speak from the HR side of things, not really the nursing side (i'm still in school). Did this hospital not provide you an opportunity to "shadow" another RN? I know of several hospitals who have an initial 6week training program where you only shadow another nurse, practice your skills, etc. before they let you do anything. Perhaps you should start out on a medsurg floor and work your way up to Onc. and/or find another hospital with a more thorough training program. As far as telling potential employers about your residency, don't lie! They will always find out if you do.

Good luck... and don't give up :)


196 Posts

Sorry no great idea's here but GOOD LUCK.. maybe all you need is a little bit of time to find your feet???

passing thru

655 Posts

Well, sitter, here's what I think. Someone should have pointed you in the direction of a medical unit for your first nursing job.

A large urban oncology unit is a very specialized unit. Even the specialized lingo and

abbreviations they use would require some time to learn; just so so you would be able to understand what they are talking about

And the oncology patients lab values are always out of whack

due to immunosuppressing therapy,

it takes quite a bit of experience to know how to interpret these values, as a change is one or two numbers, for instance from a 17 to a 15 on platelets, requires the nurse to make two very different decisions and plan of action. And each change in#'s requires an ongoing assessment and accompanying change in

therapy, a change in the nurse's treatment/

course of action throughout the shift...

and there's all the blood and blood products to give, and central lines, and anti-biotics, anti-emetics,


very complex dressing changes with irrigations, sometimes 2-3 irrigations ongoing at once, and drains, and packings.........

Plus, chemotherapies, family interactions, trips off the unit,

and a dozen more things.......that constitute a very specialized unit.

Not the place for a new grad with 1/2 the usual basic skills.

The cancer surgeries are complex, awesome sometimes to behold and require a lot of care if the patient is to survive or heal without


Acute care may be your goal, but I would suggest a year on a medical floor to learn the basics, and a year on a surgical unit to

get the hang of surgery, and then reassess my goals.

Just tell the nurse recruiter you got in over your head in your first job choice. Nothing wrong with that, the recruiter and the manager who interviews you, as experienced nurses,

will understand,

and they won't find fault with your self-assessment.

It is refreshing to find someone who is capable of an honest self-assessment.

Just remember, the goal is always the patients' well being,

not your career objectives.

You will get to the acute level.

But , you can't get there by sacrificing the safety of the patient.

Good luck.


4,516 Posts

Good post, Passingthru....ITA with all your advice to the OP. :)

In the 'shortage' we will be seeing more of these shortcut programs. These nurses who need extra help may not be steered to appropriate places, unfortunately, and may give up and bail on nursing without the proper nurturing environment. Not every hospital or unit is able to provide this so new grads must do their homework.

Kinda tough on the ego to be a brand new nurse and referred to a refresher course... Just goes to show how important the clinical experience REALLY is.

Good lesson for potential students...make sure you know what your program is giving you for your $$$$!!!

Let the buyer beware...


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

From the sound of it, you need to do some serious time on a medical-surgical floor. Since you lack clinical experience from university, (tragic if you ask me), THIS IS THE ONLY LOGICAL place for you to go. It's not your fault this happened; lick your wounds and then get up, dust yourself off, and move on. There are BEAUCOUP openings in med-surg units nationwide, so securing a job there won't be tough at all. And you will gain INVALUABLE experience/foundations on which to build a nursing career. I wish you the best.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X