Lost my first nursing job... now how do I find another? - page 3

Hi friends out in nursing land... I just joined to see if anyone might read my insane tale of nursing woe and have some seasoned advice... I'm a 2011 BSN graduate who held out for his dream... Read More

  1. by   Silverbird501
    I recently had a similar experience. I was hired as a new grad to a pediatric unit, went through orientation, and was "out on my own" as an RN. This hospital has a 6 month probationary period for all new hires. Throughout the course of my preceptorship, everyone was very supportive, gave me lots of pointers and encouragement, etc. I felt at home and like things were going well. Then one day, we discharged all the patients on the floor (we are a very small unit), and so the hospital nursing supervisor took my co-worker that day off to help somewhere else while i finished up the last of my charting. While they were gone, I got a call for a patient being admitted who was pretty complicated, in my newbie mind. And I sort of panicked when I couldn't get in touch with my co-worker or the hospitals nursing supervisor. Long story short, that was a bad day. MY preceptor had had talks with me about my confidence level. The didn't question my knowledge or potential, but they were concerned about my confidence. Really, I had thought confidence comes with experience. but I've leanred that YES you have to FAKE it most of the time. I never had a problem faking it in front of patients. I know they need to feel like you have a handle on things. But I would go out and talk with my coworkers if I had questions.

    Besides that one day, i felt that most of the time I did well, made a normal amount of small mistakes, and learned a lot. But about three weeks to a month before the end of my 6 month probationary period, my manager (who never sees me work) had a talk with me and basically, I had better get more confident quick or else she'd have to call this an unsuccessful probationary period. She gave me two weeks (which i am part time, which means only 4 shifts) to get that....umpfh....that she's looking for. At the end of the two weeks, she tells me shes still on the fence but a little further up the fence. gives me another week. By this time I am feeling so much more confident because I am taking all the patients, and doing all my own work and asking minimal questions of my coworkers. My manager brings me in to tell me she felt i was doing better, but some things came up (an unhappy and nitpicky physician who everyone complains about). And that it's not going to work out.

    Sorry for the book. but the confidence that I had built up, was shattered. right before the end of my 6 months and right before a vacation to see my family who i haven't seen in two years. Great timing. And probably planned timing. I think it was a mostly personality thing. My co-workers were upset with her for doing this to me. most of my co-workers have had some sort of ER experience in their backgrounds and I am just not that kind of nurse. ER is the LAST place i would want to work.

    And so, now I don't qualify for new grad programs, yet, i don't have the year of experience most places require. And what's with doctors offices requiring one year of acute care experience, or ER/critical care experience?? It is all just very frustrating and discouraging.

    So you're not alone in all this. It is a very unfair thing, but I hope that whats others say is true and that we just have to keep trying and something will come along.
  2. by   FMF Corpsman
    Silverbird, I read back over your post from your profile, and unless I'm mistaken, you've been anticipating this termination for sometime right? You've known that your Supervisors were not happy with your progress and considering the size and function of your Unit, where you would be the only Nurse on overnight shifts with some very sick pediatric patients, they felt your confidence just wasn't up to the level required for the position. I'm not trying to be cruel, but you have to be realistic when you are dealing with peoples lives, some may say especially children’s, but I won't differentiate. Everyone’s lives are equally important and when a Nurse doesn’t have the confidence in herself/himself, lives are at stake, and if you are the only Nurse on the floor, the risks skyrocket exponentially. You have no one you can turn to for advice, you have no one to help you in case of emergency, and it all falls on your shoulders and if you are not prepared to handle the crisis, those patients will die. I am not picking on you per se; I would be saying this to any nurse without the proper experience. I have many, many years experience as a Supervisor/ Nurse Manager and I wouldn't place that kind of responsibility on a Nurse without at least 2.5 or 3 years experience and having gone through a Preceptorship. It simply isn't fair to the Nurse. Do you realize the threat it puts to your License? If something untoward were to happen, you could end up losing the license you worked so hard to get, then where would you be? I have always believed that things happen for a reason. I may not always like it, but I don't have a choice but to live with it. You may find that this is the best thing for you in the long run, give it a chance and see what happens.
  3. by   kcmylorn
    FMF- do you not feel the the fault lies with managment? If as you said, you are or were management with many many years experience and feel that the position should be held by some one with at least 2.5-3.0 yrs experience, why was a new grad hired into that position to begin with? This is just another example of managment's pee poor decision making and blaming the individual nurse, while taking absolutely no resposibiity for their inappropriate bad decsions that could cost a nurse their license and a patient their life.

    Managment always has a way of putting a blamless sweet talking spin on the truth to keep themselves free of blame and responsibity for their acts of premeditated cruelty. Prmeditated in that they will seek you out(active process) have employment agencies call you aka head hunters, get you in the office, hire you on a flash, "Oh I am goiing to tell them I want you for the position", spout off all this influencial bull crap to get the nurse to sign on, and then watch that nurse like a hawk- the miniute that nurse shows some brains and is there fore a threat and get rid of the same nurse with the least little muscle twitch. it's a wonder with the frequency and ease that this is beening done now a days, some one hasn't come back with law suit charges or a gun. Managment is playing a very dangerous game now a days. Managment is destroying nurses careers without so much as a thought or consideration. Not in 32 yrs have I seen such bad examples of managers- where do they get these trashy tramps from- the busy street corner?

    Who takes responsibity for the damage that was done to the OP's?Managment seems to be teflon coated these days! When is it time, these so called "managers" become realistic, they too are playing with people's lives. Their nurses and their nurse's families.
    That's why I say: Law suit, law suit, law suit
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Oct 13, '12
  4. by   FMF Corpsman
    You are right, but unless I'm getting my stories mixed up, she was hired into a probationary position and began telling her towards the end of her 5.5 moths or so, that they didn't think she was going to be strong enough for the role. While it hardly seems fair, it is fairly standard if a probationary employee doesn't measure up. When I said I wouldn't hire anyone without 2.5 to 3.0 years experience, those were my numbers, I can hardly speak for the facility where she was employed, I don't even know what State she resides in, let alone what Hospital she's talking about. I know she was talking about a small pediatrics unit, but that's about all I know. BUT, consider this, put yourself into the situation, say you were the mother of an 9 month old child and that child was a patient on that unit, with say a pre-op diagnosis of Tetralogy of Fallot. Would you feel comfortable knowing the only Nurse available on the Unit is a new grad with only 6 months of experience?

    Sure, we both know that Hospitals will hire Nurses for a number of reasons, be it to fill quotas for Joint Commision inspections or what have you. Hospital Administrators have been known to pull every dirty trick in the book. Anyone operating under the mistaken impression that HR is their friend or their confidant, get over it, because nothing could be further from the truth. If there are any HR Nurses on the Board, sorry if I blew your gig, but it's the truth and you know it. Neither HR or Administration is a friend to the troops. It isn't in their job description. They will promise you the world on one hand and with the other hand they will be taking everything they just gave you right back away from you. And lie to your face without breaking a sweat. They are not your friend so this doesn't bother them in the least.

    AND kcmylorn, as far as worrying about people's lives, they could care less, unless it's their own. Sorry, It's a business. It isn't the same as it was when we first started in Nursing, when people actually did care.
  5. by   kcmylorn
    I still have to question, where is managment's judgment in hiring a new grad vs a nurse with experience into a night shift position alone? If health care is a business, wouldn't it be good business practice to avert law suits than to make poor decisions and creats situations that would bring them on. It would be my guess that the manager would have some input into the qualifications they were seeking in a candidate to fill such an autonomous spot. Let's face it- on the night shift the nurse has to be very autonomous and very sure of their clniical skills and professional judgement and accomplished in both. That doesn't sound like new grad to me unless that new grad had an experienced nurse working along with them I worked night shift for many years. In both a University hospital setting and a community hospital setting. I know the level of autonomy it is, the self assuridness in ones skill and judgement it takes, and the lack of resources available on night shift unless one is in a large university hospital; even then, residents are just that- residents, and many times, the nurses know more then they do. I once heard a nurse older than I was at the time and more experienced say- "nurses teach the residents medicine". That is very true. It is not a place for a new grad alone and I think the manager should have known this and has more input into what skill level was needed for the position.

    I think there is more to this than just a new grad put into the wrong position. I am willing to be it was one of the other reasons you mentioned- a JACHO inspection time and there was a need to put a body into the position just to satisfy requirements. There was a underhanded reason why the new grad was promised an alternative and but then on the fly underhandely shisted out of their job. The new grad was put there to save someone's buttocks temporarily and once that need disapated, so did the new grad. Which is why, I think this new grad should go to unemployment and speak to a labor investigator. The investigator makes the determination if it is a violation, not the hospital.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Oct 16, '12
  6. by   Silverbird501
    Very interesting comments to my post. So to answer you, yes, I knew about the possibility that my manager might not keep me on about a month before she actually told me it wasn't going to work out. She talked with me the first time, told me she was going to give me two more weeks (4 shifts on my part-time schedule) to get better, and I had better do it fast. She wasn't mean about it. But I sure did try hard. I was very proud of myself. And my coworkers had a lot of praise for me. By the end of the two weeks, we talked on the phone and she said she was still on the fence but that as along as I continued to improve like I had been doing, she had no reason to let me go. She said she wanted me to succeed.

    I will tell you, there are about three other people on this unit who started there as new grads. And they were successful. So I guess it CAN be done. But at the same time, she put me on full-time my first 14 weeks as I worked with my preceptor, but then when I went on my own, I was put down to part-time, which is what I was hired for. At the same time, I started in March. The end of RSV season (should just be called respiratory season for kids. haha) So it was busy for my first few weeks. Then the census just dwindled down to nothing until about the time of my first talk with my boss in August. So I really didn't get that much experience. Especially with only being there two days a week. And several of my coworkers thought it was crazy that I was only part-time, since that extra 12 hours can really make a difference.

    And I agree, expecting me to be able to be on my own at night after only 6 months experience is crazy. Maybe I should have questioned that in the beginning, but hey, I'm new at all this.

    And YES! JACHO came to our hospital only a few weeks after I started.

    Now the lovely hospital nursing supervisor who loved me so much (sarcasm) and wanted to have more shifts on Peds is now picking up shifts to fill in the spaces I left. And my ex-manager has a job posting for a new grad position, FULL-TIME.

    Joy. Well, I have learned that I need to be cautious about any manager or anyone willing to "help me succeed" It's okay to let people help you, but at the same time, be cautious about it. That's so sad.

    And now I have a job interview at a nursing home tomorrow. Total other end of the spectrum for me. But they do pay more than the hospital, and it's a full-time job. Wish me luck!
  7. by   FMF Corpsman
    Silverbird, It is a shame the way some facilities use and manipulate people to their own end, but there really isn't a great deal you can do about it, unless you want to earn a reputation for filing law suits against Hospitals, and then unless you get a very healthy settlement that makes up for your wages, it isn't usually worthwhile, because you will end up getting blackballed, and no one will hire you. Hospitals can afford to hire the best attorney's, they have all of the documentation you created, as well as their own and can make up stuff as they go along, and don't think they won't do it. Most of the time it is best to simply write it off, and move on. Chances are, you aren't going to find any witnesses for your side, because as soon as they become known to the Hospital, they will be given the option to either not be a witness for you or quit their job, guess which one they will take, 9 times out of 10. They can't afford to be out of work, any more than you can.

    Good luck with your job interview tomorrow, you may find you enjoy the new position far more than you did the old, and with more money to boot...
  8. by   kcmylorn
    The alternative to the lawsuit would be to write a letter to JCAHO giving details of the insident and what is suspected, hiring to fill a position to use a warm body for a survey prop and dismissing them post hast when the survey was completed. If that is done enough maybe facilities will think twice about "hiring under false pretenses" which this insident should also be reported to the dept of labor- who does the investigating and punnitive action without cost to the complaintant.
    The dept of labor frowns upon hiring people under false pretenses as it does "hiding employment opportunities" which was explained to me by a unemployment investigator when I told her of my experience with a nursing agency who told me face to face when I went into thier office, they didn't have any positions and one recruiter in the back desk pulls out an opportunity from under a stack of papers and stated- "Would you be interested in this position?" That is hiding employment opportunites and I was advised by the investigator to report and given a phone number within the dept of labor of the division to report that to. A labor investigator I spoke with recently when I filed my Unemployment claim advised me to report a probationary termination to the EEOC, the result is: it has a docket and charge number and the facility is now under EEOC investigation- age and race discrimination and hostile work envirnment/retaliation. Are my morals and ethics changing- you bet they are. I will now write a letter of complaint and file a charge at the drop of a hat. I have no more loyalty to any employer and I am out for my self and my financial well being. If this is what it takes to stave off forclosure and the poor house- so be it. Nursing ethics now have little entry into this process.

    The longer I am on unemployment and speaking to these investigators, the more I am learning about the dirty dealings of the employer environment. The little things I thought that just annoyed and frustrated me in job searching, really are serious state labor violations for which the labor board goes after these employers. The labor dept takes this high unemplyment rate in this country very seriously, its too bad the employers and hiring managers don't. But that why we have depts of labor
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Oct 16, '12
  9. by   Butch52
    I feel for you. Maybe that area what did you say it was pediatrics was not your bag. I know it will leave a sour taste in your mouth. You need to feel comfortable in any position you take. If you feel your preceptors were doing a good job then your anxiety maybe was self generated. I know making mistakes and being called out on them makes you even more nervous about making more errors. I think you are doing the right thing with resumes -dont lie tell the truth. I was recently accused of something I did not do and I had been at the job almost ten years. I was forced to resign and now that I look back it was probably for the good I was fast approaching burn out. I do not go into explict details on my resume but I stated the same thing you did. My accusations ran me into trouble with the State Boards and there was an investigation in which I was cleared. Dont let this get you down keep searching and keep your head up you will find the right job.
  10. by   Butch52
    For all those ADNS out there whether you be a new grad or a seasoned nurse I suggest you go back to school for the BSN if you hope to have a job. It is to the point now where most hospitals will not even accept apps from ADNS-they want BSN preferred. It will not be long before it trickles into every enviroment including LTC. I am a former LPN who went back to school to get a Associate for my RN because of job situation in the 70's and 80's. I knew it wouldnt be long before hospitals stop using LPNS and they did. Now it is evident that they have stopped using RNs with an associate degree. The only reason why I got an associate instead of a BSN was the availability of where I lived there were no BSN programs and I did not have the time or money to attend a BSN program. The programs are readily assessable online. I suggest any ADN nurse to get the BSN. I suggest any nurse also get ACLs and PALs certification for hospital employment . Good luck
  11. by   Nurse Lory
    Here is what will work. First off, what happened to you is called self-fulfilling prophecy. Your own thoughts and feelings about yourself did you in. You have self-doubt, low-self esteem and expectation of impending disaster. You behave in such way, instead of challenging your negative thoughts you let them run rampant. This type of behavior usually happen to people who had very critical anxious upbringing. The thoughts and core beliefs that come to mind and spin in your head every waking moment are "I am going to screw up!", "she is watching me and thinking that I am an idiot", "People must know I look like I don't know anything"; " I will kill someone", "i am working in the best hospital in the world, and they don't know that I am an impostor", " I am surely going to get fired any moment". These types of thoughts spin around in your head all day, and unless you consciously put them to lie, they won't leave you alone and will influence your behavior. To do this you must write them down on paper. For example, when you tell yourself that you don't know anything, you can remind yourself that this is not a fact, you surely know how to handle the situation. and you don't have to be perfect. you have to be good enough, and I am sure you are, as if you were a good student, I am sure you know enough"
    This is a process, and if you do it consistently, you will improve in about a months. The key is to be consistent, and write this down every time. More on this in a book Mind over mood by Podesky. Also, PA is the state where Cognitive therapy was created by Dr. Aaron Beck. It deals with precisely this type of issues and has been proven work in every study over the last 50 years. Good luck!
  12. by   SugarPie89
    Hi! Did you find a job now? I was terminated in skilled nursing facility 3 weeks ago because of, I can't even explain. All there was an accusation with no evidence to their statements, I am now struggling in looking for another job, it is very hard. Especially if the reason is termination. I am feeling a bit hopeless too.... I hope to hear from you.
    I am sorry SugarPie, it is tough when one tries hard. I have yet to land my first job and I graduated one year ago.
    I think most here on allnurses will recommend not to put the job down on your resume. You were still within your trial period.
    Best wishes.