Left job to safeguard my license - what "reason" to add on new applications?

  1. I was in my fifth year of school nursing and my administration (Principal, Superintendent, and School Board) were not supportive of medical (including emergency situations, or adherence school policies & procedures OR state laws on immunizations).

    After an emergency situation involving a student going into anaphylaxis, and administration telling me that I "jumped the gun" on calling 911, and having absolutely no one in my office to help during the incident - I felt that my license was consistently put at risk by the school. I wanted to retire at this job, but felt that I had no choice but to resign, mid-year. [Details are in the post on the general Nursing topic threat, titled "I left my job and now feel lost"].

    I'm filling out applications now for other jobs - what is the most appropriate thing to write in "reason for leaving" my school nurse job? I'm thinking "safety" or "safety concerns" -but I'm not sure. Any advice?
  2. Visit KatiejonD profile page

    About KatiejonD

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 46; Likes: 81

    26 Comments

  3. by   grammy1
    Are you looking for another school nursing job?

    I wish I had some advice for you, but I know the wise nurses on this forum will be able to help much more than me. They will also probably be able to help if you would find yourself in that same situation with administration again.

    Please speak up people, I directed her over here and told her that you'd have advice!
  4. by   grammy1
    Quote from KatiejonD
    I was in my fifth year of school nursing and my administration (Principal, Superintendent, and School Board) were not supportive of medical (including emergency situations, or adherence school policies & procedures OR state laws on immunizations).

    After an emergency situation involving a student going into anaphylaxis, and administration telling me that I "jumped the gun" on calling 911, and having absolutely no one in my office to help during the incident - I felt that my license was consistently put at risk by the school. I wanted to retire at this job, but felt that I had no choice but to resign, mid-year. [Details are in the post on the general Nursing topic threat, titled "I left my job and now feel lost"].
    I'm curious, what was their reasoning? What did they think you should have done with a child in anaphylaxis? Do they have any medical training?
  5. by   BiscuitRN
    I would go with safety concerns. In an interview I'd explain it while trying to not speak too poorly about your former employer. "They had good intentions, but there were times they disagreed with me on issues that would put my license and ethics at stake," then steer the conversation towards talking about how safety is important to you.
  6. by   KatiejonD
    Thanks grammy1! I am looking for another school nursing job - BUT - I live in such a small community, there are not openings. I'm applying for per diem at the local clinic, and as a substitute nurse or teacher at the neighboring school district. Wish me luck!
  7. by   KatiejonD
    I'm not sure. The staff at the school were overwhelmingly supportive and amazing. It was the Administrator (a very nice woman, who avoided anything even resembling conflict like it was the plague), the Superintendent (whose had legal woes in her position), and the 'office ladies' (who reportedly initially refused to call 911 at my request because they "didn't have any details"). While I understand that calling 911 without knowing the details is tricky... the process is designed to go smoothly (RN to office about emergency, school automatically in medical lockdown to 'freeze' everything else going on, the Principal to the Nurse's office with her walkie-talkie, able to be the go-between between the RN providing care & the staff speaking with 911).

    I believe the Principal tended to 'panic' in stressful situations. It wasn't the first time. A few months prior to this, a very sick student (medically and psychologically) was sent to a psych facility, where the parent ended-up checking them out AMA, to return to school within a few days. There were concerns voiced by myself, the facility, the pediatrician, as well as the state agency involved, that the student would try to self-harm in school. I attempted (phone, person and via email) to schedule a meeting with the Principal and School Councilor to plan for the return... and they simply would not communicate with me. I know how that sounds - but they refused to meet with me and never replied to my email.

    I don't know if that makes any better sense - it was a case of my colleagues being supportive, but the people who ultimately made the decisions, were not.
  8. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from KatiejonD
    I'm not sure. The staff at the school were overwhelmingly supportive and amazing. It was the Administrator (a very nice woman, who avoided anything even resembling conflict like it was the plague), the Superintendent (whose had legal woes in her position), and the 'office ladies' (who reportedly initially refused to call 911 at my request because they "didn't have any details"). While I understand that calling 911 without knowing the details is tricky... the process is designed to go smoothly (RN to office about emergency, school automatically in medical lockdown to 'freeze' everything else going on, the Principal to the Nurse's office with her walkie-talkie, able to be the go-between between the RN providing care & the staff speaking with 911).

    I believe the Principal tended to 'panic' in stressful situations. It wasn't the first time. A few months prior to this, a very sick student (medically and psychologically) was sent to a psych facility, where the parent ended-up checking them out AMA, to return to school within a few days. There were concerns voiced by myself, the facility, the pediatrician, as well as the state agency involved, that the student would try to self-harm in school. I attempted (phone, person and via email) to schedule a meeting with the Principal and School Councilor to plan for the return... and they simply would not communicate with me. I know how that sounds - but they refused to meet with me and never replied to my email.

    I don't know if that makes any better sense - it was a case of my colleagues being supportive, but the people who ultimately made the decisions, were not.
    Should you get another school position I strongly encourage you to think of this group as your coworkers.The experience here may have helped you navigate those issues. Good luck on another position.
  9. by   KatiejonD
    Quote from MrNurse(x2)
    Should you get another school position I strongly encourage you to think of this group as your coworkers.The experience here may have helped you navigate those issues. Good luck on another position.
    I'm not sure I follow?
    Last edit by KatiejonD on Sep 26
  10. by   KeeperOfTheIceRN
    Quote from BiscuitRN
    I would go with safety concerns. In an interview I'd explain it while trying to not speak too poorly about your former employer. "They had good intentions, but there were times they disagreed with me on issues that would put my license and ethics at stake," then steer the conversation towards talking about how safety is important to you.
    This right here is what I would do, too!

    And I have to take the time to give you massive props for saving that student's life! I just read your other thread and holy moly! I cannot imagine working with an administration that does not value the safety of their students. Unfortunately, its going to take a massive tragedy for them to realize you weren't "jumping the gun". They clearly don't know the consequences of delaying care to a person in anaphylaxis (or a cardiac event like you mentioned in your other thread) and if they can't appreciate the severity through adequate training (which you gave!), then there's nothing you can do. Its a hard lesson they will ultimately have to learn on their own and will probably cost them their job. You did the right thing and I hope you can find another school nurse position because they need someone like you!
  11. by   KeeperOfTheIceRN
    Quote from KatiejonD
    I'm not sure I follow? Are you thinking that I may have brought this on myself? They were my colleagues, but the few specifically mentioned did not collaborate. With my Principal especially, I regularly went into the "why's" of Nursing practice, scope of practice, state laws, etc. Would you help me better understand your advice?

    I think MrNurse is saying IF you get another school nurse position, try following this forum as we offer a lot of advice and guidance. I don't think he was trying to insinuate you are to blame. Just didn't add the correct punctuation is all
  12. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from KatiejonD
    I'm not sure I follow? Are you thinking that I may have brought this on myself? They were my colleagues, but the few specifically mentioned did not collaborate. With my Principal especially, I regularly went into the "why's" of Nursing practice, scope of practice, state laws, etc. Would you help me better understand your advice?
    No, totally believe you did the right thing. As a school nurse, you are alone, without another nurse to bounce things off of, that is where these great resources come in. They have been in situations like you and have been able to institute change. Please don't read anything into that about you, given the circumstances and what you were working with, you did the right thing. It is like trying to build a house with hand tools as opposed to power tools, you can be more effective with more power. We are here for each other.
  13. by   OldDude
    I read your thread in general...and I can understand your rationale for leaving AND how difficult it is to condense that into a "reason for leaving" statement. Your goal in this effort is to get a chance to elaborate the circumstances for leaving your previous school. BiscuitRN had some excellent advise above as to how to frame your explanation from an objective aspect instead of coming across as an attack on your previous administration. So I think the "reason for leaving" should be something that would draw your prospective employer into wanting an explanation but having the least chance of fitting into the generic/canned reasons typically seen on applications that would cause your application to be passed over. If I were in your shoes I would put, "District Non-Compliance" as your reason for leaving. I don't think anyone could make any assumptions from that reason and, if they were interested, be compelled to ask you to explain it. Then, have your bullet points of objective examples memorized when you get the opportunity. Best of luck to you. Please know how many here are sending you positive mojo, vibes, and prayers. Keep us informed as to how it's going.
  14. by   OldDude
    And...you still earned a, "Bam! Another kid snatched from the jaws of death! School Nurses, that's what we do!

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