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Still a new grad... when will it end?

First Year   (6,054 Views | 22 Replies)

helster83 specializes in None.

1,194 Profile Views; 21 Posts

-I graduated in Jan '10.

-Passed the boards March '10.

-Worked as a nurse's aid at a local hospital from july '09- july '10.

-(First opportunity) Got hired to work in acute care at NYP- Cornell, started july '10.

Got the preceptor from HELL (got berated every day, he bullied everyone from me, to volunteers, chaplains, nurses from an adjacent unit, anything he thought was inferior... did a lot of complaining about me to management for making mistakes-- before I ever had the opportunity to make them). No patients were ever harmed. I barely had the opportunity to do anything on my own. So I didn't make it through preceptorship, and lost the position 3 months later.

- Spent a lot of time questioning my own intelligence and lost confidence in myself. I pulled myself back up by becoming more active with nursing (I volunteered in medical oncology at a close hospital, went to open house events with free CE's, took free CE's online, joined oncology nurse society, attended ONS seminars/events, set up my own database of all the hundreds of positions I applied for between December '10- June '11.

-After going on an interview in April '11, I got the call that I got the job on June 1st. It was in a med surg unit in LI. This was considered a GI medicine floor, but we had a large quantity of psych, dementia, ETOH withdrawal and palliative patients. It's very challenging.

...Anyway long story short, I lost THAT job too. Basically, I had my wedding date for Oct. 1, 2011 set since December of '10. On the interview (in april) the hiring manager knew I was engaged and getting married soon. She didn't ask for a date. After I started working in June (early june) I told her of the date (but had NO plans of taking PTO days). She nearly chewed my head off. I tried my best of being as helpful and diplomatic as possible. Since then, she had been passive aggressive about the wedding (I swear I didn't take any time off! Just switched two days so I could sleep the night before the wedding and attend my own rehearsal dinner). She tried to make me work the night before the big day.

2 weeks after the wedding, she forced me to resign from the position on the grounds of my "many mistakes." She said that if I didn't resign, that she'd fire me adn that getting fired could hinder my license in NYS, keeping me from ever working as a RN again.

Yes I made errors since I started. They were based on charting or supposedly missing a specific lab in the morning. The charting error that got me bounced was putting a flexeril PRN q 8 hrs into a standing order section of the paper medex. The patient still got the right med/dose/route/times. I know what I did was a mistake. I was wrong. Apparently education (as I was told by my lovely manager) didn't think I was worth keeping. None of my patients were ever harmed.

TODAY -- I'm frustrated that I cannot find work. I think that I'm unemployable at this point. Whose going to want to hire me in this economy? I find my own recent work history unbelieveable, let alone others to understand how I struck out twice in a row the way I did yet feel like a victim. I didn't write this story to get berated for being irresponsible. I think it's safe to say we all made at least one mistake in our careers. Is there any (helpful) advice out there for someone like me? If you read my story... thank-you.

Edited by helster83

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Altra is a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

6,255 Posts; 40,943 Profile Views

You're in a tough spot. I cannot comment on whether termination was an appropriate response to your errors, as I was obviously not there. But the bottom line is that you have now left 2 jobs as a result of performance issues and that is tough to overcome.

A small silver lining: you can truthfully say that you voluntarily resigned from your last position. When asked on applications, you can indicate that you do not want that employer contacted. This may or may not work against you, but it's probably the best option that you have.

Is there a reason you have not obtained a position at the hospital where you volunteered? Those people know you and have observed you in a clinical setting -- they are probably your best shot at an acute care position right now, assuming that your volunteer experience has been positive.

Other than that, you're likely to have to cast a very wide net to find an employer that will take a chance on you. It may be a very tough few years ... but here's hoping that eventually, this rocky start will be a distant memory.

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helster83 specializes in None.

21 Posts; 1,194 Profile Views

At the time I was volunteering, the hospital was on a hiring freeze and there were talks about laying RN's off. Right after I was hired by my 2nd employer.

As a side note that I should have mentioned, since losing my position in October '11, I have worked per diem as a school nurse at a private all boy's school in the bronx. Work hasn't been steady though.

Thank- you for sheding your advice!

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Merlyn specializes in none.

852 Posts; 10,718 Profile Views

Sweet Soul, I've been there and back. what saved me was agency work. I worked in some rotten places,for some rotten people

My suggestion is go back to the people that you know best. If it is any consolation to you, the fact that you resign and were not firer means that you can put on an application resigned do not contact this employer. The new job can't contact the old job. If the new one wants a reason not to contact the old one,all you have to say is desire of change. That's all you have to say. That will be that. You know, life is funny. You could think that you will never work again and then you get a phone call from a job that you have written off. You never know. Keep sending those applications out follow them up with a phone call a few days later and NEVER GIVE UP! We will be here for you. We all make mistakes. We don't judge.

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helster83 specializes in None.

21 Posts; 1,194 Profile Views

Thank- you so much. Reading this means so much.

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14 Posts; 2,137 Profile Views

It seems that you are discouraged by all this but I want to encourage you to look at this a new way. Your post title says Still a New Grad but you are an EXPERIENCED nurse. Say that several times to let yourself hear it. Even if the experiences were mostly negative, there is a silver lining. You do have all these experiences in many different nursing areas to form a vision of your perfect job. For example, it sounds like you love your school nursing job but just need more hours. I was a school nurse sub while I was working on my BSN and got calls almost every day. I want to encourage you to go to other local schools with your resume and business card addressed to the principal. Use the private school as a reference. Schools have many sick kids and it totally stresses principals out when the school nurse is not there. I bet you get lots of work.

Also remember that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. To many people think the hospital is the only work place for nurses. That is totally a misconception. I was a tech in acute sub abuse rehab for years but then became a nurse and worked in community, school, primary care and specialty offices since the day l became licensed. My fifteen week practical in an ER showed me that my heart was not in hospital nursing and I was wise to follow my heart to primary care where I have thrived and decided to started working on NP courses.

Please keep your chin up during this transition and look for the silver lining in your past employment. You have learned alot.

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784 Posts; 13,602 Profile Views

OP.. do not take it personally or feel bad about it. I too have been through a few jobs and I have tried VERY HARD at all of them. I had a fine preceptor at my first job (Med Surg), but the floor nursing manager and the rest of the unit had it out for me... writing me up for silly things like keeping someone on hold for a few minutes.. please. Other picky things too like not running to call bells 'fast enough.' Mind you.. there were not any patient safety issues at any time... just nurses on the floor 'eatin' their young.' Another job where I was hired and given NO ORIENTATION. They knew I was a fairly new nurse yet they wanted me to do blood draws and IV's and be an EXPERT at it. I told them in the hiring interview I had never done those things. I told them I would some training on that. When my first day came, NO nurse to work with me and NO orientation. Gone from there too.........>>>>>

For whatever reason, most places do not want to take the time to 'orient' new nurses to the unit, hopsital. You get a few weeks if that... WHAT'S THAT??? And they expect you to be super woman. There really needs to be a 'residency' program for new RN's to become more proficient at 'real' nursing. Nursing SCHOOL itself is NOT going to do it. Doctors when they graduate med school have MD after their names, but they are not experts at that point. Nurses should have to go through a residency program too. Issue solved.

Hang in there. You will find something and you are NOT alone. Take care!! ;)

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1,154 Posts; 15,675 Profile Views

Helster83 I know you must feel discouraged after all of these things have happened. My heart goes out to you. Think back for a moment, didn't you make it through nursing school? That was no small feat and neither was passing the NCLEX!!! You are a very strong woman and you will get through this. God didn't bring you this far for you to give up you're just in a tough spot right now. My advice is to seek him and ask for direction. See what he wants your next move to be. Someone mentioned agency work. Could this be a start? Just no you have what it takes no matter what leadership thinks you are a survivor!!!

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7 Posts; 2,383 Profile Views

Have you considered the military or the Public Health Service? Just an idea if you are open to relocating and a little adventure!

Good luck and hang in there!

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20 Posts; 2,272 Profile Views

Have faith! You can now utilize the experience you have and learn from these experience on how to better yourself as a nurse and how to deal with these people. Maybe you can apply to clinics or other areas of nursing others have mentioned before. I know how hard it is to find a job, I've been looking since May, but another job offer will come your way. You landed your first job and then a second one came your way and you are being active as a school nurse. Stay strong and keep searching for possibilities.

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Merlyn specializes in none.

852 Posts; 10,718 Profile Views

Thank- you so much. Reading this means so much.

Anytime, Sweet Soul.

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2 Posts; 1,240 Profile Views

Wow, that's terrible for you, but don't give up! I'm a newbie too, and while I haven't hurt anyone either, I've made more mistakes than you described FOR SURE!!! I absolutely hate my nursing job...BUT, everyone says that the first year or two are often horrible, so I'm sticking with it because I always wanted to do this, to help people. In fact I quit a job making much more than I do as a nurse to go to school and become an RN, so now there are so many days I could kick myself in the butt. To me it seems like in med surg nursing, you don't have the TIME to properly care for patients. I never even take a lunch break, or any break for 13 hrs. It wears me out, but that I can handle. It's giving my all to try and help people and do the right thing, but knowing if I can be taking care of a patient in one room, while another patient of mine has a fall in another room, and while I did everything I could have to prevent it, I could still get in trouble!!!

Sorry I got off topic, first time venting. But I feel your pain and hope you get a job with some very great co-workers, who remember what it was like to be "new"! Best wishes!:nurse:

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