Talking with the DON tomorrow, any tips/advice/words of wisdom?


In the later part of last year I was terminated from my first LVN job. It was a per diem day shift float position and honestly was a lot for me to handle. The whole situation really brings me down whenever I think about it. It made me rethink whether I want to continue being an LVN or just give up and start at the bottom. After a lot of thinking, I think it's best if I give it at least another shot, so I've been applying to various LVN position near my area. So far I've only heard back from one place, just today in fact. I had to explain why I was terminated to the DON and, surprisingly, she invited me to go meet with her tomorrow morning. I'm pretty nervous, not only because it will be my first interview (if you can call it that) in a long time, but for the position in question. It is a per diem position covering all shifts. I really only want to work night shift, but at this point I really need some income coming in and this is the only place that is giving me a chance to talk to them. Any tips/advice/words of wisdom? Also, is it necessary to have naked fingernails to go in and talk? They aren't crazy colors (pink with white tips) but I'd like some input. Thank you very much in advance, I appreciate your time :)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
Any tips/advice/words of wisdom?
I would simply emphasize what you've learned from your previous experience. Be prepared to describe what you learned and what you intend to do to avoid repeating mistakes from the past.
Also, is it necessary to have naked fingernails to go in and talk? They aren't crazy colors (pink with white tips) but I'd like some input.
Many healthcare facilities do not allow false fingernails or colored nail polishes on anyone involved in direct care. False fingernails can harbor microbes, and colored nail polish can disguise the fact that one's fingernails might be unclean. If you really want this job, remove the color and tips.


537 Posts

Like a dog with its tail between its legs, just be humble and straightforward with the DON. Chances are she's been canned from several places herself, if you are talking LTC- it's very common. Lots of people get fired with and withOUT cause. Since so many states have at-will employment, those states also should have anti-explain-why-I-was-fired-laws. It's only logical. In fact, it should be illegal to ask if an applicant has ever been fired. In Japan- it's illegal to ask a job applicant about his criminal history, to give you an example of how skewed it has become to get a job in America.

As far as the nail decor...well, humble doesn't gel well with flamboyant?

Good luck.


35 Posts

Thank you both for your advice. Now that I think about it, I've seen quite a few nurses come and go during my time in LTC, so I guess being fired is a pretty common occurrence in this area. Which isn't too appealing a thought :down: That would be great if it was illegal to ask if one has ever been fired, I feel that admitting that is such a hindrance when looking for a job. Thank you both again :nurse:


537 Posts

Last SNF (only 2 units, 90 beds) I worked at for 13 months. In that time, no kidding, the place went through:

5 administrators, all were fired

5 DONs, 4 fired

110 LPNs, many walked off the job, it was that bad

20-30 RNs, many walked off the job

over 100 CNAs, most were fired for the most minor of reasons, many walked off the job

the entire kitchen staff was replaced 4 times

The reason I kept count? After my first week, seeing several people walk off, I became curious- so I started a chit sheet. It was fun.

And a former boss of mine/adminsitrator was recently fired, that's about his 4th being canned.

In LTC it doesn't matter who you are, if you are competent or not, or whether you are the best thing since sliced bread- you are disposable. Yet the same admins and DONs that are treated badly, go on to treat their staff the same way. Round, and round, and round it goes?


12 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 1+ years experience.

I wish you the best of luck!!! I'm not going to give up on my hunt for a better opportunity!


40 Posts

You don't have to go in to all the details of the failed job. In California, I believe that your former employers are basically limited to stating when you worked there and in what capacity, just say it wasn't a good fit for you and leave it at that.