Terminated from first nursing job after 3 months of orientation. Job hunting advice?

Nurses General Nursing


Note: Read my previous topic for more details about what happened

Long story short: I was terminated from my first nursing job at the end of my 12 weeks of orientation because I was not competent enough to work independently on the floor without help or guidance from my preceptor.

My preceptors were unfriendly, unsupportive, and discouraging to me throughout orientation and my manager was only hearing about the mistakes I made or the concepts that I did not understand from the preceptors (some of the things the preceptors told my manager were also not true, but that's a different story...).

I worked hard my final week of orientation. I tried to take all of the criticisms received from my preceptors and attempted to improve myself as much as I could to possibly avoid termination. It unfortunately was not enough and I ended up being let go.

Now I am applying to more jobs again. I am ready to work hard and start fresh with a new job and a new environment, but I am a little concerned about what I want to say if I am asked about my most recent job. I was only there for 3 months. I was terminated from my job instead of resigning. I did not make it through my orientation phase. These are all red flags for employers. What should be my "reason for leaving" when asked in job applications? I am a bit nervous about how I am going to explain myself without badmouthing my old employer or sounding like I was fired because I was too hazardous.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

22 Articles; 9,986 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Tell them the truth: the job was not a good fit, and you are currently seeking other opportunities. You can always explain the termination when the interviewer asks. People get fired every day, and the vast majority of them move on to other jobs; employers know this. You'll find another one soon.?

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice.

I agree with Viva, "not a good fit" is your mantra here.

If you get some questions on why it was not a good fit, focus on what you're looking for in the new position rather than what went wrong with the last one. For example: "I'm looking for a culture of learning" if you feel like the lack of support was the whole problem.

Good luck to you.

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