Would you please take a moment to read my personal story and give feedback

Nurses Career Support


Hello Fellow Nurses,

I am a recent graduate of a high ranking nursing school in Texas. I graduated 2007 and got hired on at a top national hospital for critical care. I would as an ICU nurse for a year. I loved my management and staff. I was dedicated, professional, and willing to take on anything. Unfortunately, after having my baby, I had severe postpartum depression. Due to that, I could not do the job. I tried coming back to work three times. I finished my shift the third night, but called my manager and said I had to resign because I do not want to compromise my patient or myself. She understood, and we parted on good terms.

However, I was the main breadwinner for the family. I had a mortgage, two cars, and a new baby to take care of financially. I thought maybe a change of scenery will help so I switch to work at another hospital's ICU from a friend's referral. I could not perform mentally. I wasn't the sharp nurse I used to be. I had to resigned, on good terms with the manager and hospital.

Then the financial responsibility got overwhelming, all this happen when the recession hit. It was hard to make any decisions. The house was undervalued, I had to turn over my cars. I felt so ashamed, because I worked so hard to graduate cum laude and pay off my student loans. And here I am, back to square one, because of the postpartum depression. I lost myself entirely. Who am I? I felt like a failure, because I wasn't in CRNA like the plans I made.

My biggest mistake was taking a job that I thought would be fairly easy in an ambulatory center; but I couldn't hack it. I resigned in 2 days. I live in the DFW, so we have a background company called GroupOne. I found out when after a couple months, when I felt better, that I was rejected because they stated I resigned , but I ABANDON my job. That kicked my depression into full spin. After many months of trying to hang on mentally for dear life, I got myself a lawyer and starting putting the pieces of my broken life together.

This experience has truly given me more compassion for people in general. I actually started volunteering at a crisis center. My lawyer is still working on it. When I first spoke to her, she was angry because she thought I didn't want to pay... and actually said "you young nurses think you can just up and quit without any regards to anybody and rules" and she strongly and unempathically suggest I find services elsewhere. I apologized to her if I came off as what she thought, then my eyes just started watering because I felt so judged... but I couldn't keep back the tears as I told her that had severe postpartum depression and I'm trying to take responsibility and fix it.. and I am at a hard place financially. It brought up all the emotions, sadness, just everything. She apologized and agree that job abandonment is inaccurate because I did called and I was not on the premise and I had no patients to abandon my job.

Just this past month, I had finally worked up the courage to renew my license and I got a job temporarily as a nurse. My daughter is 2 1/2 now. It took me that long to be okay.

What I am asking the my fellow nurses is to give me professional advice because I am looking to doing labor and delivery, my first love, but I feel that the recruiters are going to see my job hopping, employment gaps, and GROUPONE "job abandonment" as red signals to DO NOT HIRE...

Please be forthcoming with some advice as far as what to include in the resume, application, explanations, etc...

Thank you all!

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

You will have to work with your lawyer on the "abandonment" classification problem. That's a legal question, not a nursing one.

Were you under a physician's care for you postpartum depression or did you just make that diagnosis yourself and get no treatment for it? Without any documentation from a health care professional that your problems were actually caused by an illness, it's going to be hard for employers to overlook your past employment record. Even with documentation, there are legitimate questions as to why you resigned on short notice rather than going through a process of using sick time, working with your manager and occupational health dept., etc. to relinquish your job responsibilities with that illness properly documented in your employee files.

Because of your history of taking jobs when you weren't up to fulfilling the responsbilities and simply leaving on short notice, you will not be an attractive job applicant even if your post partum depression is documented and the job abandonment issue resolved. In a competitive job market, other candidates will be more attractive. That's a harsh reality that you can't do anything about. You may have to wait to get back into nursing until the job market turns around and jobs become more plentiful -- when employers will be more likely to take a gamble on you.

To get back into nursing, you may have to take a job that is not as appealing -- a job for which there are not many applicants -- and demonstrate that you can be a reliable and competent employee again. That first job might also be one that is not in nursing. But that's what you might need to do to demonstrate that you are capable of doing a good job and being reliable. Then you can show that your depression is over and people will be more likely to hire you. Of course, you may also have to be prepared to answer the question (asked or un-asked), "What happens if you have another baby?" That will be in the back of people's minds even if they don't ask it.

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