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Wrongly fired for cursing out a nurse

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I know my situation is not unique but I need some advice. I was able to get my first RN position in the ED of a small community hospital. Three weeks into my orientation, I was let go for allegedly cursing out a nurse. I have no recollection of this interaction or even having an argument with any nurses in the department.

Management did not consult with my preceptor, coworkers or myself prior to my termination. I had no issues with my performance, skills or interactions with patients or staff. My preceptor was just as shocked as I was about the termination and even wrote an eloquent email on my behave defending my integrity. While I'm frustrated with the unprofessional way this incident was handled, I am ready to learn from this and move on with my career. How to I address this short time in the ED in my resume and future interviews? Thank you for your help.

Dear Needs Advice,

I am sorry you lost your job and I'm having some trouble understanding the reason why. Are you saying you cursed out a colleague and  forgot, or that it never  happened?

Whatever transpired, here's a couple of things to know:

Most employers reveal only dates of hire and position for their own liability. Some may also say eligible to re-hire or not, when asked.

Three weeks is a very short time and some would advise you not to include it on your resume. This is one option, but know it carries risk if you are found to have lied on an application.

You do not want to speak badly of a previous employer, so you do not want to say they fired you on trumped-up charges. Better to say it did not work out, it was not a good fit.

You definitely do not want to relay the incident as you did in this post, as it raises more questions than it answers.

You say you are ready to learn from this, and I sincerely hope so.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth