Professional life after termination

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  • #104731

    So, I’ve been fired a few times in my 15 year healthcare career. I’ve been an RN for the past 10 years. None of these terminations were from direct issues with patient care. I’m a great nurse, I just occasionally make a sucky employee :(. I recently was terminated from a golden position for, GASP, sleeping. Now I must explain the unit I worked on. I worked in a new (open about a year) skilled nursing facility that cared for postoperative patients for 1-3 days immediately after surgery. On average, there were 2 RNs on at night with an average of 1 patient. I made excellent money, and had very little to do at night. There was a lot going on in my personal life in the month leading up to my termination. I worked 12 hour nights, and at times, we were required to come in and sit, without patients to care for. If we did have a patient, 1 nurse would take the patient, and the other would be back up essentially. During that last month, I lost a babysitter, another was off on vacation, and I was one exhausted momma nurse with almost nothing to do at work. On too many occasions, a half hour break nap would be 60-90 minutes. I was not the only staff to partake in this, just the first one to get caught and made example of. So, I was fired. Up until that point, I was a star employee, whose supervisor would bend over backwards for me. But I messed up. I have since gotten a LTC job, but I am so so unhappy and continuously looking and applying and interviewing for hospital and clinic type positions. I’ve been open and honest with hiring managers, and at times put my nursing heart right out there on the table. I have 10 years experience as an RN, in LTC, subacute care, home care and Acute care. Does anybody know the magic words that will help get me in? I more than realize I’ve made big mistakes in my recent professional career. I also realized that night shift may not always be the right place for someone that likes to be super busy. Help me! What do I say?

    #104739

    I am not telling you to LIE, but maybe you DO NOT have to tell a potential employer the entire story.
    It is my understanding that a past employer CAN NOT tell a perspective new employer that you were fired, let alone the reason (s). I thought they were only permitted by law to tell the dates you were employed.
    However, every time I was interviewed for a new position, I was asked “why”?
    Maybe you could say something like: “nightshift just wasn’t for me”, “I was tired all the time” or “I was having child care problems”. From what you stated in your post, all three of those statements are true!
    I was in a management position for years and I have interviewed a lot of nurses. And, one thing that I have noticed is that when people are nervous, they tend to ramble on and on, ultimately saying way to much! Keep in mind, I am not saying to give one-word answers, I am saying elaborate on you positive qualities!
    There are many sites on the internet that assist people with tough interview questions. Try googling topics such as: “How to tell a new employer the reason I was fired during an interview” or “should I tell an employer the reason I was fired”?
    I hope I have helped a little.
    Good luck!

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