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Should I take a job at a hospital that often terminates employees just before their orientation period is up?

Friday February 22, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am an RN with 32 years’ experience but have been out of work since May 2012 and out of hospital nursing since 2010. I recently returned to school for my BSN, which I should complete at the end of summer. I recently accepted a position at a healthcare system where I had worked on a per diem basis. Three RNs in this hospital system recently were terminated the night before their three-month orientation was up. I am now having second thoughts about this new job, and wonder if I actually have been hired only as a short-term employee. I really need a paying job because my bills are past due. Should I go ahead with the position and risk the termination game this hospital seems to play?

Worried About Being Terminated

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Worried About Being Terminated,

There is no way of knowing what exactly happened in that other case. If you run from this position because you fear the same thing may happen to you, you could second-guess yourself for all eternity. On the other hand, if you go ahead and start the job, things may just work out for you. And unless ALL new hires are being let go there in the same fashion — in which case word would get around and no one would want to work there anymore — you should have the same chance that you would with any other employer. I also think your previous experience there as a per diem works in your favor. Sometimes you just have to take a chance.

If something else does come along before you start with the hospital, you will have to weigh your options and make a decision. But understand that no matter where you go, there are no guarantees and no job security. There are also no wrong decisions, only different lessons to learn. Read “To act or not — It's your decision” at www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/To-Act-or-Not.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.