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I had no issues as a telemetry nurse before some unfortunate experiences working in ICU. Can you advise me as to how to move forward?

Tuesday May 7, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been a nurse for a year and a half. I started in ICU after a year of med/surg on a telemetry floor, but I really did not fit in well with my new team members. I was on orientation longer than most nurses and had several reports made against me regarding medication errors and communication with staff. I was reported because an IV infiltrated and I had an order to transport a patient off telemetry, when I should have put them on telemetry. I followed procedure for drug administration. I requested a transfer to another affiliate hospital, but my transfer was denied and I was asked to submit a letter of resignation. I had no issues as a telemetry nurse before my unfortunate experiences in ICU. Can you advise me on how to move forward?

Forced to Resign

Dear Forced to Resign,

It's better that your record will reflect that you resigned, rather than being fired. So when asked why you left, just say something like, "The job wasn't a good fit for me. I thought I'd like ICU but I know now it's a little too intense for me. But I'm happy I tried it and I certainly gained good experience."

Read “Picking up the pieces of your career” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Pieces).

Volunteering as a nurse in a healthcare setting while you look for paid employment is a good interim strategy. Volunteering is a great way to expand your professional network and get your foot in the door. It also gives some structure and purpose to your week and often leads to paid employment. Look for opportunities in your local public health department, a free clinic or the American Red Cross.

Contact some nursing agencies about part-time or temporary work while you are in transition. Many agencies even have long-term contract work that includes benefits.

Networking is a very effective way to find a job under any circumstances, but especially when you have obstacles to overcome. Regularly attend career fairs, nursing association meetings (even as a guest, if not a member of anything), nursing seminars and conventions. See what's coming up in your area at www.Nurse.com/Events/ and www.Nurse.com/Events/CE-seminars/. You may find this article helpful: “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair).

This is a bump in the road, but you'll get past it as many before you have done. Alexander Graham Bell said, "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." Move in a positive forward direction toward your next opportunity or adventure.

Best wishes,
Donna


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.