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I need advice about being let go from an LTC facility after expressing concern about not enough training to care for 40 patients on my own.



Dear Donna,

I got a job at a long-term-care facility. I had been there three months when they assigned me to work a different shift: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. I would have been alone and after talking with another nurse who works that shift realized that I did not have complete training to care for 40 residents by myself. The next day I was terminated from my job. I feel very bad as I was an exceptional nurse and feel I was wrongfully fired. What do you make of this situation and what advice can you give me?

Feels Wrongly Fired,

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Feels Wrongly Fired,

It sounds like an unfortunate situation no matter what happened. Since you feel you were wrongly fired, you can contact the employer’s human resources department and ask about the procedure for filing a grievance against the termination. If they don’t allow it or don’t respond, consider consulting with a nurse attorney to understand your rights and find out if any action on your part would
be warranted.

Find a nurse attorney by asking around or through a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( whether or not you are a member, and/or The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (

In the meantime, start volunteering somewhere as a nurse to keep your confidence level and skills up to date. Volunteering also helps give structure to your week during unemployment and helps to keep your mind off your troubles. Volunteering also is a good way to get your foot in the door somewhere and often leads to paid employment. Contact your local public health department, a hospice facility, blood bank, free clinic or other entity about volunteer opportunities.

Read “Picking up the pieces of your career” ( and follow the additional advice in the article.

Regardless of what happens, you will need to pick yourself up and move forward as difficult as that might seem. Many of us have had bumps in the road in our careers, myself included. But don’t let it define you or throw you off course. When one door closes, another — sometimes a better
one — opens.

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’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 and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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