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
Find a nurse attorney by asking around or through a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (nursingworld.org) whether or not you are a member, and/or The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org).
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 (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Pieces) 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