I’m in a bit of an unusual situation. I’m a new graduate with a BSN, but I’m also a foreign-trained physician. After immigration, I passed all the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination steps and started my residency training. During the next three years, I became totally disillusioned with the role of physicians in the U.S. model of healthcare. To make a long and painful story short, I didn’t want to sacrifice my role as patient advocate and educator things doctors traditionally perform in my native country, but seldom do here. I resigned from this training program in less than good standing, although I managed to secure some letters from that place. For the next two years, I went through some health problems and decided to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. I finished a BSN program two months ago, obtained my license and am now searching for a job. I enjoyed school, the clinicals and the externship, and I feel I found my way and will love my career in nursing.
Should I mention this residency experience on applications and interviews? Even though I was paid, it was training not employment, as I never had an independent license and always was under someone’s guidance. It was so traumatic I still can’t calmly speak about it. Also, it had nothing to do with nursing, and the hospital where it happened does not have a good reputation. On the other hand, it means that I have a lot of experience and many skills, such as assessments and ECG interpretation that could be beneficial in a job search. I mention my foreign degree on my resume, but not this training. I’m not sure this is the right thing to do. I would really appreciate your opinion. During school, everybody knew about my degree but not about the residency.
Concerned New Grad
Dear Donna Replies:
Dear Concerned New Grad,
If the training was a full three years, it would be a shame not to mention it because it is somewhat recent and relevant experience. You say it had nothing to do with nursing, but it certainly does. It was clinical experience.
However, if you still can’t calmly speak about it, then maybe it’s best to omit it. If it was ever discovered and you were questioned about it, you simply could say what you said in your letter, that you didn’t think it was relevant because it was medical training and not technically employment.
Either way, you likely will be asked about the time you were unemployed, including the time you say you went through some health problems. You can simply say there were issues in your personal life that needed your full-time attention.
There is no clear right or wrong way to go with this. So I would say do what feels right to you, go with your gut and just move forward.