I am an experienced nurse with a stipulation on my license that started in 2007. I have been able to complete all BON requirements except the one year working with a RN doing indirect supervision. I completed six months and when a new CNO was hired, she called me in and told me to resign because she did not want nurses with stipulations on their licenses. I had worked 10 months but she came in at the end of that quarter and said she could not sign any good papers for me because she did not know me and did not feel comfortable doing that paperwork. The thing is that there were several nurses working there who had stips, but they were allowed to continue to work. I have been without a job for more than one year. I don’t even get called for interviews. What can I do? My stip does not keep me from performing all my nursing duties. I can carry narc keys and give narcotics, I do not need someone to hold my hand to do anything, just a RN in the building available by phone to call if I should need to ask a question.
Nurse with a Stipulation
Dear Nurse with a Stipulation,
It is always challenging for me to respond to this type of question without knowing all the details and the players. But based on what you shared about your last position, which was edited for publication, I advise you to consult with a nurse attorney to determine if you have any recourse for what sounds like may have been unlawful termination. I can’t say for sure, but at the very least, you should have a consultation to discuss the particulars, even a year after the fact.
A nurse attorney is an RN who also has a law degree and has passed the bar. A nurse attorney is uniquely qualified to represent nurses in situations such as yours. Find a nurse attorney by asking around, getting a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association whether or not you are a member, or through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys. You need some professional advice and support at this juncture to advocate for you with the Board of Nursing, get your license unencumbered, and possibly get your old job reinstated. Rather than rejecting this idea, assuming that you can’t afford it, at least make a call to a nurse attorney to see if you even have a case. Your license, your livelihood and your reputation are at stake.
Being both unemployed (not by choice) and professionally idle is a deadly combination for many reasons. It plays havoc with your self-esteem and psyche not to mention your work history. So I recommend that you seek volunteer work as a nurse while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteer work gives you recent relevant experience to put on your resume and discuss on an interview. It also gives structure and purpose to your week, provides an opportunity to hone old skills and learn new ones, and expands your professional network. It is a way to get your foot in the door somewhere and often leads to paid employment. Contact groups such as a local chapter of the American Heart Association or American Red Cross, a local public health department and so on.
You’re also going to need to use your personal and professional contacts to help you find a paid position where you can satisfy that last BON requirement unless the nurse attorney advises you otherwise. Let those in your circle know what you need and ask for their help and support. Networking is a powerful job finding tool especially in a situation like this.
Read “Picking up the pieces of your career” for additional tips and advice on navigating your way through this challenging situation.