8 Reasons Nurses Get Fired

by Tera Tuten on November 17, 2011

Donald Trump might have turned the words “You’re fired!” into a pop culture phrase, but the reality is no one likes to hear those words; not even nurses. Over the years, interest in nursing careers has almost doubled, due to the health sector creating over 500,000 new jobs every year.

Despite the huge demand for trained individuals, nurses still find themselves facing the chopping block. Whether considering a career in nursing, or you are currently employed as a nurse, learning the common reasons nurses get fired can help you avoid a day of judgment.

1. Giving into Temptation—Abuse of Prescription Drugs

A recent study of nurses discovered that 2-5% of those who worked as an RN, or registered nurse, admitted to having a prescription drug addiction, and another 5-10% confessed to having tried patient medication at some point in their career.

2. Demand for Perfection—Making Too Many Mistakes

Some career choices give you the luxury to make mistakes and learn from them. With a career as a nurse, there isn’t the opportunity to make a mistake while on the job. One wrong choice or error as a nurse could have fatal consequences for the patient.

3. Cyberspace Collides With Reality — Facebook Usage & Information

Nurses follow a strict code of conduct, and vow to keep the privacy of a patient. However, some nurses develop blabbermouth, or in this case, blabber-fingers on the Internet and break these codes by sharing anything and everything on Facebook. No matter how vague the reference, if you violate job responsibilities you’ll find more time for Facebook, as you’ll be out of a job.

4. Put On a Happy Face—Grumpy or Negative Attitude

Part of the job description for a nurse is to be a comfort for. In fact, studies have shown that positive nursing can lead to a speedy and complete recovery. Everyone has bad days where you feel like moping around and taking it out on the world. However, nurses are required to push those days aside and put on a happy face for the patients in their care.

5. Obtain Proper Licensing—Failure to Renew or Receive Nursing License

Nurses all over the country are required to obtain a current and valid nursing license. While the process for gaining a nursing license is different in every state, the consequence for not obtaining the license is similar across the board. Failure to renew or obtain a nursing license result in automatic termination and could prevent you from gaining a job in nursing in other states.

6. Patient Treatment—Abuse of Patients

It can be hard to believe that someone who devotes so much time to learn how to care and treat ill patients could abuse them, but 6% of all hospitals and nursing homes were cited for cases of patient abuse. Patient abuse ranges from neglect, physical roughness, verbal abuse, and failure to administer recommended medical treatment. Employers take patient abuse seriously and after an investigation will terminate anyone caught engaging in such an activity.

7. The Disappearing Act—Too Many Absences

Every job hates having to find a replacement when someone calls in sick or takes off of work. However, with the lack of nurses and knowledge required to perform the job, finding a replacement nurse at the last minute can be tough. Nurses who have too many absences, whether excused or unexcused, could find themselves getting more than their desired time off.

8. Inner Politics—Proper Handling of Management

Nurses need to learn how to address concerns and problems they may have with their work environment in a respectful and politically correct manner that won’t attract the attention of upper management or those in charge. Too much attention drawn on you from upper management could result in having all aspects of your job placed under a microscope and examined until they find grounds for termination.

Avoid Hearing “You’re fired!”

With so many people worried about losing their jobs due to the economy, why would you want to place your nursing career on the line by committing some of these popular reasons for termination. After all, unless you are being fired by Donald Trump himself, hearing the words “you’re fired” isn’t all that thrilling or exciting.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie 06.11.16 at 12:17 am

I was terminated for a wrong needle count during shift change and not calling for an x-ray even though the case was only half way done. I informed the other nurse the count was off but that all my needle packages said i had seven, the scrub nurse had seven packages as well with seven needles on the field. Also there was two other nurses in the OR at the time who could have put up the extra suture and not accounted for in the count. So let me back up a little bit I am a circulating nurse in the OR, my company sent me there as a circulating nurse but when i arrived i was told i was going to be used as a surgical tech, I have not scrubbed a case in 9 years, i felt is was not safe for me to do so with out training. When i told the charge nurse she said they would not be able to keep me. They then changed their minds and said they would use me as a nurse and use one of their RN’s who was trained to scrub and the surgical tech, the day they got a traveling surgical tech I was let go for the incorrect count. Well today i was in a case and the needle count was off by one, the nurse said well our packages all come out the same so we are okay. The nurse used the packages as well as the supply list to reconcile the count. Hummm

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Michelle 06.20.16 at 6:19 pm

I am a brand new lvn and took a job in corrections after being out of school for a year. It was a great job. But I was overwhelmed, intimidated and too slow. I ended up being let go at the end of orientation. I did make mistakes. I feel so awful about losing my job but I guess it just wasn’t the right place for me as a newbie. I left on good terms and my supervisor did say ” you are a terrific person.” Any advice for getting over this and moving forward would be really appreciated, thank you!

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Nurse 25 07.01.16 at 12:26 am

Can a nurse have her license investigated for accusations of sleeping on her case at her home health case 15 days after she was terminated from the employer because a report was made after the fact yet she had this case for over a year

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Glen Robertson 07.11.16 at 11:11 pm

Is it possible for a nurse to be terminated for actions/ behavior off the job or on vacation ? If sayou. You get intoxicated or someone complains about your clothing/ costume on facebook,twitter,MySpace, etc… so how much of your private ,personal life could affect your nursing career ?

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Angelina 07.20.16 at 12:27 am

I have resigned from a home health agency job, turned in my last visits and charts, now I was told to do 3 more discharges of patients I have not seen for months.
I don’t get paid doing discharge paper work unless I see a pt.
Should I be doing these since I already quit my job.

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Male nurse 08.20.16 at 12:00 pm

These pictures are a tad sexist

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