Fired After 50, Part IV: A Time to PuntRegister Today!
Fourth in a series about the adventures of a down-on-her-luck RN faced with the eternal question: "Will I ever work as a nurse again?" and finding that sometimes, the only thing to do is look for the positive in the situation......and then drop back and punt.Aug 5, '10 by VivaLasViejas GuideSame shinola, different day: I received twin rejections between breakfast and lunch today. One was from the hospice where I'd aced two interviews, only to lose out to someone who lives closer, and the other from the local hospice where I'd really, really, REALLY wanted to work. They didn't even give me a fighting chance---I'd had a short interview with the HR director and never even got to meet the hiring manager, who rejected my application without bothering to check my references (among whom are two of her own nurses). After seven weeks of writing cover letters, sending out applications, and retooling my resume....after seven weeks of waiting, hoping, praying, e-mails, interviews, and phone calls, I'm no closer to finding a job than I was when I started.
I have officially hit bottom. I feel like the word "LOSER" is etched into my forehead. All these years I've worked hard and built a good reputation in the community......and now I've got nothing to show for it but wrinkles and a handful of unemployment-check stubs.
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with our expenses now. After all, my husband and I are surviving on only about half of the income we had from our jobs, and the numbers don't compute. I just cancelled our 30th wedding anniversary celebration that was scheduled for late next month because there's not enough money coming in to take ourselves out to dinner that night, let alone throw ourselves a second wedding and reception. We've got over $15,000 in medical bills and are being nagged to death about them, even though I keep telling the collections people that it's all we can do to afford our prescriptions now that we're without health insurance. And that little bit of light at the end of the tunnel? I thought that hospice job was it for sure, but now I fear it's only the headlight from an oncoming train.
Granted, it's not all bad. We haven't lost our home or car..........yet. None of the utilities have been shut off.......yet. We aren't starving, and we can still afford Internet access and cable; at this point, I'm grateful for just about every little blessing that keeps the wolf away from the door. But what a comedown from the past fifteen years, when we only thought things were tight financially; we'd forgotten how bad things can really be. This is waaaaay too reminiscent of our struggles as young adults, and it's going to take more energy than I feel I'm capable of generating to start over again.
I wonder about all the usual things, like what I'm going to do if, despite all my best efforts, I can't find a job after my unemployment benefits run out, and what I'm doing wrong to cause these repeated rejections. But I'm also beginning to question whether I need to think about relocating........whether I'll ever work as a nurse again........or even whether I want to. Nursing has not been particularly kind to me, as much as I've loved it; maybe all this is telling me that I need to do something else (although what that would be, I haven't the faintest idea). And if truth be told, I really don't want to work five days a week as so many jobs seem to require; four days a week is about all I can handle without getting burnt out, and three would be even better. I'm at a stage of life when work is no longer the be-all and end-all of existence---I've got a husband who recently retired and kids/grandkids I like to spend time with, I'm getting more involved with my church and developing a social life again, and I have plenty of hobbies to keep me out of trouble. Who needs to worry about work 24/7? Haven't I already spent enough of my life doing that?
So perhaps these rejections, as much as they hurt my pride, are more blessings in disguise......and perhaps it's time, as my father used to say, to drop back and punt. In other words, accept the fact that I don't know where to go from here, and let that be OK for now. Stop freaking out over things I have no control over, be open to possibilities outside my comfort zone and ready to seize any opportunities that arise. Put a smile on my face and hold my head up because I'm not a loser. And above all, I need to "let go and let God", because my way sure as hell isn't working.
Psssssst.....hey, you! You still got that ad for Truckmasters? I might need that.......
VivaLasViejas has been a member since Sep '02 - from 'Beautiful Western Oregon'. Age: 54 VivaLasViejas has '16+' year(s) of nursing experience and specializes in 'LTC, assisted living, geriatrics, psych'. Posts: 24,338 Likes: 32,267
4,995 ViewsAug 6, '10 by chacomomAfter 37 years as a nurse and a bout with breast cancer for which I had to take significant medical leave, I found myself in a similar position. The institution which I was working at did not renew my contract because of the significant tme I had to take off for chemo and radiation.
I actually tried for over a year and a half to obtain employment in the nursing field.I became discouraged. I understand what you are going through.
Then last december I discovered I had severe osteoarthritis in my knees .And I have back problems from allthose years of lifting patients. I guess the good new in that is that I am now on disability so thats helps somewhat financially. But my husband is working 2 jobs right now to keep us afloat financially.
As you might guess, the medical bills from cancer treatment(even with insurance), were devastating.
So,hand in there. I too feel that nursing has treated me badly. Its like after a certain age you are kind of a throw away.
Nursing isn't the only job in the world-it is however one of the hardest. After my knee replacement surgery(both knees) I will see if there is another plan for me. The universe does provide, although we don't always know what or when.
ThenAug 6, '10 by noreenlMarla what state do you live in? have you ever considered signing on to an agency for perdiem work? or maybe work with an agency recruiter to help you find that perfect job. We have one at my agency and the facilities pay him a fee for finding them the right nurse. It doesn't cost you anything and it gives you an advocate looking out for your best Interests 24/7! i have noticed that sometimes companies don't advertise all their vacant positions and our "headhunter" puts the right nurse with the right job! if you want more info you know where to find me!!!! Keep your head up girl! I know that you are a skilled nurse with tons of experience and you have an amazing way of making a problem clear and my patients have benefited from your gifts!! i just want you to know that YOU ARE LOVED AND VERY MUCH NEEDED IN THIS CAREER!!!!!!Aug 6, '10 by CNL2BOP --
Keep your chin up. It's a hard spot you are in.
I get the not making bills thing. My husband had no work for 18 months and is just recently employed again. We, too, managed to not lose our assets (barely) on my salary but with three kids between the two of us, a mortgage, and a car payment, we got way behind. Now it's catch up with huge credit card debt. I can imagine that it's just as stressful for you, nearing retirement. My parents are in a bit of the same boat as well. My dad is retired (on disability), and my mom just had her hours cut back -- again. They are trying to figure out how they can live on pennies until she can pull SS/medicare. Her work doesn't offer medical so they are paying out huge amounts for a private policy that she needs.
It's just a bad time, historically/financially. It is really crummy to think that you (and many others!!!) went so many years as a college educated person with a good paying job, only to have the rug pulled out from under you. It feels unfair and unjust. I like to think of myself as a flexible, adaptable person, but sometimes "rolling with the punches" really gets you down.
So sorry for you, but I'm glad you are documenting this. Hopefully this will be something that you can look back on 5 years from now and be thankful that you came out on the other side a stronger, wiser person. (Doesn't it stink that that might be your only consolation, though?)
Best wishes. Keep us posted.Aug 6, '10 by marina2010I really hope things turn around for you very soon! I've always felt that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps this is the Universe telling you to take a break...for now. I've been reading your series since the beginning and you sound like a wonderful, hard working nurse who, unfortunately, had a bad series of events. Good luck and don't give up hope!Aug 6, '10 by himilayaneyesyou may just want a permanent job, but you could sign up with a nursing agency. they won't care what age you are..all they care about is that you have a nursing license. they'll pay more than the hospitals and it'll help pay your bills in the meantime. i suggest all about staffing and medstaff (i personally prefer all about staffing). good luck to you.Aug 6, '10 by VivaLasViejasYou know, y'all might have something there. Does anyone know any temp agencies that hire nurses for jobs other than hospitals?