Should New RN list nonRN experience on job apps?

  1. Looking for suggestions here.....

    As I polish up my resume, I have 16+ nonnursing years in professional mental health and nada in nursing (no time yet, I'm brand spanking new!).

    How much detail should I include of the nonnursing stuff? A single brief paragraph outlining the general areas of experience and the licensure and leave it at that? Or does it help to have bachelor's and master's degrees, a license and lots of varied nonnursing experience?

    I have run my own company, had 24 employees, managed a private practice and a law office, but if all that does is clutter and confuse things, maybe I should just leave it off?

    I'd prefer to work critical care (loved externing!) or acute care (loved clinicals!), although I might enjoy the occasional PRN shift on a MH unit.

    Ideas, anyone? (BTW, anybody know of any openings for new grads in the Plano, Texas area? The ads all seem to want 1-2 years of experience and internships don't start until January 2005.....)

    Any and all ideas and suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I would definitely list the major points, so that it shows that you were just not a stay-at-home mom for the past 20 plus years. Whether you have actual experience in nursing, or not, what is important is that you have people and management skills.

    You don't have to list each year and job, but can put from 1990-1996 worked in the ------- field, responsible for ------------- ---------- --------.

    Hope that this helps. You do not want any gaps in years.................

    Good luck...............
  4. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Of course you should list all that stuff.
    I am curious though- with so much experience, education and success in other fields, why did you go into nursing?
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Quote from chris_at_lucas
    looking for suggestions here.....

    as i polish up my resume, i have 16+ nonnursing years in professional mental health and nada in nursing (no time yet, i'm brand spanking new!).

    how much detail should i include of the nonnursing stuff? a single brief paragraph outlining the general areas of experience and the licensure and leave it at that? or does it help to have bachelor's and master's degrees, a license and lots of varied nonnursing experience?

    i have run my own company, had 24 employees, managed a private practice and a law office, but if all that does is clutter and confuse things, maybe i should just leave it off?

    i'd prefer to work critical care (loved externing!) or acute care (loved clinicals!), although i might enjoy the occasional prn shift on a mh unit.

    ideas, anyone? (btw, anybody know of any openings for new grads in the plano, texas area? the ads all seem to want 1-2 years of experience and internships don't start until january 2005.....)

    any and all ideas and suggestions are welcome.

    thanks!
    highlighted the points in your post that i would include on resume and would appeal to me as a nursing manager; purple areas for cover letter.

    16 years in mental health = longgevity
    bachelors and masters = desires knowledge and professional
    run own company with 24 employees = management experience, problem
    solver, understands deadlines and responsibility

    all good skills for someone interested in critical care.


    your hired!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    wish you luck and welcome to the nursing profession.

  6. by   MishlB
    Quote from suzanne4
    I would definitely list the major points, so that it shows that you were just not a stay-at-home mom for the past 20 plus years. Whether you have actual experience in nursing, or not, what is important is that you have people and management skills.
    Although that is a pretty important and tough job itself.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Yes, by all means list the other stuff. I got my first nursing job over several other candidates on the basis of the fact that I had worked consistently since I was 16, including all through college. The other candidates hadn't. My head nurse said it's hard to take someone straight out of college and turn them into a good employee -- my resume said I already was one.
  8. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    I am curious though- with so much experience, education and success in other fields, why did you go into nursing?
    Good question. Wanted to be a nurse since I was five (lotta years ago!) but my Dad felt it was "beneath" me. So I did premed and psych. Then he died and I was still in the "can't be a nurse" mode. Got my BA and a masters, and a license, etc. The license was in 1991.

    Then I came to Texas after a divorce cleaned out every asset I ever thought I might have had. In the Dallas area, 2-3 years ago (and maybe now, but I'm not looking so I don't know), there just weren't any jobs that paid anything! A salary of $25,000 or less to put in a 50 hour week? Please! Even I am not that dedicated.

    Then a friend's husband suggested she take the nursing entrance exams and she called me up to go too, because she didn't want to go alone. (She was also an unemployed therapist--now has a great job but it took her almost 2 years to get one!) I went at the drop of a hat, took the test, had an absolute blast (I love science and math), and scored extremely well. She, unfortunately, had never taken a math or science course and didn't do very well at all.

    The then-director of the nursing school wanted to know why I hadn't applied and, since I didn't have much else going on in my life at the time, career-wise, I applied and was accepted conditionally dependent on getting A&P I&II and Micro done over the summer with at least C's in each. (My A&P was over 20 years old.... ) I got B's across the board, got in and the rest is history.

    Short question, long answer. Sorry. The short answer is also true: I have always wanted to be a nurse, and I have always functioned as a nurse in an informal way, the way we all do when we are "called."
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    highlighted the points in your post that i would include on resume and would appeal to me as a nursing manager; purple areas for cover letter.

    16 years in mental health = longgevity
    bachelors and masters = desires knowledge and professional
    run own company with 24 employees = management experience, problem
    solver, understands deadlines and responsibility

    all good skills for someone interested in critical care.


    your hired!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    wish you luck and welcome to the nursing profession.
    thank you so much!!! it is soooo great to be here (in the profession). these pointers are just what i needed. let the resume polishing begin!!
  10. by   CSLee3
    Chris..congratulations on finishing up!!! Plano Medical Center runs ads in a statewide nursing magazine. I think the ads were for Rns and GNs welcome. It is a pretty big place, they have internships there. I live down the road in Austin but have been to Plano a-many-a-time. Had friends in Allen once. Good luck with your career and YES list all your professional experience. It shows them how you are! :}
  11. by   BrwnEyedNurs
    W
    Quote from suzanne4
    I would definitely list the major points, so that it shows that you were just not a stay-at-home mom for the past 20 plus years. Whether you have actual experience in nursing, or not, what is important is that you have people and management skills.

    You don't have to list each year and job, but can put from 1990-1996 worked in the ------- field, responsible for ------------- ---------- --------.

    Hope that this helps. You do not want any gaps in years.................

    Good luck...............
    I'm only 22 and I am not a mother, but I don't think that their's anything wrong with being a stay at home mom. I sure that you didn't mean to sound so condescending. I know a lot of women have to work and can't devote as much time to their children as they would like. However, I think being a stay at home mom is one of the most important, and noble jobs that a woman can have (and unfortunately one of the most underappreciated). Sorry, I don't mean to sound sassy or anything I just wish that people wouldn't look down on the women that do make this decision. I know that when I have children I probably won't be able to afford to stay at home with my kids, but I look up to the women who do and can.
  12. by   purplemania
    All your credentials sound good to me. Be sure to mention any management experience as it implies you have a grip on critical thinking, time management and prioritization. They KNOW you don't have nursing experience, since you are a new grad. Most hospitals put you with an experienced nurse for a time, to let you get on your feet. Not all facilities require that you attend the new grad program, so be sure to ask how long you will be with a preceptor. Ask about patient/nurse ratios. Request a tour. Act professional and you will have no problems. Every facility wants a mature, professional with a license. You will do fine.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    I Don't Believe That Anyone Meant To Disparage Stay At Hom Moms But Mothers Who Work Have To Be As Much A Mother As Anyone Else And Hold Down A Job Too.......shows That There Is Determination There....if You Were Hiring Whom Would You Hire???
  14. by   obeyacts2
    I would list everything!! I would think the psych background would be a HUGE asset, especially if you go into fields like rehab, psych nursing. And the management experience? Sounds like a charge nurse in the making!!!!! I would love to work with you, a rookie or not.

    laura

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