I have worked in various capacities as a hospice nurse for two different companies in the past three years. When the hours became full-time instead of part-time at my most recent hospice job, I resigned, due to obligations to extended family members that would have made working full-time days virtually an impossibility, and because there weren't any other openings at the time in our small hospice department. I did study for and pass the CHPN exam towards the end of my time in this position, so I am officially a CHPN. Instead of looking for another part-time hospice job, though, which is what I should have done, I felt that I needed to stay with the same hospital system or it would look bad to potential employers that I only worked for them for a year, so I impulsively took a full-time Med/Surg nights position with the same company.
Now it is almost three months later, and I am off work with an exacerbation of an old cervical disc injury that I never, ever had any trouble with when I worked hospice, and I am kicking myself for not just trying to secure another hospice job instead.
Since it appears that I am no longer a candidate for the physical demands of being a Med/Surg nurse (I will be fifty in a couple of birthdays, as well), I decided to go ahead and try to find a hospice job anyway, and applied to a few online this past Friday, so of course, being the weekend, I haven't heard anything back yet.
Here is my question: Do you think that the fact that I have a few years of hospice experience and my CHPN certification will be important enough for the potential employers to overlook the fact that I have only been at this Med/Surg position for a few months (although I have worked for the employer for almost a year and a half), or will I look like a big quitter? I don't believe in lying, so if they asked, I would just tell them the truth, namely that I realized that a.), I should have stayed in hospice nursing, since it is my first love and I am certified in it but was trying to stay with the same company for the longevity factor, and b.) I can no longer meet the physical demands of full-time Med/Surg nursing, which I couldn't have known until I tried it. Both of these are true, so I wouldn't be lying, I'm just not sure if my experience and CHPN cert would be enough to get them to overlook my short and unsuccessful tenure in the Med/Surg position, or if these reasons for giving it up already sound totally lame. (I do have several years of solid Med/Surg nursing experience from when I was younger and more physically sound, so at least it won't look like I was taking a REALLY impulsive leap into the unknown, I hope).
What would you think if you were looking to hire a part-time hospice RN and I applied, based on the above information?
Thanks in advance!
Last edit by westieluv on Aug 19, '12
Aug 22, '12
I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say you want to return to hospice because you have a passion for it and a special spot in your heart that med/surg patients just can't fill. Being certified will be the icing on the cake. Besides maybe having recent bedside experience might help also.
I say don't worry about what they'll think and apply for the jobs you want. I've only ever hired non nursing personel but I wouldn't think it was a bad thing.
Aug 22, '12
Thanks for your reply. After I posted this, I actually did get a call to interview for an inpatient hospice job that I had applied for. The interview was yesterday, and it went very, very well! I just told her that I really miss hospice nursing and that I realized that inpatient Med/Surg is no longer a good fit for me, and she said that was completely understandable. She said she is going to call me within the next day or two after she checks my references, and she mentioned that I would be getting approximately a $2/hour pay raise (yay!) from my current job, which I didn't even ask about, she brought it up, so I thought that the whole thing went very well.
Thanks again, I appreciate the encouragement!