Anyone having trouble finding work after taking several years off?

  1. 1
    I am an RN with 10 years expierence in med-surg. I have recently tried to get a job at a hospital that has several positions opened, but have no luck. I had an interview, they were very informal and asked me nothing until they found out that I had been off because of cancer. Then the questions came, but none to do with nursing. They asked how my immune system was, how often are you sick?, how often do you go to the doctor?... and so on. Also, I haven't worked in 11 years. Is there anyone out there who has had this problem?
    lindarn likes this.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    I'm sorry you're having a hard time finding something.

    It's really none of their business as to why you've taken time off. I wouldn't volunteer the information as to why you've taken off, as it opens up the opportunity for them to ask questions ....... personal questions that they should not be asking.
    nurse441, lindarn, and BBFRN like this.
  5. 4
    Quote from mom2730
    I am an RN with 10 years expierence in med-surg. I have recently tried to get a job at a hospital that has several positions opened, but have no luck. I had an interview, they were very informal and asked me nothing until they found out that I had been off because of cancer. Then the questions came, but none to do with nursing. They asked how my immune system was, how often are you sick?, how often do you go to the doctor?... and so on. Also, I haven't worked in 11 years. Is there anyone out there who has had this problem?
    This is illegal, according to Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    http://www.eeoc.gov/types/ada.html

    "Medical Examinations and Inquiries
    Employers may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the examination is required for all entering employees in similar jobs. Medical examinations of employees must be job related and consistent with the employer's business needs."
    Vida, lamazeteacher, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    Hi, I took five years off to care for my son and deal with my own health issues. I wanted to return to hospital care and my previous work had been
    at a clinic. I signed up for an RN refresher course that had a hospital clinical. It was through a local community college. There was a waiting list so it took a few months. There were about 20 of us. The one who was hired first was an RN who had not practiced for 25 years. I was the youngest at 38. Recruiters even came to talk to us. Ask if there is tuition reimbursement for college... then ask for your refresher tuition to be paid once an offer is on the table. There may also be a finders bonus if you are referred by a friend who works for the company. Make sure that person has all the paperwork put in through HR or he/she may be out of a healthy bonus. At our hosp. it is over $1000. My neighbor didn't get it because of no paperwork before I interviewed.

    Regarding your health, mental health, children,
    marital status, sexual orientation, hair color, tattoos, race etc.... questions about those subjects are not supposed to be asked... if they are... perhaps answering by changing the subject back to "here are my letters of recommendation".... may redirect the interviewer. If not then maybe working for that supervisor isn't going to be a good fit. Do not answer any personal questions.

    I have found a great interview tool is to organize all of my letters, CEU certificates, license, resume and copies of my resume into a nice binder. I got a leather look a like in the office section at the local ---mart. The zippered kind are really nice.
    I put everything in clear page protectors. Sometimes I'm asked for a transcript or diploma so I have copies of those. Organize according to need. I like Resume, license, certifications, letters, CEUs., diploma, transcript.

    Put the word out that you are looking. Call people who know people in the area you want to work. Don't be shy.

    Every blessing and congrats on dusting off the ol' nursing shoes.

    nurse:
    lamazeteacher and lindarn like this.
  7. 2
    I feel for you. I took 14 years off, and like you, my leave was health related. I had a k/p transplant after a year on dialysis. Finding the first job did take longer than I thought it would. I stayed there for a little over a year. It was tougher than I thought too. I moved to another hospital after that. Having that year's experience made a difference. You might have to take a job you're not crazy about just to get that year's experience to get you going again. Keep trying. You might even find something you like better.
    lamazeteacher and lindarn like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from BBFRN
    This is illegal, according to Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    http://www.eeoc.gov/types/ada.html

    "Medical Examinations and Inquiries
    Employers may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the examination is required for all entering employees in similar jobs. Medical examinations of employees must be job related and consistent with the employer's business needs."
    Many application forms ask for explanafor time not worked. Do we take the "5th"?


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