Frustrated and getting down,...

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    I have been out of nursing for 5 years. I recently completed an RN refresher course, obtained my license in my state, recertified in CPR and took a 2 day assessment class. I have been applying for jobs since June and NO ONE wants to offer me a job. I worked for my last hospital for 20 years, seven of that in the SICU. I am a hard worker and love to learn. I am pleasant and a team player. I don't understand why I can't get an interview or even the job when I do go so far as to interview. I really want to break into the case management area of nursing and so far that has been frustrating in itself with every job posted requesting your certification or 3-5 years experience in case management. The hospitals have been literally impossible to get on with due to the fact that they don't like the five year break. I investigated some re-entry jobs and there are NONE but there are a few for new grads (which I am not eligible for.) ANy words of encouragement or advice or experience would be appreciated. I want to work!!!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    I'm sorry about how frustrating this is. Even though I am a new grad and "should?" have some difficulty getting work, it still sucked. I applied to 9 hospitals (since june) and when it was all said and done, the one who gave me a call back and offered me a job did so because I met one of the nursing recruiters randomly in public.

    I was happy about getting the interview, but a little put off because my acheivements like getting through nursing school, passing nclex, volunteering yada yada yada really didn't matter because to all of those other hospitals, I was just a peice of paper amist the hundreds.

    As nurses we go through so much red tape and monumental achievements in our careers.... and it seems when it should matter the most, sometimes it doesn't. I had such good references and an amazing GPA and I never heard anything from those 9 hospitals.. even with follow up via phone, fax, and visiting in person.

    These months have been tough to say the least. Especially since my husband and I just moved here to NYC 3 months ago. I looked at it as a character building process..

    All that to say, I really feel for your situation and wish you the best. Don't give up, and when you get discouraged remember that you are valuable! Don't let the silence of recruiters make you doubt yourself or your goals.
    tammy.
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    Yep, definitely frustrating! For perserverance, remember that you only need one job offer. Kinda like looking for a spouse... you meet lots of creeps but you gotta keep trying and not give up if a good marriage is a priority to you. You only need to find one. Getting back into nursing is similar. Once you do get hired on, then you are no longer "5 years out" and instead have recent experience. So you just need one opportunity.

    What can you do about continuing to try to find opportunities besides filling out applications that seem to be ignored? Did your refresher course have a clinical component? If so, ask if there's a way to repeat that. That way you continue to have recent clinical exposure and it shows that you are really serious about getting back to clinical work. And if make a good impression on the staff at the clinical site and they happen to be hiring, you could luck out.

    Maybe you can volunteer on a floor that's similar to one you used to work on. Depending on the dynamics of the unit, the staff might have the chance to get to know you and then the nurse manager might be more open to considering your for hire.

    Definitely speak directly to nurse managers and not just human resources. If there's a floor that particularly appeals to you, check in with the nurse manager every few weeks, asking if there are any openings and that you're still available and interested. It may seem to be pestering, but the managers have a lot on their plates and without a few reminders, they might forget about that eager re-entry nurse who inquired about a job two months ago.

    Finally, continue to inquire into re-entry and new grad programs. You never know when one might suddenly be implemented at a local facility. Don't just assume that because you couldn't find any 3 months ago that that means there aren't any now. Or that because several people say they don't know of any that that means there aren't any. Keep asking. And while re-entry programs are more rare, a good facility wouldn't deny you the extra new grad support they provide, despite your not being a new grad.

    Also, be sure to let them know if you are willing to take new grad pay as they might assume that you're expecting to be paid more for your past experience and don't want to pay that differential for someone who may not be up to speed right away.
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    I agree with jjjoy's suggestions. You need to keep making contacts and getting your face and personality "out there" to be seen by the people who do the hiring. Are there any local nursing organizations or conferences you could attend to meet people? If all they of you is a piece of paper, then that may be all you seem to be. Give them a real person. Volunteer at the hospital of your choice and get to know people. etc.

    Also, what types of jobs are you applying for? Are you applying where there is a definite need? ... or are you trying to find a job in a particular niche? Are you putting any limitations on your search by applying only to work a specific schedule or specialty? etc.
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    TamrRN07 & jjjoy,
    Thank you for the recent words of encouragement. This situation makes me feel so worthless and I wonder if all that blood, sweat and tears were worth it (I worked full time and went to school full time in nursing school,...I know many have.) I will try to hold my chin up. I am looking into the clinical portion of the refresher course now. I was going to follow through with that but my interviews were scheduled during my orientation times and I was led to believe that a job was "in the bag" from a hiring agency. I have been out of the interview process for some time. I really wanted that job. Oh well, back to pumping myself up and trying to move on. Thanks again for the good vibes....:typing
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    I have noticed alot of postings for case management and have applied for many of those positions (have been told my ICU background is a plus.) I have also applied for med/surg, ICU, telemetry, outpatient, and home health. I did get an offer from home health but was required to take call with my three day weekend work totaling 48 hours of call per week (non-compensated.) I found that impossible to do and reconnect with my family particularly with my husband. I am planning on attending a hospital open house soon too. I will try to stay positive and follow some of these great pointers....:spin:


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