Quote from cradlehold
I am going through exactly the same thing. I graduated with my ADN in 1994 and worked in L&D/outpatient pediatrics for 17 years. I left my job last year when my son became ill. Now despite my experience, additional BS degree and certification as an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, I cannot even get to the interview stage. When I left my job, I used all of my retirement to help support me while I was not working (not knowing when or if I could return to work.) Now we are paying out of pocket for health insurance and need me to go back to work ASAP. Is it my age? Too much experience? Too specialized? Doesn't maturity and experience count for anything or are we being passed up for new grads?
This doesn't make sense. Do you live in an area where there is absolutely no hiring going on anywhere? I mean, you left the profession just last year, so it's not like your skills are outdated, and you have 17 years of experience to boot. The only way this doesn't make sense is if you had, like, 15 jobs in 17 years, which I highly doubt, or if every single employer in your area wants to pay lower wages and you would make more with your years of experience so they pass you over. The latter seems doubtful, though, since hospitals like experienced nurses who really know what they're doing. Most people on here who can't find work say it's because they don't have enough experience, which is very normal. I don't think it's your age either. You graduated in 1994, so if you didn't go back to school later in life, you would only be in your thirties or forties now. That's not old anymore! I am 47, and I just got hired for a plum position in the internal float pool of a large hospital system (premium pay, no weekends or holidays unless I want them) because of my many years of experience, so my age and experience definitely didn't hurt me.
If you lived where I do (Michigan) you would be gold and you would not only be getting interviewed, you would have your pick of jobs.
To the OP: Have you worked in nursing between 1984 and the time that you went back to school? Did you get good clinical experience during your BSN schooling? It seems like someone would hire you, unless you went 25 years without working in nursing at all then took an accelerated BSN program with minimal clinical experience, in which case maybe an RN refresher course would benefit you. It sounds like employers might be put off by thinking that your clinical skills are stuck in the '80s if you hadn't worked between ADN and BSN. Have you applied anywhere and everywhere? Where I live, LTC/Rehab jobs are a dime a dozen, but you can really update your clinical skills working in subacute rehab because these days, these patients are often only a couple of days post-op and require extensive clinical care. I worked in subacute rehab for a short while, and even though I hated it, I worked with IVs, wound vacs, feeding tubes, dressing changes, giving blood...and a whole host of other clinical procedures that are no different than what hospital nurses do.
Good luck to both of you!!!