Growing increasingly despondent due to nothing but job hunting rejection

  1. 1
    Hello readers and fellow nurses, both male and female. I hope everything is wonderful with you. I wish everything were wonderful with me. I am writing this... just to vent, I think. Each day I am becoming more and more despondent. After being an ADN since 1984, I went back to school in 2010 at Washington State University, graduated this May with my BSN, summa cum laude, 4.0, and induction in Sigma Theta Tau International...but no matter where I apply, or how many interviews I take, I am not accepted anywhere. I have been without work for almost 3 years. I seriously wonder what is wrong with me... and maybe I just need a shoulder to lean on. I am so frustrated, I am thinking that I must be untouchable or unemployable for some reason... as if each nurse manager in the country has a big picture of me on their wall with a message "do not hire under any circumstances"! More and more, I am wondering why I went through all the work to become a nurse when I want SO much to work but am not given the opportunity. I know that I have always been a good nurse, and with my 4-year education, I am an even better nurse.

    Sometimes I just need to reach out and tell my fellow nurses and wonder whether I am all alone out here.

    Thanks for listening.

    George
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    You are not alone. There are many of us experiencing the same thing. The nursing job market is a very strange thing right now-employers are in a very powerful position. They can chose from what seems like an applicant pool similar to Niagara Falls which contains many qualified applicants. I am a new Registered Nurse. I had been given a conditional offer of employment by a governmental agency only to have it rescinded because the school from which I graduated was not NLN accredited at the time of my graduation. It cut me to the core-and has been very discouraging. The school was accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and had approval from the California State Board of Registered Nursing, but that was not enough for this particular organization.
    While I have had other job offers, none have been in acute care. One was in LTC and another in Adult Mental Health. I accepted the LTC job and was there for two weeks before resigning due to very poor working conditions, and a total lack of training. Example: I was expected to pass meds to 44 residents with no orientation to the med cart, procedures or residents. There was supposed to be a picture of each resident in the MAR since none of them wear identification bands-out of the 44, three had pictures. One night I was passing meds until 3:30am-out of three other nurses in the facility, no one offered to help. It was not an acceptable risk.

    My heart is in the ER, but I'm not given a chance to prove myself and that is what is most disturbing. Seeing that most employers require graduation from a NLN or CCNE accredited program, and the job market being what it is, I find myself in the undesirable position of pursuing a BSN, without the benefit of first getting 1-2 years clinical experience in an acute environment. The catch 22, as you know all too well, is that earning a BSN does not guarantee obtaining a nursing position. Hang in there, volunteer in an area in which you have interest within the medical field. I have recently trained to begin working as a volunteer victim's advocate with the Rape Crisis unit of the local Magnet hospital. It is not what I would have chosen for myself, however, it is the only door which is open at this time, and I love to give back to the community. Take heart, you are NOT alone.
    Last edit by studentnurse50 on Sep 13, '12 : Reason: spell check
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    Been there done that...... sounds all too familiar!! Who knows what the facilities want, the profession wants?? For most of us becoming a Nurse was more than a "job", it satisfied some inate need, want, or desire, to help others, to leave something of a caring example in a cold world.Hopspitals and such remind me of an over tired two 2 year old that cannot be satisfied no matter what is given. And we take it personally, why wouldn't we? We chose a loving caring profession to get our degree in to make a difference. Otherwise we could would and now question whether or not we should have become the coorporate whore mongers with buisness degrees. Unfortunately the mongers are now running the "non for profit" facilities because everyone wants to make money!( and non for profit means they get a fat tax break) keeping the profit. People that are nurses will likely call them on it then aggravate them like poking the bear!!What's going to change it? Maybe when one of the mongers becomes ill enough to need a caring and compassionate nurse to care for them and there won't be one, just a robot in the buisness to make money. God how I wanted to sound more encouraging but I'm not, digruntled myself, with over 25 years in the profession, diverse, skilled and experienced. Unemployed for almost 7 years in conventional medicine. I've adapted ,used my skills in other areas of life such as alternative medicine, however the greed is just as prevelant there. If I could afford to go back to school what would I choose? God knows..... I believe nurses are principled, men and women with integrity and hearts too big for this world!! I'm thankful we can come here vent, support each other, lift each other up and say it's so not you it's them. Being a nurse doesn't define the awesome person you are!! Maybe it's just time to divorce ourselves from what no longer serves us and what we can no longer serve. Good luck, and don't give them the satisfaction of becoming despondant, try to get creative with what you already know!! Nurses are the most diverse culture on the planet we just need to use it to the advantage of a Greater population. Learn what you can from your volunteer experiences be sure you put it on your resume and who knows..... you might have your own clinic one day look back and laugh because you still have a soul!!!
  5. 2
    I am so sorry for what you are currently experiencing.

    Could ageism be an issue? Since you earned your ADN in 1984, I assume that you are middle-aged with nearly three decades of valuable experience. The people who do the hiring might not want to pay you what you are worth, so they instead might hire nurses with the vaulted 3 to 5 years of experience because they can be offered less money.

    In addition, the financial meltdown of 2008 has affected the nursing job market in a negative manner for the past three to four years. You are not alone in your struggle. Many other experienced nurses have found themselves unemployed and/or underemployed during the past few years.
    xoemmylouox and mrcnstnc like this.
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    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?


    Quote from georgevk4853
    Hello readers and fellow nurses, both male and female. I hope everything is wonderful with you. I wish everything were wonderful with me. I am writing this... just to vent, I think. Each day I am becoming more and more despondent. After being an ADN since 1984, I went back to school in 2010 at Washington State University, graduated this May with my BSN, summa cum laude, 4.0, and induction in Sigma Theta Tau International...but no matter where I apply, or how many interviews I take, I am not accepted anywhere. I have been without work for almost 3 years. I seriously wonder what is wrong with me... and maybe I just need a shoulder to lean on. I am so frustrated, I am thinking that I must be untouchable or unemployable for some reason... as if each nurse manager in the country has a big picture of me on their wall with a message "do not hire under any circumstances"! More and more, I am wondering why I went through all the work to become a nurse when I want SO much to work but am not given the opportunity. I know that I have always been a good nurse, and with my 4-year education, I am an even better nurse.

    Sometimes I just need to reach out and tell my fellow nurses and wonder whether I am all alone out here.

    Thanks for listening.

    George
  7. 0
    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!!!
    Last edit by westieluv on Sep 16, '12
  8. 0
    Westi, OP has been an ADN nurse *since* 1984 and went to complete the BSN in 2010. OP's wording indicates that she worked from 1984-2010.
  9. 0
    Quote from cradlehold
    Doesn't maturity and experience count for anything or are we being passed up for new grads?
    To be totally fair, many new grads are also experiencing tough times and joblessness in many employment markets across the United States. Times are tough for nurses of all experiential levels due to the lagging economic situation.
  10. 0
    Do you need to update your approach? Have you gotten interviews?
  11. 0
    OP, I agree with the person who said that it's not only experienced nurses who are not getting jobs. Many new grads aren't getting jobs either.

    What scares me even more is if I go looking for a non-nursing job, I am afraid that I won't even be able to get that because I have a college degree and everyone thinks "Oh, she's in nursing, she won't stay long." We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Do you have outside of nursing experience that maybe you can fit somewhere? Like for example, I have watched kids for 6 years, going on my second year helping with Sunday School (yeah, I am not a huge church goer; but I love God); had a summer Americorps position that involved feeding kids. Then, I have a BSN (and hopefully, a nursing license when it's posted). So, I am thinking a feasible route for me might be pediatrics or pediatric mental health. Do you have any experience like that (not pediatrics; but something that was outside nursing that you can have a one-up on another candidate) that perhaps, you can kind of spin into something that could get you a position?

    Also, if you are able, perhaps go get your Master's degree...


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