I have been a nurse for over 35 years. Unfortunately, I don't live in the land of opportunity. After many years of 2nd shift, every other weekend, all those holidays, living with the threat of having to stay over into 3rd shift, weekly changing schedules, and not being on the same time schedule as the rest of my family, I have been looking to move off of that shift into a "day" job. I have varied experience in nursing - different hospital units, office work, and health center experience. The small rural hospital where I work is going through major changes, as are many across the nation, and many positions will be gone, which is also a big factor in the decision to look for a change - it's a wish and a necessity.
Yes, I know - nurses are not the only people who are required to work off hours, weekends, holidays, etc. I have seen many changes in nursing and in health care over the years - some good, some not so great. But, that's a topic for another discussion...
I can sympathize with the new grads, not being able to find jobs. And now I have seen the frustration first hand. I still remember the days when you could walk in, say, "I'm a nurse", and poof! you were hired. Now I see the age discrimination that goes on for the nurses on my end of the scale. I have had several interviews with no success. I still need to work, just as much as the younger nurses.
I guess my frustration is - after all these years, how do you make yourself marketable? We've seen many posts addressing this problem for the new grad group. Any suggestions for the older crew?
Jan 25, '13
Wow - I can feel the frustration and pain in your post.
In my area of the country, experienced nurses are not really having a lot of difficulty finding jobs. Nurses who have credentials that validate their expertise (specialty certifications) are particularly sought-after. In most cases, you can't even sit for these certification exams unless you have experience. Wound Care and Case Management certification are also hot commodities these days. Have you pursued any specialty training? This may improve your marketability.