Long work history in another field and can't get hired as a nurse

  1. Hi all,

    I would really appreciate any feedback, advice or constructive critisism you can offer after reading this post. I am 41 years young and nursing is a second career for me. My previous work experience was in the health insurance field. In 2008, I resigned from my job to attend nursing school full-time. I completed school and received my license in December 2009. Since then I've sent out numerous resumes to hospitals and LTC facilities that resulted in only 1 interview, no job offer. I appologize for ranting, but, I've been out of work for almost 2 years and really need a job! I need help from all of you experienced nurses and hiring managers, to please read my cover letter and resume and tell me where I'm going wrong. I've read other post and great advice is always offered here. I've X out all of my personal info but everything else is here.

    Dear Hiring Manager,

    I am writing in response to an announcement recently posted on your website for a Licensed Practical Nurse. As you can see from my resume, I graduated from XXXXXX Practical Nursing program in August 2009 and obtained my license on December 18, 2009.

    Through my clinical rotations, I’ve had the opportunity to work in several settings, including medical/surgical, labor and delivery, long term care for both adult and pediatrics as well as observe several surgeries in the OR. This experience has enabled me to develop the skills that will prepare me for the challenges of nursing and given me the confidence I need to care for patients.

    During my past employment, I have established customer service and leadership skills that I can also apply to the nursing field. My previous experience has allowed me to plan, organize, and work with people from various backgrounds. I believe that my education, skills and experience has prepared me well to become a valuable member of the healthcare team. I am confident that I will continue to develop as a nurse, particularly as I provide care to a diverse patient population

    I am passionate about nursing and realize that patient care requires a solid foundation in nursing skills and techniques, prioritization of care, and communication. This coupled with my compassion and patience is what I offer as a practical nurse. I am very interested in beginning my nursing career at Eliza Jennings and will be honored to be a part of your team. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss my interest in this position with you. Please contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
    Thank you for your consideration in this exciting opportunity,
    To acquire a position as a Licensed Practical Nurse with an organization where I can utilize my nursing education, training and interpersonal skills, while providing the highest level of care.


    2008 - 2009 XXXXXX, Cleveland, Ohio
    Licensed Practical Nurse Diploma

    2001 - 2007  Community College, Cleveland, Ohio
    Nursing prerequisites and general classes

    1983 - 1987 XXXXXXX High, Cleveland, Ohio
    General High School Courses

    Clinical Experience:

    2009 Aristocrat Berea, Berea, Ohio
    2009 Montifiore, Beachwood, Ohio
    2009 Hillcrest Hospital, Mayfield Heights, Ohio
    2009 Lutheran Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio
    2008 Beachwood Point, Beachwood, Ohio

    Work Experience:

    2005 - 2008 xxxxxxxxxxx Insurance, Cleveland, Ohio
    Licensed Insurance Agent - Answered questions from existing and potential policyholders regarding rate quotes; sold and set-up insurance policies; helped solve underwriting issues and interpreted insurance guidelines accurately.

    2002 - 2005 XXXXXXXXXX, Mayfield Heights, Ohio
    Provider Service Representative- Responded to provider inquires regarding patient benefit coverage, claim status, physician referrals and facility pre-certifications, grievances and appeals generated by phone. Also, assisted the provider community understand documentation and coding required to support proper reimbursement levels.

    1999 - 2001 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Cleveland, Ohio
    System Acceptance Analyst -Identified existing and potential problems with system enhancements. Developed and executed test plans based on assigned project requirements and issues. Analyzed and validated all test output, presented documentation of original issues or system enhancements along with completed testing material to system users.

    1994 - 1999 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Cleveland, Ohio
    Sr. Customer Service Representative - Responded to customer, provider and labor union inquires via phone and written correspondence; coached new hires during probation period; responsible for processing and adjusting medical, hospital and pharmacy claims. Consulted with marketing department to update representatives on claim payments and inventory status.

    1991 - 1994 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Cleveland, Ohio
    Claims Adjudicator- Coded and entered dental, medical, hospital and pharmacy claims onto processing system. Processed edits and errors from claims pending report.


    2009 LPN Diploma
    2009 IV Certification
    2009 Medication Certification
    2008 Basic Life Support
    Last edit by NickiLPN on Apr 15, '10 : Reason: bogus symbols in text
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    About NickiLPN

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 5


  3. by   llg
    Nothing jumps out at me as being wrong in your materials ... but I do wonder if you are applying to jobs that are likely to be filled by a new grad LPN who hasn't been in a clinical setting since last summer. That was a long time ago (in nursing years) and hospitals looking to hire an LPN may be looking only for someone with more recent experience and/or work experience as an LPN rather a new grad.

    At my hospital, we do ocassionally hire LPN's for certain positions -- but we almost never hire a new grad for those positions. We only hire experienced nurses for those positions. Could that be the case in your area? The posting says "LPN," but they prefer to hire ones with experience. If that's the case, you might have better luck finding a home health, clinic, or LTC position -- a place that hires more LPN's and is OK with hiring a new grad LPN.

    I would also recommend leaving the dates of your graduation and your licensure out of your cover letter. The long gap between the two (and the fact that it's been 8 months since you graduation is a red flag. They'll see that in your paperwork if they look closely at it, but I wouldn't make that gap more noticable than it has to be.

    Also, your resume doesn't highlight your nursing education or skills. It's time to drop the high school reference ... and I would condense the insurance work information. All that stuff is overshadowing your nursing skills. Is there anything nurse-related you can add? e.g. volunteer work, special projects you worked on in school, extra-curricular activities while a nursing student, honors/awards as a student, membership in nursing organizations, etc. You could list your nursing school faculty references. Try to make your resume say "nurse" as much as possible rather than "insurance agent" -- but don't completely remove everything related to your previous career.
  4. by   caliotter3
    As difficult as it may be and while not the ideal solution, you might want to consider applying for CNA positions in addition to LPN positions. Emphasize that you want to be considered for an LPN position when one opens up. Some employers will hire you under these circumstances. Better than having no job at all and you can start replacing the old job history with recent patient care work history. Just remember that if you get a job as a CNA, you will still be held to the standards of your LPN license for legal purposes.
  5. by   dxbtocvg
    Not to rub it in or anything like that, but I think that the LPN is going the way of the dodobird (sorry , i know that sounds mean and harsh) but i s say it as one who was in your shoes, got an LPN and no job for an year almost. Thankfully my DH makes a half way decent income so after waiting an year of not being able to get a job i went back in and got my RN over the next year, and even with that i got a job after 3 mos of trying. Make no mistake nursing jobs for lpn or rns are getting harder for us new grads...even with the rn they prefer bsn rns cuz it helps them to get to magnet status as its one of the 'criteria' they need...so thats next on the radar for me.

    Enough of useless patter, i would recommend trying in :
    VAs (hire a lot of lpns)
    Correctional facilities

    A friend of mine got 3 jobs right out of lpn school: 2 in a LTCs and one in a correctional (she had contacts in the ltc)

    Also try this website: https://ohiomeansjobs.com/omj/
    it is a great portal for all search engines in one

    Also go to gchc.com, its the cincy area heath council and they have orientation sessions for new grads off and on that might be useful to you..i went to one and got free editing for my resume with the HR person of a local hospital, which in retrospect was very useful!

    Look out for job fairs etc

    however the absolute best way to get a job is via contacts: be shameless about telling everyone you are looking for job, neighbors, mailman, fedex guy, EVERYONE..honestly i got my job via contacts on facebook, no kidding!

    Make it a job to look for your job, read the monster websites books on the topic, they are really good and give you a gameplan to keep a score of how well your job hunt is going

    it is doable, trust me...and when u get that job go straight ahead for yr lpn to rn or lpn to bsn pronto!

    good luck!
  6. by   NickiLPN
    Thank you all for your advise. I will give your suggestions a try.
  7. by   RAKelleyPN10
    This has helped me too because the school I went to doesn't have a very good reputation and even though ive been applying like crazy, most of the jobs have moved from my area, up north. Yea this is a real pain.
  8. by   RNBearColumbus
    Folks, it's not that no one is hiring LPNs,(Who are not going the way of the dodo bird, at least as far as the long term care setting is concerned.) or that no one is hiring new grads. The problem is that no one is hiring ANYONE. (I know, that wasn't really comforting was it? )

    Despite the predictions of a nursing shortage, the recent economic downturn has seriously limited the numbers of open nursing positions. Older nurses that would have retired are not doing so, and nurses that might have felt comfortable leaving an established position to go to a new job are staying put. (When the economy sucks, its no time to give up a sure thing)

    Keep applying, and keep looking, particularly at jobs in long term care. You may need to be willing to look a little farther away than you normally would as well. Hang in there. The right job will come.

    (Oh, and to the original poster, I used to work for what I bet is the same insurance company on 9th st. in Cleveland. In fact, we probably worked together back in the early 90s. I was in the training department, and later, worked as a systems acceptance tester as well. Small world. )
  9. by   RAKelleyPN10
    That fact went over my head. Its just discouraging and I am in a tight position and you would think facilities would like male help. The place I am at now can only give me a PRN position but I guess that's better than nothing. I would expand in to home health care but it scares the crap out of me. Oh well pray to the job gods!