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Dear Nurse Manager, why won’t you hire dialysis nurses

Nurses   (1,232 Views 19 Comments)
by Natkat Natkat (Member)

Natkat has 8 years experience and works as a Dialysis Nurse.

12,969 Visitors; 845 Posts

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It is the same story for many of us.  We graduate.  We can’t find a job.  Our first offer is a dialysis nurse job. We take it became student loans.  Then we are marooned for life.  

Within a year of starting as a dialysis nurse I began looking for something else.  And no one will hire me.  I got a bachelors degree because magnet hospitals require it.  

Nothing.  

I got a masters degree hoping I could move into an administrative role. 

Still nothing.  

I thought maybe I could get a couple years of experience on the floor so I can put my masters degree to good use, but no one will hire me.  I can’t even get a job in a doctors office!  

So let me ask you, why won’t you hire us?  Did you have a bad experience when you hired a dialysis nurse? Are we unteachable?   Do we have a hard time making the switch?  Do we have knowledge gaps?  What is it?  

Please tell me what the secret is so that I can get out of this rut and move on to something else.  

Thank you

 

 

 

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

3 Followers; 113,064 Visitors; 13,094 Posts

What jobs are you applying for, and in what communities? My recommendation is to apply for jobs in smaller or rural communities that are at least an hour away from larger metro areas. Almost without exception, these smaller communities are desperate for nurses.

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Natkat has 8 years experience and works as a Dialysis Nurse.

12,969 Visitors; 845 Posts

Thanks for the suggestion.  I live in a major city and it would be quite a drive to a rural area.  It might be worth it though. 

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Adri0418 has 2 years experience as a ADN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1,431 Visitors; 36 Posts

You pose a very valid question. I am going on almost 2 years of dialysis and it being my 1st job as a new grad. I happen to love every second of my job, my patients, my team. I feel like dialysis is a specialty that people are not very well educated on. We excell as case managers/holistic care. We "are the code team" when there is a code blue. We are the patients advocates each and every day. We have honed in our assessment skills do this specialty. We communicate with the MD'S change in patient status, do rounds with them, admit patients, administer meds, draw labs, hang abx, hang TPN.  We use the  nursing process each and every day. We educate, educate, educate. Fill prescriptions....and the list goes on.   We may not have acute care experience but our patient population has many many commodities that we deal with daily. We use our clinical judgement and critical thinking daily. If that is not good enough, I don't know what is. 

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1,918 Visitors; 46 Posts

I would be very interested in knowing whether or not you have found a position outside of dialysis.  I have worked in dialysis for over 23 years in various positions. Currently, I'm the clinical coordinator for two dialysis centers. I love dialysis and do not plan to leave until I retire....if that ever becomes possible!  In 2017, I completed an on-line RN-BSN Program. I did so well and enjoyed it so much that I decided to enroll in an MSN Program. I really don't have time to do the clinicals involved in a nurse practioner program and the only other MSN Program offered was in education, so I went with that.  I thought it might be great if I was qualified to teach an on-line class in my retirement years.  I've completed four courses in the program and although I've done well, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  The RN-BSN Program was totally on-line, but the MSN Program has a mandatory Web-EX every Thursday, which totally interferes with my work schedule.  I'm thinking about cutting my losses and calling it quits.  Then I saw your post on how your MSN hasn't helped you. Just wondering how things are going for you now.   

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Natkat has 8 years experience and works as a Dialysis Nurse.

12,969 Visitors; 845 Posts

No I haven't. Nothing has changed.  I can't even get a job in a doctor's office. I have only had one interview in six months. I can't even get arrested. 

My master's degree is worthless, as is my bachelor's degree for that matter. I am doing exactly the same job I was doing when I graduated from nursing school 11 years ago. 

I wonder if you got a degree as a nurse practitioner of that would work for you.  Nephrologists use nurse practitioners a lot, and that might be a path you could take. I wish I had gotten my degree as a nurse practitioner. It might have made all the difference. I got my master's degree from Western Governors which is 100% online.  Nowadays though, I wonder if that is what is holding me back. I wonder if I had gone to a traditional university if that would make me more appealing to potential employers. 

Meanwhile, nurse managers, what is it about dialysis nurses that you won't ire us?  I would like to know so that I could do whatever it is you want so I can go in a different direction. 

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1,918 Visitors; 46 Posts

I would be very interested in knowing whether or not you have found a position outside of dialysis.  I have worked in dialysis for over 23 years in various positions. Currently, I'm the clinical coordinator for two dialysis centers. I love dialysis and do not plan to leave until I retire....if that ever becomes possible!  In 2017, I completed an on-line RN-BSN Program. I did so well and enjoyed it so much that I decided to enroll in an MSN Program. I really don't have time to do the clinicals involved in a nurse practioner program and the only other MSN Program offered was in education, so I went with that.  I thought it might be great if I was qualified to teach an on-line class in my retirement years.  I've completed four courses in the program and although I've done well, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  The RN-BSN Program was totally on-line, but the MSN Program has a mandatory Web-EX every Thursday, which totally interferes with my work schedule.  I'm thinking about cutting my losses and calling it quits.  Then I saw your post on how your MSN hasn't helped you. Just wondering how things are going for you now.   

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1,918 Visitors; 46 Posts

Too many clinical hours in the NP Program. I just don't want to do all that. I'm too old!  May I ask what state you are in?

 

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Natkat has 8 years experience and works as a Dialysis Nurse.

12,969 Visitors; 845 Posts

I am in Texas. 

I was 56 when I got my master's in leadership and management. I wish I had gone through the NP program instead. I might have ended up being more employable. But who knows?  Either way I have deep regret. I committed lots of time and money to my education, gave up family time and vacations with my partner, and got nothing in return. 

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Natkat has 8 years experience and works as a Dialysis Nurse.

12,969 Visitors; 845 Posts

On 2/23/2019 at 9:14 AM, klone said:

What jobs are you applying for, and in what communities? My recommendation is to apply for jobs in smaller or rural communities that are at least an hour away from larger metro areas. Almost without exception, these smaller communities are desperate for nurses.

Welp. Tried it. No luck. 

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9 Followers; 22,438 Visitors; 2,947 Posts

On 2/23/2019 at 10:14 AM, klone said:

What jobs are you applying for, and in what communities? My recommendation is to apply for jobs in smaller or rural communities that are at least an hour away from larger metro areas. Almost without exception, these smaller communities are desperate for nurses. 

 

19 minutes ago, Natkat said:

Welp. Tried it. No luck. 

 

Can you explain more of what you are experiencing? Are you getting any interest at all? Any inquiries or interviews, for example?

Do you have an effective resume/cover letter?

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

4 Followers; 43,455 Visitors; 5,301 Posts

Dialysis is highly highly specialized, making it more difficult to represent yourself in the light of universal skills and knowledge.

Look for positions in in-patient dialysis and then seize opportunities to fill in on the floor.

Look even further outside of your major metro area. All the major cities in Texas are saturated with nurses needing to train. All of them. We have more new grads than we can possibly employ, making a dialysis nurse even less likely to get a glance. You may need to consider moving, at least temporarily - Indian reservations, Texas/Mexico border towns, rural areas. You also will need to count on it taking anywhere from four months to a year to get nibbles on jobs.

Consider reworking your resume to highlight your renal experience and apply specifically for renal floors.

Consider reworking your resume to highlight your diabetes experience and apply for diabetic educator positions.

Consider returning to school for a postgraduate certificate as an NP.

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