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Help! Had to Quit My Job, Now What?

Nurse Beth   (616 Views 4 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

15 Followers; 89 Articles; 228,562 Profile Views; 1,849 Posts

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am looking for advice about how to be hired "back" into the clinical setting as a RN. I have my BSN and my RN license is current, active, and unrestricted.

To make a long story short, I graduated nursing school with a 4.0, was accepted into a residency program, but then about a month later I had to quit my job and tend to my severe anxiety, depression, and eating disorder (all of which are stable or in remission).

I had odd jobs here and there, some in a nursing position and some not (2012-2015). From 2016-2017 I worked as a school nurse for a private school. This job was amazing and I loved every minute of it. However, due to a "business decision," I had to be let go after a year. The school had 3 part-time nurses and I was chosen because I had the least amount of tenure and no child enrolled in the school.

It broke my heart. From 2017-2018 I did not work and took time to just process everything. I really miss nursing but cannot find a job. I do not know what to do and I think that as more time passes not working as a nurse, the less likely I am to be hired as a nurse. Does anyone have advice or a similar situation? I just don't know what to do.

Dear Unemployed,

I'm glad your health is better. Consider taking a nursing refresher course since it has been 7 years since you graduated.

This is going to take some real perseverance on your part. It won't be easy but it will be worth it. Consider working in LTC to get started. The conditions will not be ideal but it's a stepping stone and a way to build your resume. After 1-2 years of steady employment you will be marketable.

Be mindful of your health along the way, because it will be stressful. Taking a year off to process everything after losing a job is not an option moving forward, as employers prefer to hire nurses who are employed.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

1,378 Posts; 2,790 Profile Views

Try a dialysis unit if LTC doesn't suit you.  It can be an excellent way to get your bearings and some skills, and get you back in the game with a solid work history. Good luck!

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totallackofsurprise has 10 years experience and specializes in ER, Perioperative.

24 Posts; 1,432 Profile Views

Have you considered registry/per diem RN work at a hospital or clinic, or through an healthcare staffing agency? 

The trend in hospitals now (at least in non-profit community hospitals here) is minimal staffing, expanded with registry/float pool/agency RNs when needed d/t higher census/acuity. 

You would still be oriented to the hiring hospital/unit, + it's a way to get your foot in the door & prove yourself on the job.

I got hired to a couple FT staff RN positions,  as a result of initially working at the hospitals on agency contracts.

OTOH, if you don't get many registry/float/agency shifts, your bedside skills will stay rusty, longer.

Edited by totallackofsurprise
added my personal experience

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469 Posts; 2,282 Profile Views

On 7/9/2019 at 3:30 PM, totallackofsurprise said:

Have you considered registry/per diem RN work at a hospital or clinic, or through an healthcare staffing agency? 

The trend in hospitals now (at least in non-profit community hospitals here) is minimal staffing, expanded with registry/float pool/agency RNs when needed d/t higher census/acuity. 

You would still be oriented to the hiring hospital/unit, + it's a way to get your foot in the door & prove yourself on the job.

I got hired to a couple FT staff RN positions,  as a result of initially working at the hospitals on agency contracts.

OTOH, if you don't get many registry/float/agency shifts, your bedside skills will stay rusty, longer.

Any healthcare staffing agencies/ travelers that I have ever seen require at least one year recent experience.  But, she might try a direct contract with a hospital.

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