How to leave hospice?

Nurses General Nursing



I have been a hospice nurse for the last 4 yrs. Previously an OR nurse for a year (OR was not my thing). Love what I do, but I really feel like it's time for me to try something new. It's a beautiful job, but I just feel like losing all the time, all my patients die, and I'm slowly dying with them...Not sure if this is the point where I'm "burned out?" I really feel I desperately need a change in setting. I have been applying to other jobs, even training programs for new grads, but no luck. Still, Im trying my way out of hospice.

What I would appreciate are any ideas or suggestions on writing a cover letter that explains my desire to start a new career setting as RN without sounding Thank you very much!

Specializes in hospice, LTC, public health, occupational health.

First, stop applying to new grad training programs. That's a waste of time and effort, because you don't qualify for them.

Next, figure out what you actually want in your next job. Bedside or not? Acute care or something different like rehab or LTC? Clinical or administrative? Focus your job search, because without focus you're just throwing darts at a board.

You bring a lot of valuable skills and knowledge as a hospice nurse that would be directly applicable to acute care. Not sure if you'd want acute care, but I get the sense that you may feel pigeon holed. Don't downplay your skills.

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Don't apply to new grad jobs, you're an experienced nurse and not qualified on that basis. Where do you want to go? Do you want to go into acute care, away from bedside, some place else? What areas of hospice nursing do you still like, or did you enjoy the most before starting to burn out? Hospice gives you a lot a really great skills and there are quite a few ways you could sell your hospice skill set depending on what other areas of nursing interest you, and focusing on selling your skills in your cover letter keeps it from looking like a desperate job move - even if that is the way it feels to you.

In my cover letters, I usually use the first paragraph to pinpoint what excites me about the position I'm applying for, "Your mission statement really grabbed my attention: as a nurse looking to change career direction, 'innovation in research, education, and patient care' really speaks to me." etc. It's an opportunity to show you've done your research on them and thought about what you have to offer them in particular.

That segues nicely into the second paragraph, where you "tell your story". Focus on the positive: when you mention why you want to leave your current specialty, keep it brief and positive. Some sentence examples might be, "I'm looking to leverage my experience as a Hospice nurse into a new path to improve my nursing knowledge and expertise", or "I have four years experience in Hospice care, which has given me rich experiences and knowledge, yet I find myself wanting to experience growth in a different specialty." Focus on what you bring to the table and the enthusiasm you have for the position, not what you do not like about your current job.

Last paragraph, really drive home what you have to offer them: list any professional accolades, organization memberships, and the like. If possible, use language from the job posting or from their Strategic Plan on their website to show them you are who they want. Something like, "Hospice nursing has provided me a solid knowledge of wound care, compassionate communication, and pain control.", or "My years of caring for patients who are dealing with multiple comorbidities have honed my critical thinking skills and competence of care needed to improve patient outcomes."

Of course, you don't have to follow my outline, but (as others have said) FOCUS! You have a lot to offer! Sit down, brainstorm all the skills that transfer and your strengths, do a little research into those positions....and write a kick-ass cover-letter! Also, I agree with Aunt Slappy: you probably do not qualify for new grad positions. What you want is an experienced nurse position with a good training program....ask about that in your interview. My local hospital has a program called re:START - it's an orientation program for nurses coming from non-acute backgrounds into the acute-care setting.

Decided to delete my comment

First, what all jobs have you been applying for?

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