I can't get a job!!

Updated | Posted

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

Hello nurses,

I worked in Med-surg for almost 2 years ending in December 2018. I also worked as a CNA in an SNF for 3.5 years and a nurse there as well for 8 months. My dad received a diagnosis for HCC and was immediately put on the liver transplant list. I am his only surviving family member, daughter and best friend. So it was a no-brainer to me that I had to quit my job at the hospital (one that I was sure I would be working at for a long time) and move a state away to care for him. I thought it would only be a couple of months off work but he ended up having serious complications that continue to this day. I think he is at a place now where he will be OK with me moving out of his home (to protect him from COVID) and working again. I can still swing by and take his garbage out, mow his lawn, clean his house while wearing a mask and opening windows. I'm just really bummed right now because it seems like all the hospitals in my area aren't hiring. Even if they would, why on earth would they want me when I have less than 2 years med-surg experience and have been off the job for a year and a half?

I applied to some travel nursing jobs because I live near Bellingham WA and could easily hop around all the major hospitals in the NW area of WA. The recruiter basically told me that I didn't have a shot in hell at travel nursing because of the lapse in nursing. Believe me, I have been flexing my nursing muscles during that time off. I have a HUGE list of continuing education, I finish my BSN in 2 weeks, and I have been a patient advocate for my father (which came with a TON of research, keeping track of his meds, labs, and asking the doctors sooo many questions). I feel so hopeless right now. All the postings that I am seeing are for travel nurses.

Can someone offer me some insight and/or advice?

I don't know how to network with COVID happening and I have no friends in the medical field in this area. Any help appreciated. There is NO way that I am going to start from scratch at an SNF. I'm 36 years old and have a toddler so it's time for me to get rocking on my career!

Thanks,

Jennifer

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I've been in your shoes, sort of, by working PRN, yet having to take a solid 4 months off, and received the same treatment as you did when I was able to return. It is absolutely amazing how some managers expect us to give the best possible care to complete strangers, but walk away from our own families in need.

Have you tried working with the VA? They are always looking for nurses.

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

One more thing...don't say you won't start from scratch. There are lots of nurses with far more experience than 2 years that are being laid off because of this virus. Before you know it, even the "scratch" jobs won't be available especially with the holidays being right around the corner. 😉

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

where are you? I know they are hiring at every hospital here in Eastern NC.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

I am in WA, near Bellingham but I can relocate to Seattle. So many options.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

I applied for travel nursing but was told by one recruiter that, because of the gap of a year and a half from working in the hospital, his company couldn't hire me. This was just one recruiter who seemed to think that it was like that everywhere. Usually when the job post states "recent experience", it means within 2-3 years.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

8 hours ago, mmc51264 said:

where are you? I know they are hiring at every hospital here in Eastern NC.

I do have family in the NYC area but then I would have to leave my dad... That's a decision I have been weighing if I can find the proper help for him.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

8 hours ago, BSNbeDONE said:

I've been in your shoes, sort of, by working PRN, yet having to take a solid 4 months off, and received the same treatment as you did when I was able to return. It is absolutely amazing how some managers expect us to give the best possible care to complete strangers, but walk away from our own families in need.

Have you tried working with the VA? They are always looking for nurses.

That's weird. I've had the opposite experience. My employer was so kind to me when I quit my job and was offering letters of recommendation. Also, throughout most of last year, I was contacted by many recruiters that had seen my Linkedin profile.

Also, I won't work at an SNF. I just won't do it and I don't quite understand why you think a worsening pandemic or the holidays will mean fewer nursing jobs. I've had my eye on the job market where I live since the pandemic started and have a pretty good idea of where to look. Sorry if that has been and is your experience where you are.

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

2 hours ago, Love and Resilience said:

That's weird. I've had the opposite experience. My employer was so kind to me when I quit my job and was offering letters of recommendation. Also, throughout most of last year, I was contacted by many recruiters that had seen my Linkedin profile.

Also, I won't work at an SNF. I just won't do it and I don't quite understand why you think a worsening pandemic or the holidays will mean fewer nursing jobs. I've had my eye on the job market where I live since the pandemic started and have a pretty good idea of where to look. Sorry if that has been and is your experience where you are.

I don’t think a worsening pandemic would mean fewer nursing jobs; the initial pandemic has already caused many layoffs for nurses and other healthcare workers.

As for the holidays, with life being as altered as it is, many people will do whatever they have to do to provide some sort of normalcy for their families, even if it means working at a SNF.

You don’t have to work in a skilled nursing facility. That’s certainly your choice. You made the post; asked for advice. You have the option of taking it or leaving it. Your past experience with recruiters is not your experience now, as evidenced by “I can’t find a job”. But hey, good luck with that.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 5 years experience.

On 8/4/2020 at 3:17 AM, BSNbeDONE said:

I don’t think a worsening pandemic would mean fewer nursing jobs; the initial pandemic has already caused many layoffs for nurses and other healthcare workers.

As for the holidays, with life being as altered as it is, many people will do whatever they have to do to provide some sort of normalcy for their families, even if it means working at a SNF.

You don’t have to work in a skilled nursing facility. That’s certainly your choice. You made the post; asked for advice. You have the option of taking it or leaving it. Your past experience with recruiters is not your experience now, as evidenced by “I can’t find a job”. But hey, good luck with that.

Well, I was being a bit dramatic. I've only talked to 2 recruiters and haven't applied to very many places. I was just frightened by the prospects (or lack thereof) for stable jobs instead of agency jobs. I wanted to get a feel for what the job market looks like right now. My dad is really sick and I don't want to have to move 3 hours away to the Seattle area, or leave him alone at all for that matter. Admittingly, I said that in hopes of people reading my post. If I didn't mention it, he has HCC mets that they didn't catch before the transplant. I was actually looking for advice tailored to my experience and feel really scared and lost right now because I haven't been through this COVID fight yet plus I worry (as I'm sure most do) about my family.

Not really sure what you mean by "initial pandemic" because it never stopped or really slowed down. The "curve" dipped for a brief period then shot right up again. If you are talking about what the working situation looked like, that's part of why I was concerned but I was still seeing a bunch of hospitals hiring for positions I could easily qualify for in the area... until very recently.

I was hoping for kind words of encouragement or leads, but hey, good luck with that. I was under the impression we were supposed to be here for each other on all levels here, on this forum, but your tone and "advice" felt belittling. For instance, sarcastically saying "good luck with that"? Whatever.

I will have good luck. I believe in myself and have a lot to offer. It's probably just going to take some perseverance and networking.

P My BSN is done next week and that's a HUGE leg up in addition to all the CNEs and volunteer work I've done.

Edited by dianah
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Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

On 8/4/2020 at 2:57 AM, Love and Resilience said:

I applied for travel nursing but was told by one recruiter that, because of the gap of a year and a half from working in the hospital, his company couldn't hire me. This was just one recruiter who seemed to think that it was like that everywhere. Usually when the job post states "recent experience", it means within 2-3 years.

You want to be near your dad and have a little one so I am confused as to why you want to travel. I could not get into travel nursing after a lapse of 2 years. In the travel biz, recent experience is within one year. I did 6 months of agency work to get myself current. That opened the door to travel and hospital work.

Good luck, best wishes to dad.