Landing a job in a tough economy

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by NRSKarenRN NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN (Guide)

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience.

Advice provided for job leads and finding nursing positions in 2011 tight economy.

Landing a job in a tough economy

While wandering the internet tonight, found an interesting article at ANA's career center:


Landing a Job in a Tough Economy

By Sharon Brewer, RN, BSN, MSN

Originally published in Lippincott’s career directory 2010

To begin, use all venues available that may help you learn about open positions. Make new contacts at nursing conferences and professional meetings, perform internet job searches, contact key people you

Know, apply online and in person, visit traditional and virtual job fairs, and tap your nursing and alumni organizations....

The National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) also has advice regarding the realities of the current job market and career planning.


So here's NRSKAREN's advice re job leads

learned through job transitions and as a hiring Manager.

  1. Network network, network throughout your student experiences.
  2. Take advantage of any student practicums, student immersions, exchange students to make a favorable impression.
  3. While a student, join the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA).
  4. Actively attend meetings at local, state and national nursing conventions.
  5. Keep in touch with classmates re job hunt and throughout your career
  6. Join professional associations, including ANA.  Visit their career center.
  7. Join ANA affiliated associations
  8. Join US and International nursing specialty organizations like AACN, AORN, ENA, NALPN, NASN,
  9. Attend nursing job fairs and seminars.-- bring address stickers to place on reply cards along with multiple copies of resumes.
  10. Volunteer to get your foot in the door, learn the service lines of area healthcare facilities and add experience to resume.
  11. Get out the yellow pages (or search online)
  12. Look for every listing/title that is medical or nursing related: hospitals, long term acute hospital (LTAC), skilled nursing facilities, home care agency, nursing agencies, physicians, dialysis clinic, medical offices, red cross, medical equipment companies, adult day care centers, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), senior services, office of aging, disability services, etc.
  13. Make a list of the ones you are interested in and check websites for career openings. No listings? Send inquiry letter anyway to HR dept + resume. Follow-up by phone.
  14. Consider working for federal, state or local government. These jobs often not advertised on  job website Monster, Indeed, Zip recruiter but posted on corresponding government website,... federal may take up to 6 months to hear back from application.
  15. Go to usajobs - federal jobs by college major
  16. Go to U.S. Public Health Service commissioned corps
  17. Go to National Health Service corps - HRSA
  18. Navigate state employment sites - state and local government on the net
  19. Ask friends, soccer/baseball/hockey moms who are nurses, neighbors, distant cousin who works in hospital---everyone you know in healthcare that you are looking for a position.
  20. When your a hiring manager, keep resumes sent to you for 1-2yrs. May never know if a hard to fill position may be attractive to a prior candidate.
  21. Check allnurses nursing career advice section, especially sticky links on cover letter, resume and interview advice.


How did I glean this advice?

During 1982 NSNA convention, my interest in nursing activism was flamed after a dinner meeting I attended with Villanova University nursing dean Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick and Mary Mallon RN, then AJN editor who stressed the value of keeping in touch with peers and professors over the years and the need for life long learning.

During a PSNA district meeting, met an RN who owned a critical care nursing registry, and just opened a Homecare agency; she asked me to work PRN for them. 10yrs later my contract with them was bought out by another company who "borrowed" me for 2 days.

Four years later when I saw parent company going down the tubes, networked with a college buddy who insisted I come to work with her employer, a non-profit Homecare agency. I'm still here 11 years later and became her boss in 2002 (worked for me till age 75, another story).

I've used paid ads in local nursing magazines Nursing Spectrum and Advance for Nurses in Philadelphia area to attract the best staff.  Turned down a seasoned RN MSN who had inpatient education experience and just completed a refresher program due to her difficulty identifying word and excel documents...gently told her a computer course would be helpful due to our electronic medical record (EMR) and use of excel spreadsheets.

Four months later she emailed me that she'd completed course at a community college: "keep me in mind". Lucky for her, another RN position opened thereafter and she immediately got the job...later told me best $250.00 she ever spent!

I have helped jump start careers of new grads transferring across  the U.S. who's nursing instructors actively involved in ANA and asked if could I give them pointers about local's all about that networking!

I have my fingers crossed now that economic forces will change and facilities will start to hire new grads again for you are nursing's future.

40 year(s) of experience in Home Care, Vents, Telemetry, Home infusion,Former Nursing Manager. Homecare Guru & Nursing Advocate. Widow with 2 adult sons. Needlepoint addict --watch out for needle sticks.

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Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,422 Posts

Bumping this up since due to COVID-19, members reporting difficulty finding positions.  Hope this article will help land your first nursing position.