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how long is too long?

I am an RN of 2.5 yrs experience in ED and was becoming an enemy of the ED. It's fun and exciting at times but just was getting the quality out of my purpose as a nurse. Anyhow I decided right before COVID hit to take a break travel cross country to spend time with elderly grandparents and work on new position after a much needed break and some family time. THEN COVID HIT and there were essentially zero job requisitions in the area that I live. I have been out of work for 4 months (luckily I am financially stable) and have been applying to units that I would really like to work in, PACU, OR, Pre-OP. I have been applying for past month and not one response for an interview or any interest. Have I been out too long? What gives?

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Hiring freezes some places. If there is not a hiring freeze, managers might choose experienced OR, preop and PACU to save an already decimated budget from a prolonged orientation (especially OR) that a nurse without that specific experience requires.

Consider the next tier down from your preferred jobs- somewhere you have experience.

If still no job, consider a survival job.

Loco-Bonita, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in CVIMCU/CVICU.

I know my hospital has had a hiring freeze since COVID started. Perhaps that’s what you’re encountering, as well.

2 minutes ago, RNperdiem said:

Hiring freezes some places. If there is not a hiring freeze, managers might choose experienced OR, preop and PACU to save an already decimated budget from a prolonged orientation (especially OR) that a nurse without that specific experience requires.

Consider the next tier down from your preferred jobs- somewhere you have experience.

If still no job, consider a survival job.

This makes most sense actually! How long is too long to be away from nursing?

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

Many places here in the NTX are planning to open at 25% in September...these are places that are doing elective procedures. Regarding the ER - despite the initial burst of people in March and April our ERs seem to not be crowded.

Chickenlady, ADN

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health.

The areas you are interviewing for are places where census has dropped because of Covid. Our Pre/Post Op and Op nurses have been picking up shifts in other units to just get hours.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

2 hours ago, Travis Quillen said:

This makes most sense actually! How long is too long to be away from nursing?

There's no set amount of time that applies everywhere. It depends on the job market. You've got a solid block of experience ...and hopefully, good references. You should be able to find something eventually.

There will be lots of nurses out. under similar circumstances. and for similar lengths of time. Your gap will be explainable and acceptable.

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