Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a diploma/AD RN with 35+ years of experience, predominantly in the field of home health nursing and psychiatry. Most of my recent experience is home health nursing and I am at the top of my salary scale in a hospital based union affiliated small hospital in the Pacific Northwest.
Now that my children are grown and on their own, I am exploring moving to the warmer, sunnier San Diego area for the rest of my career and ultimately retirement in about ten years. I have obtained my California RN license and have submitted applications to the big 3 players in San Diego. My career focus has been mostly on home health nursing and psychiatry.
So far, I have been passed over in my telephone interviews for other, local candidates with one of the hospital systems, and with the biggest hospital system, I received an email auto response that they have "carefully considered" my application and I "do not meet the qualifications, skills and/or experience required for the job". I have reviewed the job description carefully and it is exactly what I have been doing for over 16 years in my current job in my current location. What gives? Can you help give me a hint as to what I can do to shake this tree and find out more about where I am going wrong here? I am mystified as I have never run into this situation before....help!
How discouraging for you, but it sounds like a very different job market than what you’re used to. San Diego is a destination location. As such, it’s competitive and can take some perseverance to gain a foothold.
Auto-responses are not always to be taken literally (as your case proves), but just to communicate a "No".
Regarding the real reasons behind the rejections- It's hard to say. You may never know their reason(s). It could be anything from the fact that an internal candidate already had the job, and the posting was for show, to your calculated perceived age, to losing to a candidate with better qualifications or educational preparation.
Now the other two did give you an interview, which means your resume is attractive, but you were not able to "seal the deal" in your interview. When you interview, be sure and do due diligence. Learn as much as you can about the potential employer. Interviews are not about you-they are about how you can help the organization. You need to sell yourself and your value.
It could be that the winning candidate interviewed better, or just that they went with a local person as they said. All things being equal, a local candidate poses less flight risk for the organization.
It could be that the DON met with the hiring managers that morning and said “Well, we’re starting on the Magnet journey and you must only hire BSNs or get your staff up to 80% BSN level ASAP.”
So it's not possible to say what exactly "gives" but I would not give up. You targeted the top three employers, now extend your target. Look at other facilities and surrounding areas. Consider calling the interviewers and asking them for candid feedback to help you in your job search. Hone your interview skills. If possible, network.