What Am I Doing Wrong?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am an ASN who is currently bridging to my MSN. I have completed my BSN work but will not be conferred a degree d/t bridging my program. I have had a somewhat odd nursing career since my graduation in 2014.

    I have worked as a home and school nurse for medically fragile children, been a nurse supervisor for an abortion clinic, and am now working as a community health nurse for mom and baby. During my years in nursing school, I specialized in LDRP and had two rotations. The last floor I precepted with was not hiring at the time, but the manager referred me to another LDRP manager for a residency program that I was not chosen for.

    My question is the following: I have been applying to LDRP and mom/baby positions since I graduated yet have not had any luck, even securing an interview. At this point as I am going for my APRN degree, I will not be going for a long term career in LDRP. However, I really feel like I would benefit from the experience and I also need to be able to secure a part-time position to allow myself enough time to do clinicals. I have had multiple nurses review my resume who say it is strong, yet I still cannot seem to even secure an interview. Any advice would be appreciated as I am at loss as to what I am doing wrong.

    Dear What Am I Doing Wrong,

    You may not be doing anything wrong but that doesn't mean you will land a interview.

    The problem is, you are neither a new grad nor an experienced L&D nurse. A work history of working as a school nurse, clinic supervisor and community health nurse does not qualify you for L&D. By the same token, clinical rotations in school do not set you apart because all nursing students rotate through L&D.

    In many areas, L&D positions are highly competitive. Applicants with acute care experience, a BSN, or even newly licensed nurses accepted into a residency may land the job over you.

    When you graduated 4 years ago, your goal was to work L&D. Now your primary goal is to become an APRN not specializing in L&D. Focus on your current primary goal and move forward.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Jun 29
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,536; Likes: 4,549
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   llg
    Adding to what Nurse Beth said ...

    What you are doing wrong is that you are not looking at your application in terms of what the Hiring Manager needs. You are seeing it in terms of what your needs and wants are. I see a lot of reasons why you are not being selected for L&D or LDRP interviews.

    1. You have no acute care experience -- and are not a new grad. LDRP is acute care and hiring managers would prefer to hire someone with acute care experience.
    2. You haven't had a BSN. Highly competitive positions often "narrow the field of applicants" by requiring a BSN. The fact that you have taken the coursework in your bridging program doesn't really help because of #3 below.
    3. You are only looking for a temporary job. It takes months+ thousands of dollars to train a new L&D nurse. No Hiring Manager wants to make that investment in someone who is not planning to stay long enough to be worth that huge investment.
    4. You are only looking for part time employment, not full time. That will lengthen your orientation -- making the huge problem in #3 above even worse.

    You are competing against RN's with BSN's and acute care experience whose long-term goals are to work in L&D. With several applicants like that, why would a manager choose you -- someone who would need an exceptionally lengthy, expensive orientation but who is only interested in a short-term, part time job?

    I'm sorry that sounds harsh, but that is how the manager who receives your application is probably looking at it. She is looking for a long-term employee to invest in. You don't fit her need as well as other applicants do.
  4. by   Calyptra
    Thank you both for the feedback. It did make me realize that I am pursuing a job search in vain. Initially, when I graduated, my primary focus was in labor and delivery but I had to take jobs that were not quite in the area I wanted to work due to finances. I maybe should have pursued L&D positions/residencies out-of-state for more of a chance to break into the field. As I am now pursuing my CNM degree, I realize that I will eventually work with the population I have always wanted to work with, albeit in a different capacity. I simply felt that having the extra experience would have been beneficial. I completely understand the position managers would be in seeing my resume, and respect that breaking into a specialty area is not common after graduation. I feel that focusing in the other fields I have worked will be more beneficial at this point.
    Thank you again,
    - What Am I Doing Wrong
  5. by   llg
    Good luck, Calyptra. I wish I hadn't sounded quite so harsh in my previous post, but felt I needed to "call it as I saw it." While there is always a chance of getting lucky, it's going to take a lot of luck for you to get an L&D job in your current situation.

    I hope your current journey towards the CNM role works out wonderfully for you.