Hello! I have been a NICU nurse for over 30 years and have no experience outside of what I am realizing is a very isolating specialty. Two years ago I went back to school and completed my BSN and was happy to re-learn adult nursing during that time. I have been thinking about trying out other areas of nursing just for variety in hopes of finding a career that is less intense for my retirement years. I thought I would enjoy learning OR nursing or PACU but have been turned down for jobs I am sure because of no experience there. Any suggestions?
Have you looked to see if there are any RN refresher courses in your area. Taking one would give you some experience with adult med/surg again and might look good in the eyes of a prospective employer. Those courses are designed to help nurses who have been out of practice for a while to re-enter the nursing field.
You also might want to try a job related to NICU in some way -- something like general peds, NICU follow-up clinic, NICU research nurse -- to get some experience outside of NICU and to be a stepping stone to something further from NICU later.
Thank you so much for those suggestions! Somehow I thought be recently going through the BSN program would show employers my recent education in adult nursing similar to refresher courses you suggested. I'm kinda shocked to be turned down for jobs I have applied for...
Most BSN programs include very little clinical nursing experience. Hiring managers are probably looking for people with recent clinical experience that is relevant to the clinical area the job is in. So you might be able to get a job in a mother/baby unit ... which might lead you to a job on a OB/GYN floor, etc. Or maybe you could get a job on a peds unit that is mostly younger kids ... which might lead to a general peds unit .. which might lead to a job with adults. etc.
Have you considered a Pediatric ER? I bet you're a wizard at those really short sick people! I'll also bet you're good with their sometimes frantic families.
Most BSN programs highlight areas like community health, research, leadership, and even liberal arts. If your program included clinical topics, I would call them out as bullet points on your resume! This would be unique, and unless the hiring manager was very familiar with your program, would be useful information that may influence their decision.
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