Explaining 6 year gap in work history, new grad

  1. So after having panic attacks for months, perhaps others will infuse some positive outlook/suggestions so I can confidently approach the endless online applications.

    So just turned 26 and graduated from an accelerated ADN program in September, passed boards few weeks later and have officially completed just one online application because I feel like such a loser! I felt like I could rely on my achievements in school alone but everywhere requires my employment history, etc. I have no worked since I was 20 when I returned to live with my mom after taking a "leave of absense" from a prestigious 4-year college....I was very depressed at the time and felt like an utter failure for years. I went from community college to community college taking pre-req's for nursing (full load to keep my health insurance) but would drop classes for fear of failing..... When I finally got it together and was admitted into a program, I was at the top of my class, excelled in clinicals and tested in top 1% across the board on ATI tests and the like. I'm a perfectionist. To me it's all or nothing. I dedicated my entire nursing education to school. I had no bills, no friends, nothing. My mom has basically required nothing of me since I returned home, and for the first time in 4-5 years I was finally doing something. I am 2938490238% positive whoever hires me will be thrilled. However, I have no explanation of not working except my mom didn't make me. I honestly could not have worked during the program, but before....I didn't work! On top of that, my prior two employers (restaurant, tanning salon) are both out of business for several years....no contact info (just names). The only other job I had was in high school and under the table (catering company)..... My resume itself only highlights all my school and projects/awards, etc...because again, no work for basically 6 years....I also cannot say I was in school all that time, because I was not. I can provide information on my prior employers, although they are like ancient history....but how do I explain not working or doing anything?

    I am confident in my qualifications, abilities, all of it. I know with an interview, I'll be hired. It's getting in the door and the standard applications. I firmly believe honesty is the best policy and reject any attempt to falsify jobs/volunteer work/references, etc. I have no idea however to explain not having to work. I lived at home during this time and was privalledged to have time to engage my interests in an unformal education. I read a library of books in this time, and over several years, took all the classes I needed for admission into a program. Once in, it was all I did, and I dedicated 100% to it. I'm not rich, nor is it an option to have my mom support me any longer. I miss patients and practicing the art and science of nursing . I need a job, first an interview, which first means....not fearing

    "State the nature of your activities during any period of time not worked:" and my prior employers no longer existing! (except one I worked when I was in high school!!!)

    Hopefully some people can give me some advice, reassurance, tactiful and HONEST ways to approach these portions of the applications......

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