luv2swim: I just wanted to post to let you know that I have been a lot more aggressive in my job search and I am receiving more positive responses now. It is really out of my comfort zone to be so pushy, but things feel more optomistic now...one hospital said they would hire me even with the long absence, but only to med/surg. At least I didn't hear the shock in their voice...."how long has it been since you've worked as a nurse??!!" :) I'm not certain that they actually "will" hire me...I suppose that would depend on the pool of applicants for the available med/surg positions...and it was only HR that I spoke with, not even a recruiter. She asked me to apply and please wait two weeks before calling back. She won't put me through to a recruiter until then. So, we'll see..
One SNF is calling me about an MDS Coordinator position, but I haven't been able to actually speak to her yet, so I don't know. That type of job, which I hadn't considered before, might actually be a good fit for me.
Another has been very helpful in guiding me to the correct people to speak with, instead of giving me the blow off. Some are still very discouraging - one recruiter said she could probably get me a job if I moved to Texas.
The funny thing is that everyone I have spoken with has said that they didn't hold much stock in that very expensive refresher program that I want to take. It seems that my taking that program will be for "my" benefit, i.e., my confidence level...the facilities don't care because they say they are confident in their training, which surprises the heck out of me.
Nothing has come of anything yet. It definitely is not as easy as it was when I was coming out as a student from a good program, but I don't think it is impossible. Having a positive, friendly, but assertive attitude has changed things for me. Simply "applying" didn't get me anywhere. So, don't give up!! All we have to do is get that "first job". The rest will be gravy.