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still unemployed

Posted
wcasey wcasey (New) New

I no longer consider myself to be a nurse. After an illness, followed by a layoff in 2010, I have never been able to get another job in nursing. At that time, I had 29 years experience as an RN. I have applied to hundreds of jobs in the Boston area, and have only had 2 interviews. I don't know why no one wants me. I had great experience at great Boston teaching hospital's. I always had good reviews and have good references. My only explanation might be that I am a diploma nurse. I am 13 credits shy of my degree and can't afford to finish with no job. If that is the main issue, then I am not sure I want to work as a nurse anyway. I hope being 57 and male has nothing to do with it.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Did you take a refresher course before attempting re-entry into the working world? If not, that might be the problem.

But in general, nursing jobs are few and far between now. Each opening seems to have a dozen or more nurses applying for it.

NanikRN

Specializes in Oncology, Rehab, Public Health, Med Surg.

I rentered the workplace after years off to be home with my kids. If you read some of my early posts , you can see the difficulties i had along the way to regain hospital employment . I've been employed now for over 5 years

I took a refresher course. Honestly, I'm not sure I learned all that much. But it showed a level of commitment and integrity to potential employers and THAT did help.

Good luck to you

Biffbradford

Specializes in ICU.

I'm 54 yo, male and have been off a year and a half. BSN and 13 years of cardiac ICU ... I may as well have never gone to college. The job market appears to be THAT bad. :(

meh

don't blame yourself.

it's an employers market.

they don't want older experienced nurses because a) you may cost them more $$ at the start, b) you likely know right from wrong and won't lay down for their misuse of staff, c) are experienced at advocating for patients rather than just doing whatever the administrators say, d) are not a debt ridden desperate new grad who will do anything for the first job.

Valerie99

Has 16 years experience.

That's a tough situation. Have you asked the interviewers for feedback? I always do that post-interview. They may or may not be open but it's certainly worth asking.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I'm 55 and unemployed also. Although I'm retired from nursing, I can't retire from working (though my psychiatrist has talked about filing for disability), so I'm looking outside the field and not having any luck there either. I really do believe there's a lot of age discrimination out there; naturally, employers can't deny someone a job on that basis, but they can ALWAYS think up other reasons not to hire us.

But I'll keep fighting, and so should you. You never know, you just might run across that one employer that actually values age and experience. Good luck!

Wile E Coyote, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical care.

Yup, as already noted, it's likely due of having readily available newbies and their concomitant lower expected salaries along with you perceived lack of recent experience. You're experience is likely a deterrent to the places you've applied to.

I know it's just venting but I call BS on the no longer a nurse line, amigo. You've got 29 years of proof otherwise.

Consider greatly widening your job search in both geographic terms as well as types of jobs. Insurance companies, corrections, telemedicine, etc.

I'm 55 and unemployed also. Although I'm retired from nursing, I can't retire from working (though my psychiatrist has talked about filing for disability), so I'm looking outside the field and not having any luck there either. I really do believe there's a lot of age discrimination out there; naturally, employers can't deny someone a job on that basis, but they can ALWAYS think up other reasons not to hire us.

But I'll keep fighting, and so should you. You never know, you just might run across that one employer that actually values age and experience. Good luck!

^This^

meh

don't blame yourself.

it's an employers market.

they don't want older experienced nurses because a) you may cost them more $$ at the start, b) you likely know right from wrong and won't lay down for their misuse of staff, c) are experienced at advocating for patients rather than just doing whatever the administrators say, d) are not a debt ridden desperate new grad who will do anything for the first job.

I would add too that older nurses are often perceived by employers to be much more of an unknown quantity in terms of health and number of dependents, i.e. likelihood/actuality of more medical problems than younger employees (more expense for the organization), more dependents (more expense for the organization), more prone to work injuries - may even have pre-existing injuries (more expense for the organization), and may be perceived to have other priorities in life that could conflict with their ability to give their all to the organization. And who knows what other liabilities they could pose. All that experience and knowledge is only valuable and useful to an employer up to a point; never mind how much that experience and knowledge is beneficial to patients.

Edited by Susie2310

Wile E Coyote, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical care.

Another thought borrowed from the ladies and/or the corporate world, albiet a shallow one: On those rare occasions you've been given an interview, think about what your appearance was telling the interviewer. Lots of "snow on the roof" cut in an "old" style? Older looking dress clothes? See where this is going? Ageism is a fact over in the suit-and-tie world as well, borrow from their play book.

I didn't take a refresher course because I started looking as soon as I lost my job.

My heart goes out to wcasey, BiffBradford, VivaLasViejas, and all the other older people who've been squeezed out of the job market.

I was on the verge of having this happen to me in my prior field which was the provocation for me to switch to nursing and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have landed a good job at a university hospital with a strong union where I am building seniority.

Age discrimination is rampant in our youth-obsessed culture, both in nursing and in most industries.

Several erroneous stereotypes and perceptions exist pertaining to older workers:

1) They're technologically illiterate

2) They have diminished energy

3) They're a health risk/liability

4) They're set in their ways and inflexible

A successful job hunt should address these items, both directly and indirectly.

Be sure that your resume is crisp, clean and meticulous but consider a slightly contemporary look in your choice of font and paper. Wear new, contemporary clothing. Dye your hair. Consider make-up to conceal bags under your eyes and wrinkles. Consider Botux or other cosmetic treatments to smooth your face. Avoid "old" fragrances like Old Spice or such things. Read contemporary magazines, blogs, and websites in order to speak on pop cultural references that may arise. Be sure that your tech skills are solid and demonstrated on your resume. And... consider removing date references from your resume in order to avoid obvious clues as to your age.

Work on appearing fit... aggressively drop weight if you're carrying it around. Pay careful attention to your posture and mannerisms with an eye toward communicating energy and vigor. Walk quickly and with a spring in your step (do calf exercises... toe-ups on a book).

By all means, hide any reference to health problems.

Biffbradford

Specializes in ICU.

I certainly won't pretend to be someone who I'm not (botox, make up, dye hair,) plus I think nurses (managers) in general are a good judge of age due to simple repetition of working with people. However, you've still got to get your foot in the door and get an interview. When you've got double digit applications in a major healthcare organization (can you honesly customize your resume that many times?), there is something basic amiss since you can't really pass yourself off as 30 something when you've got 20+ years of experience. However, I do like 1-4 listed above and perhaps a little 'literary freedom' in adding something along those lines would help in getting an interview. I'll give it a try! (gotta keep trying)

Have you considered working in a college? Lassen Community College - About

That school currently has two openings. One is for a program director and the other is for an instructor. It is in a beautiful rural town close to Reno.also if you do reply let them know you heard about it here. I have applied to the program as a student but was told they might not have a. New class this spring! Thanks.

Thanks for the info, but my years of experience won't get me a position at a college. A degree would be required for that.

Just from reading posts on this site, I gather that the employment picture is dismal in your area. And yes, being 57 years old can have something to do with it. I was being openly discriminated against when I was only 42.

Another thought borrowed from the ladies and/or the corporate world, albiet a shallow one: On those rare occasions you've been given an interview, think about what your appearance was telling the interviewer. Lots of "snow on the roof" cut in an "old" style? Older looking dress clothes? See where this is going? Ageism is a fact over in the suit-and-tie world as well, borrow from their play book.

I was advised to make sure my hair was dyed by an employment counselor.