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30 yrs of nursing and I cannot find a job!


Is anyone else finding it nearly impossible to find a job? I am in a rural area, and not even the nursing homes are hiring. Any experiences? Makes me want to go into another field, but which one? It seems there is a general job shortage.

I am finding the same situation in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the US. There just is no end in sight unless one is of unlimited means to move from place to place in search of a job. Not all of us are able to, or want to, live like nomads.


Specializes in geri- currently.

I am a new grad since September looking for a job. I get told the same thing everywhere I go, that they can't even give their per diem nurses hours. I am very frustrated and can just imagine your frustration! I am contemplating the RN program but have my doubts about finding a job when completed. Who would have thought I would be writing about not being able to find a job as a nurse two and a half years ago when I decided to make a change. What happened????

We are having the same issues in my area. The jobs that area available area for ICU or cardiology and they want 5 years or more experience. I teach as a clinical instructor and have been looking for something part time over the summer with no luck. I guess I could work per diem in a nursing home, but I have done that before and the stress is a killer.


I have worked in nursing for 20 years. My mom became very ill. I decided to change jobs and work in a nursing home on weekends. At the nursing home I had 2 days of orientation. I could not stand the 12 hour shifts. I worked the cart and was weekend supervisor. I quit and can't find work. I Know that I am a great nurse but not being hired makes be feel bad. I am still looking but scared to fill out applications due to being disappointed. I remember the time when I applied for work and got the job the same day. I wish this was so today.


Specializes in Hospice, Case Mgt., RN Consultant, ICU. Has 35 years experience.

Same here. Major metropolitan area. Lots of terrific diversfied experience, but no longer able to bed side nursing thanks to being rear ended years ago. Returned to school years ago to get a BS in another field when told could no longer do hospital nursing. Corporate take over ended a neat HR position and returned to nursing doing work that utilized knowledge, not back. Advertised positions here are either hospital based with several years experience or case Management positions which sound very difficult (like should be two jobs - one RN and one Social worker). So not sure what to do. Frustrating. Attended workshop recently in which was told 60% of on line applications don't even get through. I believe it. I wonder if any of mine have gotten to the employer. Yes, I remember the days when one could go to an employer, interview with one or two persons, and leave a few hours later with a job! :nurse:

Sad to say, but this is SO refreshing to hear from somebody else besides myself! Everyone thinks that if you are a nurse, you can have your pick of jobs. There has been so much in the media about the nursing shortage! I always thought that maybe the nursing shortage applied to the cities but not our little middle America towns. I guess it's everywhere. So why do they keep saying there is such a shortage and encouraging everyone to go to nursing school?

I've been a nurse for about 5 years. Left the bedside last October. I reapplied for a perdiem at a previous employer and was told that I do not have "strong" pediatric skills. What does this HR person know? Really? THe majority of my career has been pediatrics, yet a friend of mine with NO hospital experience was hired a couple of months ago???? Hospitals are only hiring those who are working in a hospital setting.

DeLana_RN, BSN, RN

Has 22 years experience.

It's just a horrible seller's market (and possibly an economic depression as well). True unemployment is much, much higher than the reported rate of ~ 10% (people who never filed for unemployment, have given up, etc. are not even counted). Employers never had it so good - lots and lots of (often over-)qualified applicants for each job, even the previously hard-to-fill sign-on-bonus-required ones such as graveyard shifts on difficult floors.

The plight of new grads of all ages is self-explanatory; add to that many experienced nurses who can't find work... I'm sure age discrimination is a major factor as well (OK, how many of you unsuccessful job seekers with experience are over 40 or 45 years old?)

I'm absolutely certain that the job and economic situation will turn around, as it always does; RNs who currently refuse to (can't afford to, really) retire or are working more hours than they would if their spouse weren't unemployed will run to the hills as soon as things improve. THEN it will be a buyer's market again and we will all be employable, complete with sign-on bonuses and what-not.

But how many of us can afford to wait that long (even if it's "only" a year or two)?

Best of luck to all of us in the job market,



Specializes in med/surg, hospice.

I've been unemployed for about 3 months now. I had been let go from my previous hospital job for no real reason (no previous warnings, no disciplinary action). I'm beginning to think it had something to do with low census or the economy somehow and they got rid of me before I finished my 6 month probationary period to be a full union member. I've been looking at everything; full time, part time, temp. I've even started looking "outside the box" into non-bedside nursing jobs. Even though I'm not a new grad, unless you are experienced in critical care or some other highly specialized field, there is nothing out there for the generalist nurse. It's very discouraging and really kills your self-esteem when you're constantly being rejected. It starts to really wear on you and you begin to wonder, am I a good nurse? When you know are/have been.


Specializes in pediatrics. Has 12 years experience.

Sorry not really feeling the pinch here. I live in a major metropolitan area and there are tons of jobs here for experienced nurses. A lot of the hospitals here have shortages, some have started hiring new grads.

carolmaccas66, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

Same situation here in Australia. Unless you have had 2-3+ years critical/acute care experience no-one is interested in hiring you.

I so wish I had known this before I decided to go back to nursing school. Now I have to get a job outside of nursing to pay the bills, plus I have a student debt. Looks like I will also have to drop out of my studies; can't afford the textbooks etc.

How did it get this bad? Is it just the recession - surely people with 30 years experience should be able to get some sort of nursing job?

I find the whole situation very disheartening.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

Sorry not really feeling the pinch here. I live in a major metropolitan area and there are tons of jobs here for experienced nurses. A lot of the hospitals here have shortages, some have started hiring new grads.

Wow - where do you live?