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Do you have any advice on how I can find employment after a probationary status was placed on my license?

Friday December 7, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I recently had a probationary status placed on my license and
am unable to obtain a job. Do you have any advice on how I can improve my chances of finding employment?

Probationary Status RN

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Probationary Status RN,

You don't mention what the probation is for, so it is challenging for me to recommend places to work, but I will give you some general advice. Start by reading “Picking up the pieces of your career” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Pieces).

One of the article’s suggestions is to volunteer in a healthcare setting in a way that will utilize your nursing skills and knowledge. Volunteering is a good way to get your foot in the door and often leads to paid employment. I always say if you can't get in the front door, try the back. Also, volunteering is a good way to account for your time on interviews and resumes while you're in transition. Also, it's good for your confidence level and can help expand your network. Consider volunteering at your local public health department, a free clinic, adult day services center, blood bank or senior citizen health center.

The other thing you can do is look for part-time, temporary work. Some options would be giving flu shots or doing medical exams for insurance companies. These types of positions are easier to get and, for the insurance exams, you don't even need an active license. You only need a healthcare background and your probationary status wouldn't even need to come up. You can check with temp agencies as well as companies and agencies that provide these services.

Since networking is known to be an effective way to find a job, especially when you have obstacles to overcome, attend nursing professional association meetings. If you are not a member, you can attend as a guest. Use your personal contacts as well — friends, family, neighbors, former co-workers, physicians etc. You improve your chances of getting hired with a probationary license when someone can vouch for you or make a recommendation, referral or introduction. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.