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I'm moving to Portland and I have less than a year of experience. Is it unrealistic for me to think I will find a job with so little experience?

Wednesday February 20, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I graduated in May 2012, and I have a job on a stepdown/telemetry unit. I am moving to Portland, and I am very nervous about putting myself out there. Is it unrealistic for me to think I will find a job with so little experience?

Nervous About Moving

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Nervous About Moving,

The fact you are working in a hospital, even though it isn't for long, will serve you well. Even though some hospitals say they want one year of experience, what they really are saying is they don't hire new nurses with no experience at all. You are now in a different category, even with less than a year of experience, and you should be able to leverage that.

Start making contacts now in the area to which you plan to move to. Look for jobs online and network on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Also contact the Oregon Nurses Association (www.oregonrn.org) for information and contacts.

You don't mention how far you are from Portland now, but if you learn of any nursing or healthcare career fairs in that area, it may be worth making the trip before you move — to gather information, make contacts and test the waters.

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.