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Can a new RN graduate enter telephone triage nursing?

Monday July 22, 2013
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Dear Donna,

Can a new RN graduate enter telephone triage nursing? Are there associations I should join?

New Nurse Looking for Alternatives

Dear Donna replies:

Dear New Nurse Looking for Alternatives,

It is possible for a new nurse to work in telephone triage and just about any other specialty, given the right training and support. Every employer is different in what it requires and what it offers to new hires.

The old way of starting out in nursing was to get hospital experience before doing anything else — so some employers may automatically state that this is a prerequisite. But they are usually not aware that hospital jobs for nurses are diminishing and that many hospitals are not hiring new nurses. So you may have to say to them, in a very diplomatic and light-hearted way, "I hear what you're saying, but I'm sure you are aware that most hospitals are hiring a limited numbers of new nurses, if any."

There always are employers who are willing to take a chance on a new nurse with the right energy, personality and communication skills. Start doing some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with other nurses already working in this specialty. Find them through related professional associations such as, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.org) and the American Telemedicine Association - Nurses Special Interest Group (SIG)

Click the Jobs icon at the top of this page and then enter telephone triage as a keyword. You also can do an internet search for telephone triage nursing jobs. Keep in mind that networking, also known as word of mouth, is the best and most effective way to find any job.

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.