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Why are some areas of the U.S. so prejudiced and why do salaries differ so much from region to region?

Wednesday August 7, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

Why are some areas of the U.S. so prejudiced? The North and the West seem to be so rigid and not nurse-friendly for jobs and career advancements. Why does the pay differ so much from region to region? I live in Phoenix and have jumped through all the hoops to be licensed and, after seven months, still have not found work.

Frustrated

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Frustrated,

Your situation is not unique.The job market for all nurses is changing as care shifts out of the hospital and into alternative inpatient and outpatient settings. Also, there is a surplus of experienced nurses in the workforce, but that soon will be changing. Please read “New nurse, new job strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies) to understand what is happening and why, and to get tips and advice to secure a position.

Prejudice has nothing to do with the current job market, so put that out of your mind. Also, pay scales differ from region to region based on cost of living in that area and other factors.

Because you are unemployed, start volunteering as a nurse somewhere healthcare-related. Consider your local public health department, a hospice agency or the American Red Cross. Volunteering is a good way to hone skills, learn new ones, expand your professional network and get a foot in the door. Volunteering often leads to paid employment. Staying unemployed and idle is deadly for your resume, your psyche and your confidence.

All nurses need to look in new directions for employment and need new skills to find jobs. Take this advice and that in the referenced article, and move forward. When what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to try a new approach.

Best wishes,
Donna


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.