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How can I, an experienced nurse, find a new job if I am having no luck securing a new position where I am currently employed?

Tuesday August 27, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am 61 years old and I have been a staff nurse for 20 years. I want to change to a different position but there are none available at the facility where I work. I am bright, hard working and earned a BSN 8 years ago, graduating with high honors. When I apply for other types of positions, they tell me I have the wrong experience. Can you give me some advice?

Wants to Change Positions

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Change Positions,

You are certainly well qualified for many positions. You don't mention what type of nursing jobs you are going after but changing specialties is a process.
Read “How to change specialties” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Change-Specialties).

While your current place of employment may not have anything for you or are not willing to hire you into alternate positions, sometimes other employers will. For example, if you wanted to get a case management position and your current employer doesn't have anything, you could pursue those opportunities with an insurance company or telephonic case management company or possibly even through a nursing agency.

Plus, you can't rely exclusively on classified ads for opportunities and openings. You have to actively network, ideally in person. This involves attending career fairs, open houses and recruitment events, nursing and healthcare association meetings (see referenced article above) and seminars, etc. You should also be doing informational interviewing with those nurses doing the kind of work you're interested in doing and should read “The scoop on informational interviewing” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing).

It's not just about finding opportunities, it's also about being able to identify transferable skills and articulate your value. In other words, you have to learn to 'sell' yourself to prospective employers. I go into all this and more in my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminars and in the book, “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (www.nurse.com/ce/7250). See where the upcoming live seminars will be held: http://www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars. Seminars are also available on DVD/CD: http://ce.nurse.com/RCourseSearch.aspx?SearchT=career+alternatives+for+nurses

When what you're doing isn't working, it's time to try a new approach.Take the advice in the above response by reading the material and putting into practice what is discussed and make it happen.

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.