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A few years back I was wrongfully terminated. Is there a blacklist? Why can I not get back into an ED?

Monday October 7, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been trying to get back into the ED but I have been turned down from every facility that I apply to. Every time I received the standard letter stating that I did not qualify. I have nine years experience with ACLS, PALS and TNCC certifications. A few years ago I was wrongfully terminated. I fought it, proved it was wrong and it then was deemed a resignation. Is there a blacklist? Why can I not get into the ED?

Wants to Get Back to the ED

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Get Back to the ED,

The hospital job market for nurses has changed quite a bit in the last several years. Hospitals are downsizing as care is shifting into alternative care settings, the home and the community. And because there is an abundance of nurses with current experience, most hospitals will not even consider someone who has been away from the bedside for six months or more. So don't take it personally, and I doubt there is any blacklisting involved.

What I recommend is you shift your job-finding efforts to do more networking. Networking is known to be a great way to find a job under any circumstances. Start by calling former co-workers, even if you haven't spoken to them in a while. Also contact everyone you know in healthcare and beyond. Let them know what you're looking for and ask for introductions, recommendations, referrals and leads.

You also should attend local chapter meetings of the Emergency Nurses Association (www.ena.org), even as a guest for now if you are not a member. When there's something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, set one up and use the site to network online and showcase your background. Many recruiters and prospective employers use LinkedIn to find and learn more about candidates.

In the meantime, because you are presumably unemployed, look for volunteer work in a healthcare setting, ideally as a nurse, even on an ambulance squad. Volunteering will help you to hone old skills, expand your professional network, and build your confidence. It will give you recent experience to put on your resume and volunteering often leads to paid employment.

Even though you're not a new nurse, read the article “New nurse, new job strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies) for additional tips on finding work in a changing job market.

When what you're doing isn't working, it's time to try a new approach. Take the above advice, including information in the referenced article, and get your career back on track.

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.