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Do you have any advice on what training an RN, with LTC and rehab experience, needs to be able to land a hospital job?

Monday December 9, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I have been working as a charge nurse in a long-term care and rehabilitation facility for two years. I'm having a hard time getting hired in a hospital since I don't have any experience in an acute care setting.

Do you have any advice on how or what training or seminars I could attend to be able to be competent to land a hospital job?

Wants a Hospital Job

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants a Hospital Job,

The hospital job market for all nurses is shrinking as care shifts out of the hospital and into alternate care settings. Don't take it personally because even nurses with acute care experience more than six months old are getting turned down in many instances.

To make yourself more marketable for hospital positions, you will need to take an RN refresher course. But understand even taking a refresher course is no guarantee of hire.

You don't mention what your educational background is, but if you don't have at least a BSN, make plans to go back to school. A BSN is becoming a minimum requirement for most hospital positions and many others.

You also should attend local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org), even as a guest 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. Networking is a great way to get a job, especially when you have obstacles to overcome.

Even though you're not a new nurse, you may find helpful advice and information in the article “New nurse, new job strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.