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How can a seasoned LDRP RN find a new job after a two-year absence from the workforce?

Wednesday April 16, 2014
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Dear Donna,

I worked in labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum for 29 years, but quit to be a caregiver for the past two years. I am 62. I feel I would need reorientation in LDRP. Is it possible to be hired again? I have a BSN.

LDRP Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear LDRP Nurse,

Because you are so specialized, it is possible to get hired back into LDRP again. But know that the hospital job market has changed, even in the last two years. More and more care, including birthing, is being done outside of the hospital. Those who do come to the hospital have shorter stays. That means fewer nursing staff positions in that setting. If the area you live in has an abundance of nurses with current experience, you may not get a positive response to reentry into that market.

The best way to find a job is to activate your professional network. Contact all of your former co-workers, supervisors, OB physicians and fellow staff members from your former facility(s). Let them know what you've been up to and what you’re looking for in a job. Ask for referrals, introductions, recommendation and leads. Networking is a great way to find and get a job. You may not be accustomed to looking for work this way, but this is how it's done in a competitive market.

Since you’re unemployed, seek related volunteer work while you look for paid employment. For volunteer opportunities, contact a Planned Parenthood center, birthing center, well baby clinic or local public health department. Volunteering is a great way to hone old skills and learn new ones, build confidence and expand your professional network. It’s also a way to gain recent relevant experience to put on your resume. It’s also a way to get your foot in the door somewhere and often leads to paid employment. If you’re going to be doing anything hands-on as a nurse, be sure your professional liability insurance is up to date.

Additionally, get out to local chapter meetings of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (www.awhonn.org). You can attend as a guest if not a member but do consider joining as you'll get more benefit. When there's something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. This also is a good way to get reconnected to your profession/specialty, expand your network and get current with trends and issues.

Be sure to create a LinkedIn profile online too. This is a valuable self-marketing, networking and job-finding tool. Ask someone who already uses LinkedIn to help you if necessary.

You can fill out online job applications, but don't stop there. You have to be much more proactive in your job search these days.

Transitioning back is a process so be patient. It's great you have a BSN and vast experience. Your age is not an issue unless you make it one. Do all the things above and start moving in a positive direction. The right opportunity eventually will come along.

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.