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How can an experienced LPN get a job if every job posting requires having attended an accredited LPN program, and he has not done so?

Wednesday July 2, 2014
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Dear Donna,

I am an LPN with 20 years of experience in many areas of practice from labor and delivery to hospice and many points in between. I am also a former Navy hospital corpsman who challenged the California LPN boards. Almost every new job posting has a minimum requirement of having attended an accredited LPN program. How am I expected to get a job if, in good conscience, I must answer no?

Corpsman Turned LPN

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Corpsman Turned LPN,

The times they are a changin' and most employers are setting the bar higher for any nurses they hire. Combine that with the fact there have been a few fly-by-night schools to train LPN/LVNs over the years and you'll see employers being more careful than ever to assure their professional staff is up to par. The job market for all nurses — LPN/LVN and RNs alike — is very competitive right now.

You are obviously very experienced. So rather than relying heavily on classified ads — whether online or in print — for job openings, do more one-on-one networking. Contact former employers and coworkers, speak to physicians and RNs who know you and have worked with you about what you're looking for in your next position. Networking is known to be the most effective way to find a job and get hired under any circumstances and is especially effective when you have obstacles to overcome. Of course, every employer is different. Some will be flexible on this issue more than others.

Do you belong to any nursing associations, such as the National Federation of LPNs (www.nflpn.org) or the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (www.aamn.org)? Professional associations also are great ways/places to network. You should become active in one or both of these organizations to avail yourself of networking opportunities.

Some LVNs in California like yourself who originally challenged the exam have even gone back to complete an LVN program from an accredited school to be more marketable. You might consider completing an LVN program or even advance to an RN to ensure your future.

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.