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How does an RN with extensive hospital and ambulatory care experience find his/her next position?

Monday July 28, 2014
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Question:

Dear Donna,

How do I become more marketable? I have 25 years of experience in ED and 11 years in active nursing in a cardiology office.

Due to budget cuts, I lost my job. I need a job but have found I am not qualified because I have not been working in a hospital setting for the past 10 years. My skills and knowledge are current. I have been certified for more than 20 years as a CCRN, CEN, ACLS and PALS. Plus, I have two years of case-management experience but never had a case-manager title.

Wants to Become More Marketable

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Become More Marketable,

The hospital job market as well as the entire healthcare delivery system is evolving and shifting so don't take it personally. What worked for us in the past will not work moving forward. But you've come to the right place for advice and strategies.

As care moves out of the hospital and into other settings, so too do nursing jobs. Since there are fewer bedside acute care positions and plenty of nurses with current hospital experience, hospitals can afford to be picky about whom they hire. The good news is that you have great experience and plenty of opportunities in other areas. You just need to look in new directions for employment and need to learn and practice new methods to find a job and get hired. Read “Time to refocus your career lens” to see what's happening and what nurses need to do to stay current (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Refocus-Career-Lens).

Regarding case management, it doesn't matter whether you had the title or not. What does matter is that you have an extensive and diverse clinical foundation and even have case-management experience. That will get you an interview for many case-management jobs. These positions exist in insurance companies, private case management companies and some other nonhospital healthcare settings. Apply for case-management jobs you see advertised, but keep in mind that classified ads are only one way to uncover openings. The most effective way is through networking and word of mouth. Start attending local chapter meetings of the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org) as a guest for now. When there's something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those successfully doing it.

You've also got ambulatory care experience, which is a hot and growing segment of healthcare. Use your connections to seek similar positions in medical/nursing practices, insurance companies, out-patient facilities, home care and hospice.

You should also get out to nursing career fairs and other association meetings such as the American Nurses Association (www.nursing world.org) and/or the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.org). You never know from where the spark, idea, inspiration, contact or opportunity will come, but you have to get yourself out there. Read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair) and see which events and career fairs are coming to your area (http://www.Nurse.com/events/career-fairs).

Since all of us need to sharpen our self-marketing and networking skills, you would benefit from reading “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (www.ce.nurse.com/course/7250). You would also benefit from attending Career Alternatives for Nurses
(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/career-alternatives-for-nurses-tickets-8773924043?ref=ebapi). You'll learn about transferable skills, trends and opportunities; get specific employer contact information, and even get sample forms (resume, cover letter etc. that you can adapt for your own use.

Nursing and healthcare are changing. Each of us needs to elevate our self-promotion skills while staying abreast of industry changes and trends to stay marketable, employed and happy.

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.