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I am an RN with a BSN, completed in India. I would like to work in an acute care hospital setting but cannot find employment? What should I do?

Wednesday May 2, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am an RN and have been working in a long-term care nursing facility for the past four years. I completed my BSN in India. It is my dream to work in an acute care hospital setting. I tried to attend an open house and submitted an application online. I had two interviews, with no success. I cannot find employment and have been told the reason is I don't have acute care experience, yet they hire new graduates. Do you have any advice?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Jemy,

The hospital job market for all nurses is very tight right now. This is partly because jobs are shifting out of the hospital into the home, community and alternate care settings, such as long-term care, rehab, and sub-acute care.

Without any acute care experience since graduation, it is unlikely that any hospital will consider you before at least taking an RN refresher course. But honestly, that still is no guarantee a hospital will hire you.

Since networking is well known to be an effective way to find a job under any circumstances and since you are from India, I would recommend that you connect with the National Association of Indian Nurses in America (www.nainausa.com). There may be members who can support, advise, refer and mentor you in the process of working toward hospital employment.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’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://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.