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Have you noticed a tendency for older nurses to be dismissed for economic cutbacks and then have difficulties finding a new job?

Tuesday May 15, 2012
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Dear Donna,

Have you noticed a tendency for RNs in their late 40s and 50s with long careers being dismissed for economic cutbacks and having difficulty finding a new job?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Questioning,

What I have noticed is that hospitals across the country are doing a lot of downsizing and reorganizing as healthcare and the demographics of the population are changing. As the acute care environment is changing and shifting, many nurses who have not kept up with their formal education and certifications, are not active in their professional associations and on hospital committees are being let go. Honestly, in some cases, it is simply a matter of entire departments and units, as well as some positions, being closed or eliminated.

Almost all unemployed nurses, at every age and level of experience, are having trouble finding work right now. It is not at all unique to the older nurse. The job market is very tight and care is shifting out of the hospital into alternate care settings, the community, the home, etc. So nurses, whether new or experienced, need to look in new directions for employment and need new skills to find jobs.

Read “Midlife Makeover” (http://news.nurse.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010111080095). Consider the program, “Career Alternatives for Nurses” (http://ce.nurse.com/dvd1/Career-alternatives-for-nurses/) to learn about employment trends, what's hot and what's not, and to learn new innovative ways to market yourself and find the good jobs. The program is available in a home study version also at http://ce.Nurse.com/Professional-Development. What worked for us in the past will not work in the future. See where I’ll be at www.Nurse.com/events/CE-seminars/.

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.