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I'd like to get back into an advice nurse position, but I am having difficulty doing so. Any suggestions?

Wednesday January 9, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I have been a nurse for 28 years and have spent the past 17 as an advice nurse for an insurance company. I left that position to pursue a consulting job, but that hasn't worked out. I'd like to get back into an advice nurse position, but I am having difficulty doing so. Any suggestions?

Advice Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Advice Nurse,

You don't mention exactly what the problem is that you're having. Is it no response to applications versus getting interviews but no offers? If you have experience (especially 17 years’ worth) in this specialty, you should be able to find a position.

I don't know how you’ve been looking for positions, but you should definitely contact your former employer. Speak with your former supervisor and co-workers and let them know you are available. Even if they don't have a position there right now, they may know someone at another company who might. Networking is a very effective way to find a job.

Also, you should make direct phone contact (rather than just applying online, which you also should do) with the HR department of insurance companies in your area. Some of them have nurse recruiters on staff, so ask for that person if they do. You can do an Internet search for "Nurse recruiter at [name of insurance company]" You may come up with a name of someone you can ask for.

You can find people’s names on LinkedIn.com. If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile established, create one — it is a valuable career/job-hunting tool. If you don't know what LinkedIn is or how to use it, find someone who does and can help set you up.

Also, there are many private companies that offer nurse advice lines and other healthcare telephone services. Find them by doing an Internet search.

Attend area career fairs, even general ones. Insurance companies often exhibit at these and you can have face-to-face contact with recruiters. See what's coming up in your area at http://www.Nurse.com/Events/Career-fairs/. Many insurance companies have periodic open house events to recruit nurses and others. Watch for these events in your local newspapers and search for them online.

If you do all of the above and possess good interviewing, self-marketing, and personal presentation skills, you should be able to land something.

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://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.