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How can a seasoned RN with malpractice claims management experience find a new job after being laid off? Is work in risk management an option?

Thursday March 20, 2014
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am an RN with med/surg and critical care experience who has worked in the medical malpractice claims management outside a hospital environment for more than 20 years. I was recently laid off from a job and cannot find another one. My nursing experience seems too remote now and I have tried to find a position as a risk manager or other non-clinical position without success. Would a RM certification help?

Laid Off

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Laid Off,

While getting laid off is never easy, you have a great background and I am confident you will be able to find another position. For starters, read “How to handle a lay-off” (www.Nurse.com/
Cardillo/Layoffs).

The job market has changed drastically in the last 20 years, so you will need to use more proactive and effective methods to market yourself, make contacts and get hired. Even though you are not a new nurse, read, “New job, new job strategies” for some job-hunting tips (www.Nurse.com/
Cardillo/Strategies).

Risk management is a great direction for you to go as is legal nurse consultant. You do not need to be certified to do either. But you do have to start making one-on-one contact with others working in these specialties. For example, you should attend local chapter meetings of both the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (www.ashrm.org) and The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (www.aalnc.org). You don’t have to be a member to attend meetings. You don’t even have to be working in those specialties. You can make informational interviewing appointments with those you meet. To get the most from your informational interviews, read my article, “The scoop on informational interviewing” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing).

You can contact the officers of your local chapter of either organization by phone or e-mail and do the same. You might even pick up some sub-contracting work with LNCs by making direct contacts through networking.

Because you are unemployed, volunteer as a nurse somewhere while you continue to seek paid employment. Look for volunteer positions in your local public health department, a blood bank, free clinic, American Red Cross, faith-community program and so on. Volunteering helps to fill the gap on your resume, helps you to hone old skills and learn new ones and expands your
professional network.

You’re also a perfect candidate to attend my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar. See where I’ll be (http://www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars). If you can’t attend the live seminar, it is available in a home study version (http://ce.nurse.com/Professional-Development).

When what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to try a new approach. Use the tips and advice I’ve provided and make things happen.

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.