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How can a nurse with experience in another country and recently licensed in the US find a job?



Dear Donna,

I passed my National Council Licensure Examination, and I am searching for a job. I also have almost three years of nursing experience back in my country. I am applying for a job, but it’s not working out.

Unsuccessful Job Seeker

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Unsuccessful Job Seeker,

You don’t mention what type of jobs you are looking for (hospital, nursing home, etc.), but I will tell you that the hospital job market, in particular, is tight for all nurses right now. Those jobs are diminishing as care shifts out of the hospital and into alternative care settings, such as the home, the community, etc.

Even though you are not a new nurse, read “New nurse, new job strategies” ( to understand what is happening and why, and what you need to do to find a job.

You don’t indicate what country you are from, but if you can find a related US nursing association, such as the National Association of Indian Nurses of America ( or the Philippine Nurses Association of America (, connect with them to further help and support you. Also, connect with your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( Networking is well known to be the best and most effective way to find and get a job.

As the above referenced article recommends, start volunteering now in a healthcare setting as a nurse while you continue to look for paid employment. Look for these opportunities at your local public health department, a free clinic or hospice. Volunteering gives you recent experience to put on your resume, expands your professional network and often leads to paid employment.

Best wishes,



About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’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 and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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