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Is there any hope for an experienced hospital regulations and compliance nurse who wants a new job after a bad experience at her most current job?



Dear Donna,

I have been at my job for two years. I thought I was hired for my experience in hospital regulations and compliance. When I first came aboard, everything I recommended or provided an opinion on was met with negative responses. My self- esteem was basically torn apart by this experience. While things are quieter at work, I find I am not engaged in my job, have trouble concentrating in meetings and don’t want to go to work.

I am in my late 50s and realize I am not a hot commodity on the job market. I have never felt this depressed and disinterested in my job. My manager, while a nice person, likes control over every aspect of our office, and I find I never really own any of my work. Is there any hope for me?

Depressed and Distressed

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Depressed and Distressed,

Staying in a bad job situation will zap your spirit and your confidence, which it clearly has done. The longer you stay, the worse it will get and the harder it will be for you to recover. Read “Knowing when it’s time to move on” (www.Nurse.com_/Cardillo/Move-On).

You are wrong about not being a hot commodity at your age. Most working nurses are in their 50s and are very much in demand if they have current experience, which you do. Regulatory and compliance experience is a hot commodity right now at any age. So, yes, there is both hope and opportunity for you.

Start taking steps to activate your professional network by attending career fairs, seminars and conferences, and professional association meetings even as a guest for now. Consider local chapters of the American Nurses Association or the National Association for Healthcare Quality You have to get yourself out there as the next idea, contact, connection or opportunity is waiting for you.

Read “Ten steps to a successful job search” (, and move forward. Reclaim your life and your career.

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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