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What can a seasoned RN, in process of earning a BSN, do to find a better paying job than per diem home care?



Dear Donna,

I am a seasoned nurse who left a job due to dissatisfaction with it. I have experience in different specialties, and I am back in school for completion of my BSN.

I am doing per diem home care, but it does not pay enough. I am having a hard time finding a job again in a hospital. The last time I worked in a hospital setting was two years ago. I am not sure what to do.

Seasoned Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Seasoned Nurse,

Don’t take it personally. The hospital job market is changing with care shifting into outpatient and alternate inpatient settings and the same is happening with nursing jobs. Most hospitals are only hiring nurses with current hospital experience. Many are not even hiring new nurses.

Whether you want to continue to pursue hospital work or just more regular employment in another setting, you will need to take a more proactive approach to find a job. Steps you can take include more face-to-face networking at career fairs, nursing/healthcare association meetings (even as a guest if not a member), seminars and conferences. To see what’s coming up, visit ( Read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” to learn how to work a career fair to your advantage.

Additionally, you need to get active with social media, especially LinkedIn. Twitter also is a hotbed for professional networking and leads.

You can contact some nursing agencies for additional opportunities/hours via telephone or in person as many agencies exhibit at career fairs.

It’s great you are pursuing your BSN because that is also becoming a prerequisite for hospital nurses. If you don’t already belong to your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( or a specialty association such as the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (, I suggest that you join and get active. You have to be tapped into a pipeline of information to stay current and connected and to find a job.

The job market is much more competitive today than it was in the past. Plus it is changing and evolving. All nurses, both new and experienced, need to look in new directions for employment and to learn and utilize new skills to find and get those jobs. You’ll find more about current resume writing standards, interviewing, self-marketing, and how to best leverage your current experience and credentials in my book, The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses, available where books are sold.

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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