Dear Donna Career Advice
Dear Donna Advice Column
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA,'s career advice columnist and president of Cardillo & Associates, is a keynote speaker, entrepreneur 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."

She brings more than 20 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.
Letters To Donna showing 65-72 of 80 « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »
Is it true that once I graduate, I need 2 years of experience in med/surg?
Date: Sep 18, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, I am a student nurse in her third year of a BSN program, and I don't like med-..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Doesn't Like Med-surg, Take heart. While many well-meaning nurses may pass on age-old advice about working in med-surg for two years right out of school, it is not now, and ne... read more

Should an RN with a BSN, who has not worked as an RN in several years, take a refresher course to get a clinical position?
Date: Sep 17, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, I am an RN with a BSN, who has been looking for a nursing position for over a ..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Ready for a Change, The nursing job market is constantly changing. All nurses need to look in new directions for employment, and they also need to learn and utilize new skills... read more

Am I out of touch in sending handwritten thank you notes to individuals who interview me for a job?
Date: Sep 16, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, You recently advised someone in your online column to send a typed thank you l..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Out of Touch, While handwritten follow-up notes after an interview were once the norm, in the technology-driven world we live in, typed letters are now considered the norm and... read more

How important is it for me to get an MSN as opposed to an MA in something else?
Date: Sep 15, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, How important is it for me to get an MSN as opposed to an MA in something else..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Not Sure About an MSN, If you don't plan to stay in the hospital or clinical setting and don't intend to teach nurses in a college setting, then an MSN is not necessary. Many ... read more

Will working as a patient care tech while I'm in school count as experience once I graduate?
Date: Sep 12, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, I am a student nurse who will graduate in 2015. I know the job market is tough..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Concerned Student Nurse, When hospital recruiters ask for experience these days, they are usually referring to graduate nurse hospital experience. So while getting experience ... read more

What is the difference is between case manager and care manager?
Date: Sep 11, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, Can you tell me what the difference is between case manager and care manager? ..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Confused, There is a distinct difference between the two positions. Nurse case managers focus on care coordination, financial management and resource utilization to yield cost... read more

How can a psych nurse who wants to transition into med/surg nursing make her resume more marketable?
Date: Sep 10, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, I have been working as a psychiatric nurse for three years and would like to a..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Psych Nurse Who Wants Med-Surg, For starters, know the hospital job market for nurses is rapidly changing and evolving. Hospitals are slowly downsizing as more care is deliver... read more

What type of part-time work can an experienced nurse with an ADN get after being out of the workforce for a year?
Date: Sep 9, 2014 | Dear Donna
Question - Dear Donna, I am a two-year degree nurse with more than 13 years of experience. I had to r..
Dear Donna replies- Dear Frustrated, The job market for nurses is changing every day. Experience does matter but it is not enough these days in some settings. Hospitals are primarily hiring BSN nurses... read more

showing 65-72 of 80
*Due to the sheer volume of questions received, Donna Cardillo cannot answer every question or respond privately to any questions. All questions answered will appear on, and some may be printed in Gannett Healthcare Group publications. Last names and e-mail addresses will be omitted.
Latest From Dear Donna
Upcoming Events
*Join Donna Cardillo on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7:30 AM America/New_York for an in person live event on 'Career Alternatives for NursesĀ®' in Atlantic City, NJ and earn Nursing Continuing Education(CE) credits for your participation.

Go to for more information.
Ask Donna a Question
Log In
Donna Sign Up
The Ultimate Career Guide For Nurses