I’m an RN who has been recently reinstated. How do I find a facility that will be willing to hire a nurse in recovery?

By | 2022-02-08T14:40:50-05:00 October 15th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I’m an RN who has been recently reinstated. I’m having a difficult time finding a facility that will be willing to hire a nurse in recovery. I’m discouraged. Nurses who have recovered deserve a second chance to practice in our profession, but it is difficult to do so with the stigma the professional community has towards us. I would appreciate your feedback on this subject.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Georgia,

Everyone is entitled to a second chance. But don’t expect everyone to just embrace you with open arms. Expect the resistance, and be prepared to combat it. While I don’t deny that there is some prejudice out there, employers have a right and a reason to be wary of those they consider for employment; and any prior suspension, for any reason, makes them proceed with caution. The good news is that many other nurses have re-entered the workforce after license loss, suspension, and restriction for substance abuse, and you’ll be able to do the same thing with a little patience, persistence, and flexibility. Please read the article “Picking up the Pieces of Your Career” at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/listing.html.

You may need to initially look for alternative employment areas rather than hospitals, if that is what you are going after. Consider substance abuse counseling, psychiatric facilities, health clinics, and various other outpatient settings.

If necessary, start volunteering somewhere medical now while you look for paid employment. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and make valuable contacts. It also gives you recent, relevant experience to put on your résumé. And volunteering often leads to paid employment. Use more networking for job finding rather than relying on sending out résumé — which can be a tough way to find a job. Get out to local chapter meetings of your state nurses association (whether or not you are a member), attend Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek Career Fairs and facility open house/recruitment events, and attend nursing conference and conventions in your area. Get on the phone and use all your contacts, too. Networking is a great way to find and get a job — especially when you have obstacles to overcome.

Persistence and determination will always win out in the end!

Best Wishes!

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’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://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.


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