I’m a new RN who can’t find a job. Should I hire a professional resume writer?




Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been an LPN since 2002, worked until I had a baby in 2008 and went to nursing school for my RN. I did not work from 2008 to 2010. I graduated in April 2010, passed my NCLEX-RN and now cannot find a job. I am so disappointed. What should I do? Should I hire a professional resume writer?

Mona

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Mona,

The job market for nurses is very tight right now — especially new RNs like yourself. I don’t think a resume writer is what you need. Rather, you may need to look in different directions for employment and use different strategies for finding and getting those jobs. Read “New Nurse, New Job Strategies” at http://news.nurse.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880905001 and “The RNs Job Squeeze” at http://news.nurse.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009310050036.

As the first article suggests, start volunteering somewhere medical now while you look for paid employment — ideally somewhere you’d like to work, but anything medical will do for now — a clinic, blood bank, nursing home, etc. This will give you recent relevant experience to put on your resume and allow you to keep learning and make valuable contacts. And volunteering often leads to paid employment. When you can’t get in the front door, try the back door.

You should also join and get active in your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org). Most chapters have reduced dues for new nurses and the unemployed. This is an important first step for all new nurses but is especially important for job hunting. Networking is well known to be a great way to find and get a job.

Look into alternatives to hospital nursing such as outpatient hemodialysis, cancer care centers, rehabilitation, psychiatric/behavioral health facilities, outpatient surgi-centers, etc. There is more than one way to get started — and get employed.

I realize you may prefer to start in a hospital, but if you cannot find such a position right away, explore your options. It is not a good idea to stay unemployed for any length of time — not for your resume, for your self-confidence, your stress level or your bank account.

Persistence and determination will always win out in the end.
Donna


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