I have been out of the workforce for some time. I have an ADN and would like to go back to long-term care for the elderly. I have taken the RN return-to-practice class, but I cannot find work. Do you have any suggestions?
Wants to Return to LTC
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wants to Return to LTC,
You don’t mention if you’re not finding openings, not getting a response to your resume submissions, or if you’re having interviews but not getting any job offers. Each is a different challenge with
That being said, reentering the nursing workforce is a process that often requires several steps leading up to paid employment. One important step to look pursue is volunteer work as a nurse while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteering provides recent relevant experience to put on a resume and discuss on an interview. It also builds confidence, expands your professional network and allows you to hone old skills while learning new ones. In addition, volunteering often results in an offer of paid employment. Its a way to get your foot in the door somewhere. Look for volunteer work with your local public health department, hospice, a free clinic, blood bank, etc.
It also is important to get out and do some face-to-face networking. Networking is a very effective way to find and get a job. Start attending some local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) even as a guest for now, and the National Association Directors of Nursing Administration in LTC (www.nadona.org). NADONA is for all nurses in LTC, not just DONs. When theres something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. To get the most of networking, have business cards to hand out and be sure to talk to people. Let them know what youre looking for. Get their business cards and stay in touch with them. You never know from where the contact, connection, lead or opportunity will come.
As soon as career fairs start again in the New Year, be sure to attend those as well. Read How to get the most out of attending a career fair (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair).
Contact some nursing agencies about part time and temporary work for now.
This is another good way to gain experience that often leads to full-time employment.
Be sure your resume is up to current standards and that you know how to conduct yourself on an interview. In a very competitive job market, you have to be able to distinguish yourself from the crowd. The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses will help with all of this (www.ce.nurse.com/course/7250).
When what youre doing isnt working, its time to try a new approach. Use the above strategies, including those in the referenced articles and book. Create positive career momentum and move toward your goal.