You are here:-, Nursing careers and jobs-How does an RN get a job with a probationary license?

How does an RN get a job with a probationary license?


Dear Donna,

I was a victim of domestic violence and as I was walking away from my life, I was the one arrested for domestic violence in attempts of my daughter and ex-husband to keep me there. The charges were amended to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. I was unable to afford a lawyer so it was impossible to fight the case.

After leaving one state to live in another, I had a difficult time obtaining my RN license after three years. My question is for nurses on a probationary license, how do you get a job with that obstacle? I feel as if I am losing my skills and knowledge. I am ready to get back to my career.

Ready to Get Back

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Ready to Get Back,

For starters, nothing is impossible. The Legal Aid Society ( was started years ago for those who need legal help and support and do not have the funds to pay for it. So find your local LAS office and contact them if you still have legal issues to address.

It also is not impossible to find a job with a probationary license. It does takes some persistence, patience and willingness to look in new directions for employment and use new skills to find and get those jobs. Read “Picking up the pieces of your career” (

Because you are currently unemployed, look for volunteer work as a nurse while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteering is a great way to keep up with your skills while learning new ones and to expand your professional network. It will give structure to your day/week while unemployed and help you get a foot in the door somewhere. Volunteering often leads to paid employment. Seek these volunteer opportunities in your local public health department, mobile blood bank, a free clinic (where all the employees are volunteers) or hospice. Or try the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

Since networking is the most effective way to get a job under any circumstances, but especially when you have obstacles to overcome, you need to contact those in your circle (family, friends, former co-workers etc.) both in and out of healthcare. Ask for their help with referrals, introductions and recommendations. Prospective employers are more willing to take a chance on a person when someone they know can vouch for that person.

You also can look for an RN career coach to help you through this process. Do an Internet search for “nurse career coach” or get a recommendation for a coach from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association whether or not you are a member.

Since this type of situation takes some extra finesse and skill to work through, I recommend you read my book, “The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses” where I go into detail about what to do and say in this type of situation, including how to answer the tough questions on job interviews. You can purchase a copy of the book wherever books are sold.

Best wishes,

By | 2014-05-21T00:00:00-04:00 May 21st, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:


Leave A Comment