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What can a nurse with an ADN degree, who is having a difficult time finding a job, do?


Dear Donna,

I am a nurse who graduated four years ago with ADN degree. I had a hard time passing the NCLEX and changed careers. In the midst of all this change my parents got very ill, and I had to be the sole caretaker and fell in love with nursing all over again. I tried again and passed the NCLEX, but now I am having a hard time finding a job. Every hospital that is hiring requires a BSN. I am looking into online RN-BSN programs and onsite classes as well. What should I do careerwise with my license and ADN degree?

Delayed Start

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Delayed Start,

Congratulations on passing NCLEX. In spite of your delayed start, you are experiencing some of the same hurdles as a nurse just out of nursing school. This is because the job market for nurses is changing. All nurses, both new and experienced, must look in new directions for employment, learn and use new skills to find those jobs and get hired. Read “New nurse, new job strategies” (

As you are unemployed and have been away from nursing for a while, an important first step for you is to start volunteering now as a nurse while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteering will give you recent relevant experience to put on your resume, build confidence, give you a chance to hone old skills and learn new ones and expand your professional network. Look for a volunteer nurse position in your local public health department, a free clinic, hospice or blood bank. Volunteering also is a way to get your foot in the door somewhere and often leads to paid employment. Keep in mind. if you do any type of hands-on nursing. you should have nursing liability insurance even for a
volunteer position.

It also is important for you to join and become active in your local chapter of the American Nurses Association ( As a new nurse, you must immerse yourself in the community of nursing. You cannot stay isolated. Networking is known to be a very effective way to get a job. To better understand the how, where and why of networking, watch this free webinar, “Networking for nurses: Is it important” ( The fee applies only if you want CEs for the program.

Making arrangements to get your BSN is a smart thing to do. Just being enrolled in a program will boost your marketability. Your nursing career may not start where you had imagined it would but the
important thing is to get started. Don’t get hung up on trying to get a hospital job. Get what you can for now and move forward. The rest will work itself out.

Best wishes,


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By | 2014-09-19T00:00:00-04:00 September 19th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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