I’ve been an RN for 22 years, and have worked in med/surg, ED, ICU, and long-term care. Due to a back injury that left me 50% disabled, I have not been able to do bedside care since 2009.
I have been unable to find a job for two years, and I have no money to take CEUs. Does Nurse.com offer any free classes? I’ve found without a higher degree, the jobs in case management and utilization review either want experienced people or require a BSN/MSN.
I’m nearly homeless; I really need help or at least a chance to prove myself.
Looking for Free Courses
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Looking for Free Courses
You have plenty of free options at Nurse.com. Two of my webinars that will help you in your job search are available for free: Interviewing successfully: How to advance your career (http://ce.nurse.com/course/web191/interviewing-successfully-how-to-advance-your-career/)
and Networking for nurses: is it important? (http://ce.nurse.com/course/web192/networking-for-nurses-is-it-important/).
Even though there is a stated fee of $15 each for these webinars, once you register, you can view/listen to each for free. You need to pay a fee only if your want/need the CEU certificate. Most, if not all of the for pay CE offerings at Nurse.com work the same way. You can read or view them for free and need to pay only if you want to obtain a CEU certificate (http://ce.nurse.com). There are even some courses offering one CEU for free.
Although none of the live seminars are free, where there is a will there is always a way. Consider asking for the tuition funds from friends, family or a church group. In other words, reach out to people in your world and your community. Asking for what you want and need can open doors and create opportunities. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. It sounds like you need support on many levels right now. Don’t try to tough it out on your own.
Your statements about getting into non-traditional specialties are not entirely true. Although every employer is different, many employers value the RN credential and experience. But you have to be very proactive in your job search. You cannot rely solely on responding to classified ads. Read 10 steps to a successful job search (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Ten-Steps).
Because you are unemployed, you should start volunteering as a nurse in a healthcare setting while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteering gives you recent relevant experience to put on your resume, provides an opportunity to hone old skills and learn new ones, and helps to expand your professional network. As the above referenced article states, everything happens through networking.
Volunteering also is a good way to get your foot in the door somewhere and often can lead to paid employment. Plus, many employers are more apt to hire someone who is currently engaged in some type of work, even volunteer work, rather than someone who is unemployed and idle for some time. Look for volunteer opportunities through your local public health department, a blood bank, the American Heart Association or a free clinic.
You also should contact some nursing and general employment agencies. Many have part-time and temporary nontraditional work for nurses. This is another great way to gain some experience and get paid while doing it, get a foot in the door somewhere and further expand your network. Temp work often leads to more regular employment.