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How can an RN who moved from New York to Virginia after a long, successful career find a job in the new location?


Dear Donna,

I am having a terrible time getting a job. I noticed in Virginia, where I’ve recently relocated from New York, there are more LPN positions than RN positions advertised. Can I get an LPN license in addition to my RN license and how would I go about this? I have been a nurse for 40 years with exemplary experience and good references. I think there is some age discrimination happening. I also think my past salary could be a turnoff. I am willing to take a cut in pay just to get back into the workforce.

RN Considering Getting an LPN License

Dear Donna replies:

Dear RN Considering Getting an LPN License,

I hear your frustration but getting an LPN license is not the right solution. For starters, many states do not allow a nurse who holds an RN license in that state to take the LPN exam. But either way, downgrading your credentials is not the way to go. There also are tricky liability issues related to a healthcare professional working beneath their highest license.

You cannot rely exclusively on classified ads to find job leads. You have to get much more proactive in the process. Do this by attending local chapter meetings of professional associations such as the American Nurses Association or any specialty association you are interested in such as the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses ( And since you are new to your area, this is especially important to build a new professional network and support system. You can even attend meetings even as a guest for now, but you may as well join and get active. The more you put into any association, the more you will get out of it. When there’s something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

Put the notion of age and wage discrimination out of your mind too. The job market for nurses is shifting and is very competitive, with an abundance of experienced nurses in the market. So unless you have very current hospital experience, many hospitals will not pay attention to you or hire you. It’s not personal. It’s all about supply and demand.

Every nurse, both new and experienced, needs to look in new directions for employment and learn and use new skills to find those jobs and get hired. Even though you’re not a new nurse, the article “New nurse, new job strategies” has advice for all nurses seeking employment in a changing job market (

My article “Refocus Your Career Lens” ( can put your job search into perspective and offers useful tips.

Best wishes,

By | 2014-12-10T00:00:00-05:00 December 10th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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