I have been out of work for six years raising my daughters. Id like to go back to work but not in a hospital. Im thinking about something in ambulatory care but need some suggestions on how to get started.
Thinking About Ambulatory Care
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Thinking About Ambulatory Care,
Ambulatory care is one of the hottest and fastest growing segments of the healthcare market right now so its a good direction to go. It offers varied and broad opportunities for nurses. Start by reviewing the website of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.org) to better familiarize yourself with all the specialty has to offer.
Attend a local chapter meeting of AAACN as a guest as soon and as often as you can. When theres something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those successfully doing it. Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with nurses you meet doing things that might be of interest to you. This type of networking is known to be a very effective way to find job leads and get interviews.
Since youre unemployed, do some volunteer work as a nurse while you seek paid employment. Consider options such as a free clinic, cancer care center, your local public health department or a blood bank. Volunteering gives you recent relevant experience to put on your resume. It also gives you a chance to hone old skills while learning new ones as well as further expand your professional network. And volunteer positions sometimes turn into paid employment. Its a way to get your foot in the door somewhere. Either way, its a good transition step from unemployment to employment.
I also would contact some nursing employment agencies that do non-direct care placement. You can often get a part-time or temp job in an ambulatory setting through these agencies. This is another way to gain experience, try out a specialty and even get a foot in the door. Part-time and temp work often also leads to paid employment.