I worked in labor and delivery in Hungary for over 20 years. That was seven years ago. I obtained my RN license in 2014 in New York. Since then, I have been applying for jobs, and it looks like nobody wants to hire me without U.S. experience. Do you have any suggestions for what I should do?
No U.S. Experience
Dear Donna replies:
Dear No U.S. Experience,
I don’t think it has to do with where your experience was obtained, but rather how long ago your experience was. U.S. nurses without current hospital experience (within the last 6 months) are facing exactly the same challenge right now as the delivery of care is shifting from the hospital into ambulatory care and other inpatient settings. Even though you are not a new nurse, the article, New nurse, new job strategies may give you some insight into the current job market and ways to get a foot in the door somewhere (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).
If labor and delivery is still your interest, join and get active in the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (www.awhonn.org). At least attend local chapter meetings as a guest for now. When there’s something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. Networking is known to be a great way to find job leads and get interviews. It is much more effective than simply applying online and sending in resumes.
I also recommend you start volunteering in a related setting while you continue to look for paid employment. Consider an inner city OB/GYN clinic, birthing center, Planned Parenthood facility and so on. Volunteering is a good way to keep/get your skills and knowledge sharp, gain recent relevant experience to put on your resume and discuss on an interview, and expand your professional network. Plus, volunteering often leads to paid employment. You also are more inclined to get an interview and/or a job if you are doing something such as volunteering as a nurse versus being idle. Be sure to have nursing liability insurance if you are going to do anything hands-on, even as a volunteer.
Not only is healthcare evolving and shifting, but today’s job market for nurses is more competitive than ever. You’ll need to be much more proactive in your job search and look in new directions for employment. Follow the above advice including that in the referenced article and take charge of your career.