I’ve been out of full-time work for about four years but am anxious to get back. Arthritis has taken a toll om me. My last job of 11 years was as an RN CM. I have my certified case manager credentials, but I am having a difficult time finding a job. I have been pursuing a bachelor’s in psychology, but recently changed my major to RN to BSN. I felt not having a BSN might have been holding me back despite having more than 20 years of experience and two associate’s degrees. Do you have any suggestions for someone in my position?
Certified Case Manager
Dear Certified Case Manager,
Presuming you want to get back into case management, you should start getting out to local chapter meetings of the Case Management Society of America. When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. It would be ideal for you to join and become active by getting on a committee, but you should at least attend meetings as a guest for now.
Get on the phone and contact all of your former co-workers and supervisors. Let them know what you’re looking for and that you’re back in school. Ask them for referrals, recommendations and introductions. Although many nurses are not accustomed to using this type of networking for job seeking, it is the most effective way to find jobs and get offers. In fact, talk to everyone in your network, whether they’re in healthcare or not. The power of networking is that people know people who know other people.
Attend career fairs in your area. These events are a great place to have face time with recruiters and prospective employers. It’s also a good way to hone your self-marketing and networking skills. See what’s coming up in your area. Read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” for some tips on how to make the most of your time there.
In the meantime, contact some nursing employment agencies about part-time and temp work in case management or a related specialty. Because you are experienced and credentialed in case management, you should be able to find something to start generating income while continuing to seek regular employment. Many part-time and temp jobs turn into regular full-time gigs. It’s a way to get your foot in the door somewhere and gain some recent experience.
Transitioning back into nursing is a process and can take a little time and extra effort so be both patient and proactive.