I had to resign due to family illness and gave my employer 24-hour notice. I had held a staff nurse position with that particular organization for more than four years, and had always had a good rapport with staff and management. I also have been my parents’ sole caregiver for the past eight years. I left my work in haste as I was emotionally and physically falling apart. My previous employer has designated me “not for rehire.”
What are my chances of being employed elsewhere? I have decided to work as a patient care tech in a hospital as I cannot take the responsibilities of being an RN. My BON stated that’s OK as long as I have a certified nurses aide licensure. What are your views?
RN Who Wants to Work as a CNA
Dear RN Who Wants to Work as a CNA,
Working as a PCT or CNA while an RN because you cannot take the responsibilities of an RN is not advisable. For starters, some employers will not hire you as a patient care tech or certified nurses aide because you are an RN. There are potential liability issues to both you and the employer. In the event a problem arose, you would be held responsible and liable to your higher license regardless of the position you hold. You also will have to continuously explain why you are working as a PCT or CNA when you are a licensed RN and that will get awkward.
Many of us need a break from direct patient care during our careers for a variety of reasons. I’ve been there myself. I’d rather see you take one of the myriad positions for RNs where you do not have direct patient care responsibility. Some examples would be working as an insurance nurse doing precertification or as a drug information nurse for a pharmaceutical company. Other options include doing chart review for your state quality improvement organization, working in a blood bank or doing insurance exams for a portamedic company. There are so many ways and places to use your RN knowledge and experience, not to mention your credential in a low-stress, low-key nonpatient care environment. The pay will be higher as well.
The fact you resigned from your last position, even though it was abrupt, is better than being fired even though you are listed as “not for rehire.” You can explain to a prospective employer you had to leave abruptly to care for your parents. It is a situation that is not unusual these days and hopefully someone will understand.
But having worked as a CNA for a time will not look good on your resume or bode well in an interview. It will make prospective employers suspicious and, again, require you to provide an explanation. If you provide the reason you give above, it will not work in your favor.
Since you are presumably unemployed now, I recommend you look for a volunteer nurse position while you continue to seek paid employment. Volunteer work gives you recent relevant experience to put on your resume, gives structure to your week, and helps to build confidence. In addition, volunteer work often leads to paid employment. Seek these positions through your local public health department, the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Volunteering is generally a good way to transition back into the workforce.