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Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

Last post 07-17-2012, 4:26 AM by Holly Doyle. 6 replies.
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  •  02-02-2012, 11:04 PM

    Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    I have been an RN for a little over 2 years. I graduated nursing school at a really bad time when there were hiring freezes everywhere and the few new grad programs that were accepting applications had a very limited number of spots, so basically, you had to know someone to get in. I started working for a staffing agency that initially sent me to area ADHC's because they didn't require acute experience. It was per diem, and not really what I wanted to be doing but I had to work somewhere.  Through that agency I ended up ge3tting into case managent (by accident, really) and was hired on by an IPA as an RN case manager, where I've been for over a year. This is not what I want to be doing and certainly not what I envisioned my nursing career would be. I want to do clinical work, but there seems to be no way to make the transition without having acute care experience. Nearly every job posting requires at least a year of acute experience, often specialized, which I don't have and I'm not a new grad anymore, to get into a new grad program. I am so frustrated and feel completely stuck in a position I don't really want to be in. Is there no way to move into a clinical position for me? I will have my BSN in June and plan to get my public health nursing certification that I'm hoping will open a few doors for me, but I'm getting so discouraged because no employer will even give me the time of day without recent acute experience. In a way I understand the experience requirement  or entering as a new grad hire where you are trained on the job. I'm not sure I would feel safe jumping right in after so long away from the clinical side, but understanding doesn't make it any less frustrating.

    Can anyone offer any advice? I've looked into refresher courses and there are very few...and I live right by los angeles! The few I've found don't offer a clinical component- the part I need the most. I have the knowledge, I just need to refresh my clinical skills. I'm willing to work as hard as I need to to do this but there just doesn't seem to be a way. someone please help.

  •  04-23-2012, 1:21 PM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    You are in a difficult situation and I have experienced something similar, through my career.  I finally started applying for jobs in an area that had a shortage of nurses and I moved for a position that would give me the experience.  IF you are not able to do that; are there any small hospitals near you that might need someone part time or where you could volunteer some time to get your foot in the door and aquire some acute care experience? 

  •  04-29-2012, 1:03 AM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    Hello Heidi,

    I am glad you found something but, understand your frustration. I concur with the last responder regarding driving to smaller areas/towns. I would also look at the VA and County Hospitals especially with the BSN. I also understand going closer to the border if you are bilingual by chance may open doors. As well, as many Indian Reservations and other areas to give back to the community as well as get much needed experience. Another, option depends on personal situation is the military. You would be commissioned officer and receive those benefits as well as get experience. No one really lets you volunteer except maybe an indigent clinic and I don't think that is what you are looking for. Does your school have a traditional BSN program? If so, network with the counselors and deans to get info about job fairs and treat yourself as new grad and apply for those positions. A refresher can work for you but, only if none of these are options. I teach in Texas with a nurse refresher program but, we are approved in California and have had students do the work and then come to Texas for clinicals. Whatever you decide I wish you well and hope I have been some help to you.

  •  05-15-2012, 11:21 AM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    I agree with Deborah that looking for a job in a place with less competition will definitely improve your chances of getting a job. Try finding a job part-time or volunteer some hours to get back into the business. Also, keep looking for refresher courses or some advanced courses to brush up your clinical skills. Networking is another key concept in getting a job these days. Try increasing your professional network. More people you know more chances are that you will get referenced whenever an oppurtunity comes. If you don't have a linkedin profile, setup one and learn more on how to network. I wish you good luck in your job search.
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  •  07-08-2012, 8:19 PM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    Heidi, I understand your frustration and I can speak some with experience. I have been a nurse for 27 years most of it not in an acute care area having spent time as an office nurse, school nurse, and 15 years in home health. I decided I wanted hospital experience and applied at all my local facilities and did not hear back from any of them. I finally asked for help. At that time I was in home health and had a very good working relationship with a locally well respected physician so I asked him if I could use him as a reference. He did better then that and went to one of the local facilities and put in a personal recommendation. I was called, interviewed and hired for a step down tele unit within a week. Don't be afraid to use what resources you might have. That was 4 years ago and I now work in the ICU and will be graduating as a FNP in August and already have a job with a local pulmonologist when I am licensed. I did have to make concessions I took a cut in pay to get back in the hospital and I had to work hard to relearn all I had forgotten, but I am so glad I did it. You may have to start on an undesirable unit, on an undesirable shift but once you get in and get experience it will open doors. I would also recommend going into human resources in person, more than once. Often online applications are reviewed by a hiring company and they may not know what candidates will fit in a particular job, but in person may help. Good luck and don't give up if that's what you really want.
  •  07-11-2012, 3:30 AM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    well this is drastic that we have to the work which we never wanted to but do remember one thing whatever you do you will surely learn something which will be somewhere surely helpful for you so don't think negative and start thinking positive that whatever you are doing it not so bad and start doing effort for getting what you want in real.

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  •  07-17-2012, 4:26 AM

    Re: Stuck in non-clinical nursing position- need some useful advice...please, this is not what I envisioned for my nursing career

    Hope everything turns out to be ok...God Bless you

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