Losing your nursing job – for whatever reason – can be emotionally and financially devastating. The best advice I can give is to keep in mind the old adage that “when one door closes another one opens”. Do not give up hope. Be proactive and rule your own destiny.
First, realize that when you are unemployed, no one is going to come knocking at your door to hire you. You are in control of your successful future – and this requires action!
What can I do?
- File for unemployment. Many professionals feel that filing for unemployment carries with it some shame. This is an entitlement that you pay for! Use it when you need it. The money you make in unemployment will help bridge you from the time you lose your job to the time you find a new one.
- Give that old resume a tune-up. Time to brag! Tidy up the resume and don’t forget to include your most recent nursing job. Remember all the great accomplishments you have done over the years? Put them in your resume.
- Hit the web and the pavement. Like I said, no one is going to come knocking on your door. Hit websites such as and NurseTogether,
Career Builder to find local, open positions. Did you know that less than 50% of open jobs are advertised? That’s why you have to hit the pavement! Make a list of any and all of the local health care facilities. Go to all of them dressed professionally, exhibiting confidence, and with fresh copies of your resume in hand. Market yourself.
- Call in the troops. Make your unemployed status known to your personal and professional contacts. Call in the favors and contact your peers and friends who are currently working in the field. If you are a member of a professional organization, contact them regarding potential job openings in the area.
- Determine your needs versus your wants. Do you need to earn as much as you were at your old position or can you financially afford to accept a lesser paying job? Fill out a budget and see exactly what you need versus what you want. You may be able to accept a lesser paying position either temporarily or permanently.
- Volunteer or work for a temporary agency. There are many agencies out there seeking temporary nurses. Look into those positions to fill the gap between unemployment and permanent employment. Or volunteer. Become a volunteer nurse at you child’s school, work for the local homeless shelter, or volunteer at the local hospital. You may make contacts that lead you to your new dream job!
- Don’t sit home eating bon-bons. What I mean here is don’t sit home feeling sorry for yourself, watching TV, overeating, and getting depressed! Get out there and find that nursing job!
NurseTogether is a great resource for enhancing your professional and social networking with other healthcare professionals. Take advantage of these resources: visit NurseTogether's job board where you can review, update and directly send your resume to employers; participate in live chat room events where you will have real-time communication with nursing professionals discussing career related issues; visit the forums for dozens of fresh, interesting forum discussions on a variety of career, education and lifestyle related topics; and take advantage of the various networking opportunities posted on our events calendar located on the homepage. You can also network through NurseTogether's LinkedIn group, as well as further interact with NurseTogether members by becoming a fan of the NurseTogether Facebook page.