How to cope during layoffs

Discouraging Job HuntA Q&A with Jim DeMaria, RN
Layoffs. Inflation. Recession. Economic meltdown. “The worst financial crisis in a generation.” These are all things that are being said about the state of the American economy. With the economic downturn that we are currently in, many nurses may have to think about layoffs. We asked Jim DeMaria of Renal Care Registered Nursing Services for his advice.

Scrubs: What are some tactics for nurses who’ve been laid off?

Jim: Most nurses are “go-getters” by nature, meaning they usually find a way to get the job done, often thinking in new and creative ways, to accomplish the task before them. It is this attitude or mindset that one can use to overcome layoffs if they occur. There are options for nurses getting laid off right now. Staffing agencies are on the constant prowl for new nurses for understaffed hospitals, and travel staffing agencies are also seeking nurses who are flexible and adventurous.

Scrubs: Give us the pluses and minuses of staffing agencies.

Jim: On the plus side, there is usually a wide range of positions available for nurses at staffing agencies. Ask yourself…”Am I marketable?” The more nursing specialties you are familiar with, the more opportunity there will be for work. The US Marines have a saying that Marines adapt, improvise, and overcome. I believe the same attitude applies to nurses. On the negative side, when you join a staffing agency you may be put in the unenviable position of working at your former place of employment.

Scrubs: Is that why a nurse should choose travel nursing?

Jim: Travel nursing is also a wonderful option for the recently laid off nurse. Travel staffing agencies often pay well, and offer nursing positions in many desirable areas of the country. If you’re truly adventurous, you may find yourself nursing abroad! As an added bonus there is usually a stipend for rent included in your contract with the agency that you work for.

Scrubs: Tell us about a typical travel nursing gig.

Jim: Usually these jobs last about 3-4 months. Then it’s onto another location, and another job. This type of nursing could be very exciting, as it provides us with a constant change of scenery, and can help give us a fresh perspective about what being a nurse is all about. Travel nursing also can be an excellent learning experience, as we often work in different areas of expertise adding to our overall nursing experience, and “marketability.”

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