InclusivityNursing Blogs

Nurse with Disability Finally Lands a Job After Two Years of Rejection


Despite the pandemic and a global nursing shortage, landing a job as a nurse isn’t always easy. For Ryann Kress, it was especially difficult as she searched for a new position in nursing. She has 15 years of emergency medical experience under her belt, but says employers rejected her after discovering that she uses a wheelchair to get around.

“I was just so tired of hearing no’s,” Kress said.

But now, the Virginia native has finally made her dreams come true. She just got hired at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital after a long, painful journey.

Learning to Live with a Disability

Kress was 16 years old when she was first diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue. It usually results in overly flexible joints and elastic skin that bruises easily. As Kress puts it, the condition makes her collagen stretchy.

She says she used her condition to her benefit as a dancer. The added flexibility came in handy until she started experiencing mobility issues.

“It was hard,” Kress remembers. “It was very hard. It was scary. I was 19 or 20 and I thought I had my entire life planned out and suddenly, I have to pick something else to do.”

That’s when she caught the healthcare bug, so to speak. The treatments she received in the hospital inspired her to pursue a career in nursing and advocate on the behalf of those with disabilities.

Her condition eventually put her in a wheelchair. “About two and a half years ago, I began using a wheelchair full time, because my hips, knees and ankles are very unstable.”

She was even crowned Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, but she quickly ran into trouble when trying to get hired back into the field of nursing.

“Suddenly, I’m in a wheelchair and applying to do the exact same process and I’m getting zero callbacks,” she said.

Holding Out with Hope

She says she almost gave up after two years of trying to land a job.

“Two years of ‘no.’ Two years of nobody wanted to take a chance on me, being seen as a liability, or just being instantly Googled, they would find my name, see my wheelchair and say absolutely not,” said Kress.

She ended up applying to 18 different facilities, but the last application was the charm. “Then I said, ‘One last ditch effort,’ I saw the ad for a mother-baby position, and said, ‘Let me just try,’” said Kress.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, the same hospital that used to treat her EDS, finally called her with a job offer in the maternal health unit. Dana Johnson, senior recruiter at the hospital, said she didn’t think twice about hiring Kress after looking at her resume.

Kress quickly realized that she landed the job after being interviewed on Zoom. “And I completely forgot that they couldn’t see my wheelchair at all during the interview. It wasn’t until I accepted the job, that I realized they had no idea I was in a wheelchair,” said Kress.

“She called me and said, ‘I just wanted to let you know that I’m in a wheelchair,’” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Oh, wow that’s amazing. We’ll make it work.’”

Kress was more than excited, but still a little bit in shock. “I didn’t believe it was real and I didn’t tell anyone until I had my schedule in my hand,” Kress said.

After months of waiting, she starts work at the hospital today.

Kress has a message for anyone looking for work with a disability. “Keep coming back because someone is going to say yes,” she said. “Someone is going to see you and see through your disability and say, ‘We want you, we want you for your skills, we want you for who you are.’”

She says having EDS gives her a unique perspective in and out of the hospital. She will be that much more prepared when caring for individuals with a genetic condition or disability. “You know what, if I can put myself back together, I’m gonna put someone else back together,” said Kress.

Now, she knows that her disability wasn’t the problem. “I am still capable,” she said. “I can still do things in this wheelchair. My biggest hurdle is trying to learn a completely different form of nursing with these new body mechanics. But it doesn’t mean I can’t do it.”

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

    Falling Hazard: Suicidal Man Lands on Woman in East Village San Diego

    Previous article

    Doctor Ordered to Report to Prison Still Allowed to Practice Medicine

    Next article

    You may also like


    1. I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he
      should also visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from newest reports.

    2. Simply wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert
      on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
      Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable

    3. Hello I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Google for something
      else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a fantastic post and
      a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I
      don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have saved
      it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up
      the awesome work.

    4. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this
      blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
      the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    5. I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s articles all the time along with a cup of coffee.

    6. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

      Extremely helpful info specifically the last part :
      ) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a
      very long time. Thank you and good luck.

    7. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS.

      I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.
      Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues?
      Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    8. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

      The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.

      I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to
      do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
      The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Kudos

    9. I always spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s articles everyday along with a cup of coffee.

    10. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
      to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your
      blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal
      with the same topics? Thank you! asmr asmr

    11. Hey there, You have done an excellent job.
      I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
      I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.
      quest bars quest bars

    12. Black owned and operated publicly traded companies. URBT Studios. classified as media company headquartered in The southern area of California. It is the oldest Afro american-owned televison broadcasting business in America, operating a number of TV stations. Urban Television Network Corp also operates more than a few well-known business units, including URBT Television & online streaming TV service. The business was formed 1984 & the present Chief Executive is Joseph Collins. Urban Television Network Company. stock symbol URBT went public in 1984, Mr. Collins became the first Black gentleman to direct a Wall Street business focused on multi-media. Urban Television Network Corp. is essential investment decision for just about every single afro american family unit.

    13. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility
      issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
      I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!
      scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

    14. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
      you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the
      content! cheap flights cheap

    15. I seriously love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself?
      Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own blog
      and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
      Appreciate it! ps4 ps4 games

    16. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!

      Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your
      posts! Carry on the fantastic work! quest bars quest bars

    17. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be exactly
      what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content to
      suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects
      you write related to here. Again, awesome web site!
      scoliosis surgery scoliosis

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    More in Inclusivity