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If you’re one of the thousands of unemployed nurses, I bet you already know the downside of being one: no financial freedom, utter boredom and worse, mental stagnation.

I’m sure any unemployed person, regardless of profession, can attest to the fact that being jobless can hurt both a person’s pocket and productivity but in the case of  a nurse who has been unemployed for almost 1 year or longer, stagnation in terms of nursing knowledge or skill gives the most hurtful blow. And given the current trend of nursing employment in the Philippines, it seems that the disadvantages of being a jobless nurse are starting to pile up like pancakes. But aside from riding the bandwagon of the call center industry, are there any more options left to give our beloved nurses a chance to practice what they love the most? How can a Filipino nurse rev up his/her productivity without putting those 4 years of backbreaking studies to waste?

Surviving the unemployment trend in the Philippines is not an easy task but with perseverance, patience and a bit of creativity, a Filipino nurse can withstand  even the lowest point of being jobless. I’m pretty sure nepotism and the never-ending “backer system” will always remain as your major road blocks but if you really love what you do, then no one and nothing can stop you from getting it. Here are some of the five ways to jump start your nursing career:

1. Get the latest updates from reliable  Nursing blogs or websites

In an era when demands for newspapers are declining, people  consider online contents as the best way to be informed, entertained and find tons of job opportunities. Gone are the days when internet contents were boring people to death because websites,nursing blogs in particular, are now becoming more interactive and engaging for its readers.

For instance, by getting regular updates from blogs like RNspeak.com, you will not only receive unlimited information and inspiring stories because these past few years, nursing blogs were among the first few to relay the latest local nursing opportunities like RNHEALS and Philhealth CARES to the online community.

You’re probably unemployed now and wasting too much time playing games or giving status updates in several social  networking  sites so why not visit nursing blogs for a  change?

2. Attend Nursing job fairs and conferences

Job fairs can either be a “general” job market catering to different professions or a Nursing job fair focusing on existing demands for Filipino nurses. Either way, an unemployed nurse won’t get hurt if he/she takes the chance and spend the rest of the day submitting resumes or attending short interviews in these job fairs.

Major  job search websites like Jobstreet posts regular updates about scheduled job fairs in your area while the Philippine  Nursing Opportunities, Conference, Expo & Job Fair (PNOCE) organize annual  events every last quarter of the year both in Manila and Cebu so make sure you’re among the first few to know their latest announcements to increase your chances of getting hired.

3. Check major job search websites regularly for the latest opportunities

From company nurse positions to overseas employment opportunities, one can never go wrong with Jobstreet and other job search websites in the Philippines.

In addition to the updated job postings, these websites also offer excellent tips on increasing one’s  chances of getting hired like how to create a killer resume and cover letter. If you are ready to think outside the box and grab nursing-related opportunities outside the hospitals, a job search website can also be your best pal. As a matter of fact, you can find here job vacancies from different industries ranging from BPO to communication services.

4. Continue to upgrade yourself by attending various seminars and training programs

They say skills and education are considered good investments and in the case of unemployed nurses, upgrading one’s self is not hard to accomplish. IVT training, First Aid and BLS are  just among the list of skills training you can attend to if you want to  be a valuable part of both the hospital and your own community.

Some seminars and training programs are free of charge but most of them require a set of fees. It might cost you a few hundreds but always remember that no amount of money can ever equal your patient’s life so make sure you won’t stop from making yourself a better nurse.

5. Earn extra cash while applying for nursing jobs on the side

Applying for jobs and even working as a volunteer/staff nurse (they usually receive small salary or none at all) can be costly that’s why to help you survive these trying times, you need to find other ways to get extra income. Having a part-time job can help you supplement your measly income but it requires more than just the desire to find a job. From online freelancing (e.g. oDesk or Elance) to joining networking gigs, opportunities are really abundant especially for nurses who are brave enough to get out of their comfort zones.

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