Now that my wife and I are living temporarily in Santa Fe after 7 months and 10,000 miles on the road, I am beginning to search for work as a nurse here in what's known as "The City Different".
Having never worked in a hospital, my specialty has been case management, home care, hospice and community health centers, so I am focusing my search on these professional areas. So far, there are several case management positions available in the area, and I surmise from my initial research and conversations with local Human Resources personnel that competition is indeed stiff.
While the nursing shortage appears to still be a nationwide phenomenon, I hear tell that many new grads are scrambling to find jobs after graduation, whereas many of us finishing nursing school in the early 90s had our pick of jobs before we even took the boards.
Many fellow nurses have told me over the years that not having Med-Surg experience is like committing professional suicide, severely limiting my access to well-paying jobs that are almost always in demand. However, having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) makes working in hospitals quite dangerous to my health, taking into consideration all of the cleaners, chemicals, deodorizers, floor waxes and other industrial-strength products that are sprayed with wild abandon all over hospital units, ad nauseum. Thus, the field is narrowed not only by my lack of hospital experience, but also by my physical limitations.
Finding work here in Santa Fe should be interesting, and my hope is that something remunerative and part-time will manifest sooner than later, and regular paychecks will begin rolling in again as I don my scrubs and embody my nurseness once again.