A new experience for an experienced nurse
There is great wisdom in the old saying, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” Over the coming weeks, as my severance pay dwindles while I search for meaningful work, I will join the ranks of millions traveling virtual miles on the Web, seeking re-employment.
Luckier than most, I have nursing shoes to fill, but I have learned a sobering lesson about ageism. My years of experience and broad knowledge base come at a price for any potential employer. Union rules dictate that a nurse’s salary reflect the importance of his or her experience — this makes the youngest nurses among us the most fiscally desirable for potential employers.
For years working in a home health setting, I have seen the world through the eyes of people living with transient, chronic and terminal illnesses. Many of these people met my gaze with gratitude when they realized how much I valued their strength as they lived though vulnerable times.
As my search for a new role in nursing continues, I hope to see in the gaze of potential employers a similar appreciation for my strengths as I handle my newfound vulnerability.
— Pam Silverstein, Seattle