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- by Sally1 Nov 15, '11Hello! I am a new grad nurse looking for work in California. I heard that it was hard to find work as a new grad (at least in my area) and I'm finding this to be true. I've only been looking/applying for about 3 weeks, but have had little luck. Many of the positions I want to apply for won't even consider me because they want 1-2 years experience at minimum. I do have CNA experience, but I don't think that's getting me very far.
Perhaps I just need a little patience, but do you have any advice for me in terms of getting a job as a new grad in such a highly competitive area? I would appreciate any words of wisdom. Thank you!
- Nov 15, '11 by JSBostonI'm soooo glad I graduated and got a job before the new grad hiring issues started, I really feel bad for new nurses!
I don't have a ton of advice, but I'd just keep on applying and applying like crazy, and start to try for jobs that are not your top choices too because from it looks like, it can be a LONG time before you find a job There are TONS of posts just like this one you can search for and also get a lot of answers.
One of my top tips is to network- I would not have landed the past two jobs without knowing people. People who I've used to work with who had new jobs and I followed them after they recommended me. Otherwise you are one of a billion applications. Keep in touch with other students!
- Nov 15, '11 by Sally1Thank you! I will continue to apply like crazy and hopefully something works out. The hospital that I was a CNA for will hire me as soon as a position is open, but that may not be until February. Ugh. Anyway, I appreciate your advice!
- Nov 15, '11 by sugarlipsMost new grad programs in the LA area have already opened and closed. Northridge just closed today. Keep looking for New Grad Programs, as it seems that is the only way to get a job without RN experience. Smaller hospitals like Brotman, however, seem to hire. Also, the new grad programs mostly do not start until February or March, so I would be thankful that you have a job waiting for you at your old hospital. Good luck.
- Nov 15, '11 by noahsmamaDefinitely emphasize your CNA experience in your application. It's not the same as nursing experience, but it will still give you an advantage over other new grads with no health care experience at all.
Do you have a letter of reference from the place where you were a CNA? You definitely should!
Is there a particular city in CA you're focusing on, or are you willing to work anywhere in the state? It may be not quite as hard (though still not easy!) to find a job outside of the SF or LA area. Cast a wide net.
One thing I did was to set up "job agents" at every hospital website where this was possible. You tell it what type of job you're looking for, and it sends you an email whenever a new job that meets your criteria is posted, so you don't miss openings, and get your application in right away.
- Nov 15, '11 by Sally1I use my old employer (from when I was a CNA) as a main reference, and I have an older letter of recommendation from her...perhaps I should get it updated.
I'm looking in the Bay Area and also in the Santa Barbara area. I'm not picky at all for positions, so I've been applying for EVERYTHING under the sun. I love nursing homes so I've focused on them, but I'll apply for anything.
I have saved some of my "search criteria" for jobs on some hospital websites, so I should be updated when anything comes up. Keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks so much for your advice!
- Nov 15, '11 by NickiLaughsIf you really want to do a nursing home do a walk in. When I was an LVN that's how I got my job. It shows you are really interested.
I think everyone else had some good advice and I don't really have anything else to add to it. Good luck!