RRT New Grad

  1. 1
    Hello everyone!

    I was a medic in the Army 6 years ago and just finished Respiratory Therapy school (Independence University) in Janurary. I have an interview at a hospital this week for a respiratory position. The only problem is that it is 45 minutes away and I have to drive over a mountain pass that is frequently closed between October-March. I live in a rural area so I don't have a lot of options to work in this field. I would love to attend Excelsior but I'm afraid that I will still have a hard time finding a job, seeing as I will still have no current work experience by the time I'm done.

    Should I just apply to a brick and mortor school for nursing or will my experience as a medic and respiratory clinicals be somewhat sufficent? It has been 6 years but as a medic I learned to start I.V.'s, blood draws, vitals, vaccinations etc.

    Thanks for the help!
    tnmarie likes this.

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 1
    I dare say, in this economy, a new grad is a new grad. The issues will probably be the same in any employment venue. If you WANT to be a nurse, then enroll in nursing school either online or B&M. Although I was an LPN for many years, I didn't dare quit my job while in school for fear of being classified as a new grad RN. But I did cut back to the bare minimum in all that was left after shifts were cancelled. Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
    tnmarie likes this.
  4. 0
    Thanks for your input! I am thinking of trying to get a PRN position and work on my RN through Excelsior while working. I'm just afraid I will have a hard time getting a PRN position due to the rural area I live in.
  5. 1
    Maybe expand your territories??? PRN pay in nursing is very good in most places; that's how I was able to cut my hours even with the frequent cancellations when I was an LPN. BUT, there was a distance that I had to travel. At the time, the distance was 68 miles one way. Now, as an RN still in a PRN position, the distance is more than 3 hours one way. I hate the drive but it serves it's purpose, especially now that I'm pursuing the BSN. At my age, I will either work or go to school....I can't do both. So PRN is the way to go. Hopefully, there is a position for you that's not 3 hours away where you would have to pack an overnit bag like me.
    tnmarie likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from NEWRRT
    Hello everyone!

    I was a medic in the Army 6 years ago and just finished Respiratory Therapy school (Independence University) in Janurary. I have an interview at a hospital this week for a respiratory position. The only problem is that it is 45 minutes away and I have to drive over a mountain pass that is frequently closed between October-March. I live in a rural area so I don't have a lot of options to work in this field. I would love to attend Excelsior but I'm afraid that I will still have a hard time finding a job, seeing as I will still have no current work experience by the time I'm done.

    Should I just apply to a brick and mortor school for nursing or will my experience as a medic and respiratory clinicals be somewhat sufficent? It has been 6 years but as a medic I learned to start I.V.'s, blood draws, vitals, vaccinations etc.

    Thanks for the help!


    I think it all depends upon what you want to do in the future--where you think this might go?

    If you want to be able to move up and into any of the various, different positions, the B&M is the way to go. It's more expensive, and it can be more of a pain in the butt; but if you plan on entering certain professional schools in the future--or if the possibility of such is rolling around in your head somewhere, do the B&M. If you think you might want to go into research, do the B&M. If you think you might want to teach, do the B&M. It's all about the potential opportunities for you in the future. If you don't care about that right now, then fine. Do what you are doing. But ultimately I'm talking about marketability--or even applying to certain kinds of professional schools, like law or medicine, etc. They will mostly tend to look down on programs that aren't part of a B&M.

    You can get into a B&M online program, but most of them do have some requirements beyond online, if they are any good. So, say when you do their community health course or a teaching course, or whatever, just make sure you work out the clinical piece in a place near you--during a season when it's not too treacherous. Many places will work things out with you.

    Good luck.
  7. 1
    I guess I'm a little confused.

    If the issue with the RRT route is the commute and possible weather issues, how would that differ in being an RN?

    Do you want to be an RN or to be an RT?

    I think you'd find yourself with a bit of an advantage as a new grad given your prior experience but not a whole lot.

    It sounds like the largest issue is one of geography.

    Personally, I'd take the RT job if offered and live with a 45-min commute and plan to stay over as needed when weather becomes an issue.
    marycarney likes this.
  8. 0
    Well, RN jobs are much more needed at the hospitals. The hospital I did clinicals at had about 4 to 5 RT's working at a time for the whole hospital as opposed to at least 6 or more nurses a floor. The hospital I applied at I think there are only 1 or 2 working at a time. I am always seeing openings for nurses. The hospital I did clinicals at has at least 15 RN openings and no RT openings. So the RT jobs are harder to come by. It seems nursing always has some kind of opening. So I will probably go through Excelsior for my RN eventually so when we move, most likely to an even more rural area, I will be able to work.

    I am hoping I get this postion. The Cardiopulmonary Director who called me to set up my interview knows I am from out of town and have the pass to get through during the winter so I am hoping we can work something out. I have three children and my husband will be gone for six months starting in August, so I'm not sure if staying the night in the town will be an option or not. I am hoping that they will be willing to work with me as I find a nanny and figure out how the situation will work. So stressful!
  9. 0
    I know this is off topic but you went to Independence University, Ive heard mixed reviews on that school and would like to know your opinion on it. Thanks
  10. 0
    I've been in ALS EMS for 11 years (7 as a paramedic) and could not get a job as an RN unless I wanted to go full time (which I did not). imo, lyndaa is right on. I did end up getting a job, but it had to do with the right connections. I found that in my area the higher level nurses (the ones that do the hiring) don't know much about EMS, and they don't consider medic experience worth much, if anything. I'm in the central florida area.
  11. 0
    Job market is tough for any type of new grad. I would take a job as an RT then transition to nursing. At least the RT position will get you some experience and make transitioning into RN easier. It might be tough for you to land a job with Independence University degree. Good luck


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