CA new grad RN looking for position on East coast--need advice

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    Hi everyone. I am a new grad RN who has been unable to find a position in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I moved in August 2012 after finishing nursing school in July 2012 to be with my fiance. I have a BSN degree from Johns Hopkins and hold a California RN license as well as a newly acquired Maryland license. I have recently also applied for an Alabama RN license. I am ACLS-certified and had a good GPA (3.73).

    I've basically exhausted every outlet for trying to find a job in the Bay Area and really want to start my nursing career in acute care nursing. I decided to move back East about 10 days ago. I am currently in the Montgomery, AL region.

    I'd love to hear advice about where you think it's best to find a job as a "new grad RN" who has been out of school almost a year. Being out of school a year in California without landing a job is normal, but people here aren't seeming to understand that very well.

    I would like to know you all's opinions about the following questions:

    1) Would experience in any acute care setting help me to secure an RN position in the Bay Area eventually? Meaning, does it look a lot better to future employers if I work at a Magnet-designated or teaching hospital as opposed to more of community-based hospital?

    2) Which area of nursing would give me a higher chance of finding a position in 1-2 years in the Bay Area? (I am most interested in either cardiac step-down/telemetry or HIV/infectious diseases inpatient). I did my senior internship on a progressive cardiac care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and loved it. I am open to lots of options.

    3) Does location of the hospital matter a lot in terms of making myself more marketable for California eventually? I am considering staying in Alabama for the experience since I could live with my parents. It's either Alabama or Maryland at this point.

    Thanks so much for your input everyone, I would really appreciate it! This is my first post so I apologize if it's too long...thank you for reading.
    Last edit by Oatbran on Jul 3, '13 : Reason: Too long
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

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    Moving to the First Job Hunt Assistance forum. Best of luck with your job hunt.
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    Thank you Meriwhen! I appreciate it.
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    Just read through the boards and you will get your answer. At this point the longer you wait to get employed the harder it will get. If I were you I would find the closest nursing home/subacute rehab and hand in a resume. It is depressingly sad out there when it comes to new grads. Forget what school you went to, the fact that you are a new grad with no experience is all they look at. I say this as someone who had to bite the bullet and work in LTC. Interviews WILL come with LTC experience.
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    Thank you Dreaming4acute87 for your feedback.

    I actually had an interview on a telemetry unit/cardiac step down unit combo on Monday. It's here in Montgomery, AL in a community hospital. On Wednesday they offered me a position. I haven't said "yes" yet but I think I am going to do so on Monday. My plan is to get about a year and a half of experience and hopefully by then I will be able to find something back in California. Hopefully this is the right experience I need.

    I agree though, interviews will come with LTC experience. I have heard that it's harder for LTC experience to translate into an interview in an acute care setting in the Bay Area. I agree that many of us have had to bite the bullet, so to speak, to find something that will help to propel us to where we want to be. I'm glad you were able to find a position.
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    Given the job market in the East, I think you will have better luck with Alabama than Maryland. The salary may be lower but in Maryland you'd have a lot of competition from nurses in DE, DC and VA in addition to the MD nurses.

    ETA: I see you got an offer...IMO take it. I just posted in another thread here about a new grad who was being a little too finicky about jobs and found their job offer withdrawn...which may or may not have been due to their finickiness.

    So take this one, but don't wait too long to tell them Yes. And if you're not sure if you want it, think long and hard before you tell this one No.

    Congratulations!
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    Thanks Meriwhen. I'm going to say yes on Monday. I was honest with the nursing director about my lack of certainty of how long I would be able to stay (I said I could guarantee a year and a half but I couldn't guarantee more than that since I wasn't sure my fiance could relocate). I thought they wouldn't offer me the job because of that.

    In any case, I am very happy to have an offer in hand on a unit where I really wanted to work. Yes, pay is much less compared to Maryland (close to $7-10 an hour base), but living with my parents should balance much of that out.

    I definitely agree that there seemed to be a lot more competition in the Maryland/DC area. I wasn't getting any callbacks from the couple of applications I had submitted to DC area and Baltimore hospitals. It probably had a lot to do with how long I had been out of school.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
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    I think you are making a wise decision on taking the job. As long as you get some experience, your opitions will only get better. Im sure after you work, the California job will fall into place
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    Thanks copeRN. That's what I'm thinking too. I would rather spend my time here in Alabama getting the experience I need to be competitive in California instead of spending 8+ hours in the Bay Area every day applying for jobs that are extremely competitive.

    Approaching the year mark of having no RN job in California was really a wake-up call for me. Thanks so much for your input!


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