How do I get a job as an RN once I pass the RN-NCLEX exam?

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    Good afternoon everyone,

    I have spoken to my mother (physician and has close associates in the Human Resources department) and she says that their isn't much openings/employment in her hospital. The charge nurse informed me that they want nurses with years of experience and that's where the nursing shortage falls under (not new grads!). So, how do I gain experience or employment? Am I supposed to take the lowest entry level job offered (I don't mind this at all) and work my way up? Do I begin at a nursing home? Where am I supposed to start? The human resources department director told me that that many people they hired from the past 10 years have been individuals from international countries.

    Thinking about this, doesn't this lead to brain drain? Brain drain is terminology used to describe emigration of individuals with a particular skill set and draining human capital from their native country. However, they do it for a better opportunity and economic purpose. I could make the argument that the American people are being enslaved by this; however, I don't have reason to complain. I'm not entitled to the job simply because I'm American, but I believe times were easier before. (70's-2000). This is my own personal opinion, so I hope I'm not bashed.

    I haven't passed the examination yet and still in school. What should I do to gain employment upon graduation? Should I get to know the human resource department? Set my clinicals at the very hospital I want to work for? Internship? I'm willing to work hard during school and outside of it. I don't care about salary or benefits, just want experience. The dean of nursing said when the economy starts picking up, they will begin hiring a boatload of nurses. My mother is trying to get me into medicine instead of nursing (I don't mind the additional schooling). The human resources director has said that she looks for people with EMT backgrounds, LVNs, and such. They also advised me not to volunteer as its not really seen as valuable experience. I don't know who to listen to, but I'm very afraid.

    I thought about going into the military or Peace Corps, but they demand a Bachelor's of Science degree. I'm obtainint an ADN which unfortunately is not attractable to many.
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    If I were you, I would set up a little rubric for your career as a nurse. For instance, 1) You want to work as a RN, not a tech, not a LPN
    2) You want to work on either ICU, CCU, Tele, Surgery or ER; but that's it
    3) you want to work within 35 minutes of home, if possible.
    etc, etc

    Now, take those goals/ideas and began plugging in real data to fit each number. First, find the hospitals that fit. This would exclude nursing homes, rehab, home health, etc. Then check DAILY for the openings that you are interested in. If possible, get dressed up and go introduce yourself to the HR department, unit manager, nursing head, and so on. Leave a nice impression and they'll be more willing to pull your name out when it's in a pile of apps.

    The key, whichever route you want to take, is to plan and stick to your plan. You can take things at nursing homes and all that if that will ultimately lead you to where you want to be. The problem with some positions is they simply don't lend themselves to great advancement opportunities. Stick to your guns, you know what you want and what you're worth. If you don't keep your ideas and goals in mind, it's very easy to lose track of where you want to be.

    Also, remember that the people you're going up against just finished the same thing you did, for the most part. They're smart and ambitious, just like you. Try and set yourself apart. Join an association in your area of interest, get certified in something extra, yadda yadda.

    Good luck!


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