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.
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.