I want to be a nurse. I have my license and cannot get a job for the life of me. My big problem is experience. I tried getting experience as a nursing assistant but I could not get a job because the places I applied to required experience (go figure). I went on two interviews (both for the same place) and even though there is nothing that indicates that I have nursing experience on my resume they still ask me and seemed surprised by it (then they asked me if I tried to be a nursing assistant). I feel like I am stuck in the catch-22. I feel like there is something wrong with me. I am literally depressed because I cannot do the job I have dreamed of doing for so long. I have applied to a lot of places and even considered going out of state (I live in NJ and want to go to NY). Is there something wrong with me? It's like I have a sign on my face that says "do not call me back or hire me." Sorry I needed to rant it has been frustrating me for a long time.
Nov 13, '12
I don't know if there is anything wrong with you, but a lot of new grads are finding it difficult to obtain employment. If you dig around at this site, you will find many, many threads on this very same subject.
My advice is to not let it discourage you and affect your self confidence, as tough as that may be. Part of being a good interviewee is presenting yourself well, and if you have a lack of self confidence, the interviewer will see it.
That you are getting interviews at all in this economic climate is a good sign that your resume probably looks good. Make sure you dress appropriately and behave in a way that makes people want to hire you.
Best of luck to you!
Nov 13, '12
Oh I act nothing but confident, smile etc. and I wear suites to interviews. That's no problem. But they still ask me if i have nursing experience like they never even read my resume.
Nov 13, '12
The only things I can suggest are to try volunteer work to puff up your resume. Try to do something similar to positions you are applying for. I.E. Trying for Peds, volunteer with Boy/Girl Scouts, or Big Brother/Sister, some hospitals even take volunteers to go sit with children who's parents can't be with them. Want substance abuse, psychiatry? Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Hopefully you get my drift.
Also, keep applying to intership positions. That seems to be the best/almost only way new grads are finding work. There are a lot of experienced nurses looking for employment, and unfortunately for you, a hospital is more likely to hire someone who can hit the ground running instead of someone they have to invest to train. Call to follow up after you send your resume. Then call/email recruiter to follow up after interviews. You could possibly even call them and ask them after your interview if they could give you some pointers or feedback.
Nov 13, '12
I feel your pain. It's hard out there for nurses. Have you tried applying for homecare agencies? I know some (not many, but some) will consider hiring new grads. Whether or not that's something you'd be interested in, it IS nursing experience.
Hold your head up. If you are serious about looking out of state then do that. Apply to surrounding states or whatever region looks interesting to move to. Heck, if you can afford it, you can do a year of volunteer nursing overseas in developing countries, which would look great on a resume. I had some classmates who did that and said it was an amazing experience.
Just some thoughts.
Nov 14, '12
Another choice is skilled nursing or LTC facilities. Homecare that was mentioned also.The VA. Specifically look for search engines that have "new grad" or some other new nurse phrase, just to get a sense of who is hiring new grads in areas you would like to look Indeed dot com comes to mind, and although people send literally dozens of resumes from online with little results, I would use the information to go to directly to the hospital's website. Also, a smaller community hospital would be much more likely to take on a new grad than some of the larger hospitals. Another choice is some MD offices. Schools. Flu Clinics. Pharmacys as a pharmacy tech--there are many of them who also have "minute clinics" --or a local urgent care center. If you have tried all of these options, make an appointment with HR in a hospital of your choice. And ask, what do you need to do to be taken on full time? Is it feasible to do PRN? If you are not working (and especially if student loans are looming) get back into school.--get your BSN, your masters, your NP. It is also feasible in some states to be able to get an Emergency Medical Technician certificate once you are an RN by just doing the practical exam. This could open up some ER tech positions. Also some ambulance companies. You could do RN to paramedic and go that route. It is depressing that new grads are having such a hard time. But you are far from alone, not that it makes it any easier, but it may take some thinking outside of the box.
Nov 14, '12
Sell yourself on your clinical experience. That is what landed me my lpn job which in return hdlped me get my rn job. I had a lot of clinical experiences that made me more "marketable" than others and I used that to my advantage. You can also suck it up and look outside the hospital setting for a year then try again. I had 6mths cna experience going into my lpn job so I was still under a year. I did work with traumatic brain injuries and not geriatric. I took a nursing home job for my lpn knowing it wasnt my niche but a year later I have a job I love (not a hospital job). So keep it up! Be flexible and sell all your experiences! When they ask if you have any experience say, "not formal job experience but while I was in clinical I was able to do.... successfully" did your school have you take on more than one patient? We had 4 that were complete cares on a step down unit my last semester. Talk about time management and prioritization skills! Sell whatever you did.
Nov 14, '12
I was there! No place wants a new nurse who was never a CNA. I finally got my first job by acknowledging my lack of experience and providing references from my Clinical Instructors. I felt a bit like I had to beg and talk myself up at the same time. Be confident that you know what you're doing. You also could talk to the college and ask them for ideas or contacts. Good luck!
Nov 15, '12
Great ideas!! And one more thought--can you go and see the HR people of the hosptial/hospitals you did your clinicals in? Touch base with some of the RN's that you worked with in your clinicals that you could use as a clinical reference? That would also open a few doors. And to site your own clincal experience in their facility is even better. Best of luck.
Nov 16, '12
I wasn't a nurse assistant. I searched for A VERY LONG TIME for a job. I volunteered, I did it all. It turns out... all you really need is someone you know (friend, family member, classmate, coworker, etc.) to put in a good word for you. Get them to hand your resume to their manager or HR. There are some places who just hire based on recommendations because they're literally bombarded with thousands of resumes from other new grads trying to find a job. Trust me; it's not you. I thought for the longest time it was me. You are not alone. This economy sucks for new graduates of any kind of degree program (thanks to Obama). Just follow my advice.
Nov 17, '12
I am riding on my connections. My mother knows people who know ceo's, cfo's, cno's etc. I am hoping that works. My resume and cover letter were just sent to a recruiter on friday so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Nov 18, '12
Much luck and let us know!!
Nov 18, '12
If you have no reason that is anchoring you to where you live now, I would search for states that are in most need of nurses and start applying outside of your state. You need to get experience some how, and maybe moving out of state and living in somewhere remote for a year or two might get you the experience you need. There is A LOT to be learned at a rural hospital. I spent my first year as a nurse in a rural hospital and I learned SO MUCH. It may not be fancy and full of technology, but you will learn and that's going to be the way to get to where you want to be some day. If you are open to it, I would also consider finding employment outside of the hospital setting. Maybe you might like home health, school nursing, long term care, case management, a doctor's office or surgery center. Open your mind, and think outside the box. You CAN get a job, you just have to be open minded about experiences.
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