New grad delayed looking for work - any advice?

  1. I graduated with my ADN late May 2013 and passed my NCLEX late July of 2013. Because of various family issues, I decided to delay looking for work as a nurse right away. I already had two home care jobs as a PCA so I was able to wait it out financially for a little while.

    In September, the main home care agency I worked for filed bankruptcy and closed (I had worked there for 8 years), so then I just had a private home care client. It wasn't a difficult job and didn't challenge me very much in my newly acquire nursing skills -I monitored vital signs, cooked, cleaned, personal care and gave her meds etc. However, because of my situation with family, it was a great job that provided income until I was ready to job search as a new RN. However, that client recently passed, so I am once again without home care work. My BLS had expired in the meantime, so the first thing I did was find a class and got that renewed.

    Now I am ready to start job searching, but I am feeling so inadequate since I have been out of school for half a year. I am discouraged and have lost momentum. Although I have kept up somewhat on my education at home - I have studied my nursing books or watch nursing videos for a minimum of an hour a day since August so that I wouldn't forget everything - I am still nervous.

    I would prefer to work in a hospital, but it seems that all the hospitals around here really want you to have six months of experience first. My old boss from the home care agency I used to work at has asked me to apply at the new place she works, but I think that I need a lot more experience as a nurse to be a home care nurse, don't you think?

    Does anyone have suggestions for me? Should I aim for long-term care? Do you think I should have experience working as a nurse before applying for a home care position? Does anyone have a suggestion for a 'crash-course' review before going to work?

    Just a couple more things about me that might make a difference in your advice - my husband was injured in an auto accident ten years ago in which he sustained a brain injury. I've been caring for him for years, and eventually decided to go into nursing when I realized that he would never be well enough to go back to work again. I just turned 49, so although I am eager to begin my career and I love helping people, I am older than most new nurses. Thank you so much in advance for any advice you have!
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    About visionary123

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 37; Likes: 55


  3. by   NoviceRN10
    Just apply to everything that interests you and see who is calling you back for interviews. Where I work they hire new grads all the time. In the 3+ yrs that I have worked there (starting as a new RN) they have only hired one nurse who wasn't a new grad, the rest of us were very green! If you start harping on the fact that you haven't worked in the profession since gaining your licensure it will only hold you back. Don't even think about that, just go out an see what kid of opportunities are available in your area for new nurses. Good luck!
  4. by   jasonbata2
    what hospital is this? thanks
    how bout if internation grad then no experience ?
  5. by   martinil9999
    Who is STILL saying that there is a "nursing shortage?" Or that a nursing shortage is "just around the corner, when Obama's Health Care Reform kicks in, when the Baby Boomer nurses retire, etc., etc." Yep, that's right, those magazines you get free in the mail: "Nursing Spectrum" and the like. Their revenue is almost entirely from advertising by the corporate controlled hospitals, who benefit enormously from a surplus of R.N.s on the job market. The R.N. surplus drives down wages (even if a union is involved), prevents the need to offer sign-on bonuses, and gives employers the upper hand in any employment negotiations, in general. By erroneously believing that there is a nursing shortage, nurses play right into the greedy hands of the 1%- the corporations who now control most of the major hospitals.

    What do they - "Dear Donna" and the like- suggest, if you can't find a nursing job? Work for free - VOLUNTEER! There are plenty of M.B.A.s and new grad lawyers unable to find entry level jobs in their fields, too, but do you see them offering their services "for free?" I don't think so! They are smart enough to realize that professionalism is not just about knowing the nuts and bolts of your field, but about knowing that being an R.N. has financial worth in the marketplace, too. Would you donate your paycheck to the 1%? Well, then, why work for free?

    We need to do what M.D.s have done for ages- control our own numbers, keep a lid on the number of new nurses, in order to maintain salary levels and put the job market more in our favor. Instead, the nursing schools have opened the floodgates to nursing applicants to "help solve the nursing shortage." I am so sick of that expression! We have no obligation to employers- to the corporate hospitals- to "help solve" the problem of having to pay us a fair wage, which is what they had to do when R.N. vacancy rates were high in the 90's.
    Newly graduated M.D.s HAVE TO control their numbers so that they will have PAID jobs waiting- you cannot have literally a million dollars in student loans outstanding, and not be able to repay them. It's bad enough to owe $20,000 in nursing student loans. We need to take our cue from other professionals, who we so often criticize for being so terrible and greedy, and learn a tactic or two from them to survive.
  6. by   HouTx
    If your previous boss is willing to hire you, go for it!!!

    Hospital nursing is highly physical labor intensive with rigid scheduling requirements that may not mesh well if you have responsibilities for caring for your husband at home. I am frustrated that we (nurses) still focus on acute care as the only place where "real nursing" takes place. Community Health, Home Care, LTC, Clinics..... it's all real nursing.
  7. by   not.done.yet
    It sounds as if you have enough experience from your other positions that you would be able to care for another home care patient. Just make sure you would have support if you run into trouble and need guidance. If you have the chance at a home health job I would take it. You can always keep looking, but you will both be earning a paycheck and gaining experience while you do.

    You are not THAT far out from graduation and NCLEX. Lots of new grads have been unable to find work in the amount of time you have been out and therefore I really don't think your lack of time as in an RN role is going to look that strange. Just start applying and be prepared to maximize those things you have done that will give an air of competency and desire to learn and be successful. I wish you well in your search.
  8. by   MissM.RN
    So sorry to hear about your husband, Visionary123. You sound like a great candidate as a "new grad" for hospitals! Write up a cover letter detailing how you have experience from all angles - caregiver/family member/RN. Maybe mention that your long-term client has passed, leaving you ready to explore new options. Where are you located, if you don't mind me asking? I can give you some leads on new grad friendly hospitals in the northeast. Best of luck to you and your family!
  9. by   visionary123

    I very much appreciate your encouragement. I feel out of my element in writing cover letters; I do have one, but I was trying to decide if it was appropriate to include in my cover letter that I care for my husband. I know that I have some additional experience from caring for extra family needs; I also have two children with autism disorders (I have attended workshops to learn how to care for them better), and I've had a lot of experience with people with asthma and diabetes. I just don't know how to appropriately include that information in a cover letter. By the way, I live in the Mid-West. Thank you!
  10. by   visionary123
    Thank you everyone for your encouragement!
  11. by   moki9204
    Quote from jasonbata2
    what hospital is this? thanks
    how bout if internation grad then no experience ?
    hello jasonbata2. im also an international graduate RN in New York State.. i tried to endorse my license here in California but got denied. may i know what is your status now regarding work? im applying job in New York with no experience too...

    hope to hear from you
  12. by   not.done.yet
    I would avoid putting information about your husband or children in a cover letter and be cautious about sharing it in an interview. It is likely all a hiring manager will hear is "potential call offs to care for family" rather than recognize your experience.