consider apply for positions in areas that may have been your third, fourth, fifth option. i.e. if you've been applying to hospitals (med/surg, progressive care units), consider skilled units of long-term care facilities (ltcs). also look for state jobs: public health, state psych facilities, etc. also city jobs like a school nurse or even at physician offices. while these may not be your top choices, you can at least get more opportunities to find employment.
long ago, state civil service jobs did not pay well; but now, they pay more than private industry!!! in virginia any way. don't let the salary range listed with a state/city job posting turn you off to applying for a position. if you are a good negotiator, you can/will
get the salary you desire, even if it is your first rn job!! if state employment isn't of interest to you right now...down the road, after you've worked some where for awhile and you want to consider a change...try a state job. the state will pay 10-20% more
than your current nursing salary as an incentive to get you to work for them. again, in virginia any way. by the way, the only time i list my salary on an application for my current job is when i am applying for a state job because of the fact that their (the state's) intent is to increase the pay 10-20% above what you are currently making.
if you haven't already, send "exploratory" cover letters of employment with
your resume. don't wait for a job to be posted in the newspaper or online. contact facilities, get the full name and title of the individual that hires rns (don, recruiter, office manager, etc.) and send a letter directly to him/her stating "dear mr. abc, i'm submitting this letter to explore possible registered nurse positions that may become available within your organization. the attached resume will provide you with information regarding my education and work history... (end of paragraph #1)
. then go on to sell yourself (education/skills/abilities) in paragraph #2 and in paragraph #3 explain why you feel that you will be a good rn/an asset working for him/her at this particular facility (...why are interested in working there specifically
---here do some research about the facility and what they do...) ...."
don't give up. these are hard economic times right now. there is a job out there for you!