A Day In the Life of a New Grad - page 2
6:30 a.m. I wake up, roll over, and look at alarm clock. There is absolutely no reason to be up this early, but sleeping habits have always been rough for me. I had the dream again where I'm at... Read More
Aug 28, '09wow, that is literally my "everyday" since my graduation in june of this year! i barely go out now because i don't have any money, so much so that my car battery died, eek!! i did have one interview, but i unfortunately did not get the job. it is very frustrating for us new grads, as well as for the managers hiring nurses. during my interview, the nurse manager revealed to me all her post-it notes of emails and phone calls and visits from nurses about job opportunities; she got so overwhelmed that she had HR give her a list of people to interview instead of going through the numerous applications herself. so on both fronts it's very difficult, but there's no reason not to try going to hospitals and talk with the nurse managers, as i've done that many times!!
i've used this time to really think about my nursing future, and to work on myself. i think we're gonna have a resurgence of well-rested, fit nurses this fall, haha!
Aug 28, '09This posting regardless of the fact that you are a male is SO dead on! While I was reading I thought of all the times I had to explain myself out of the 'you will get a job in no time' or 'there is a nursing shortage' conversations...I wish I had this posting to give out for educational reading material so the next time someone offered that they had just graduated nursing school the rest of the world did not reply with the obvious catch phrase of yesterday's newscast(clearly miscommunicated). Thank you for writing the 'vent' that I wanted to write when i graduated in May 2009...Good luck to all others who are a part of the 'I worked my butt off to get the education I needed to do what I love but am still waiting on a job struggle.'
Aug 29, '09Have you tried to start networking now? Can you get a job as a tech while you are still in school? I few nursing student techs from our unit have just gotten hired after graduating.
Aug 29, '09frustration indeed!
I get this lump in my throat when I try applying but knowing that there were 600+ applicants ahead of me. Chicago is not a good place for new grad nurses now!
Aug 29, '09So, aside from the fact that this was depressing as heck, I think this is the best nursing article I've read on here. Seriously. You are an excellent writer.
I'm starting an accelerated BSN program in about a month. An expensive program. A short accelerated program. Knowing full well what it's like out there for new grads in my area and elsewhere. I feel like I'm past the point of no return though- I've invested a lot of time and money already in my prerequisites. I haven't worked in more than a year and before I started prerequisites I'd only been out of school for about 2 years. So I'm not exactly a desirable candidate as a non-nurse. I am just going to shut all of that out and plow ahead and hey, maybe the economy will be magically fixed in a year.
I haven't gotten over the frustration of having people dismiss my worries over finding a job. Part of me actually is looking forward to having trouble just to prove to one of my friends who smugly told me I was being delusional that no, he doesn't know more about what's going on in the healthcare industry than I do. Plus I'd get $5 out of it- he bet me $5 that I'd have a job in 3 months post graduation.
But really, that's a bet I would love to lose.
It's good to have routines- even though you're not having luck finding a job, getting yourself ready for the day is important. I hope you find something soon.
Have you looked in to military nursing? I'm seriously considering going that route. Watch them not need any new nurses though.
Aug 29, '09I agree with HiddenCat - your writing is excellent! Maybe you can start a career there? I am an avid reader and I say you should think about it. But dont' give up the quest for the RN job.
I understand your pain. I have never had trouble finding a good job before. And of course no one believes that I can't find a job as a nurse - there must be something WRONG with me! Some of my friends who didn't have the advantage of the pregraduation extern job got really assertive and set up shadowing experiences with other nurses - known or unknown, then called repeatedly for results. I didn't have any contacts to help me set this up.
I had ER experience, once worked as a nurses aid, made the top 1% Nationally in the HESI exit exam, and already licensed too. No One Was Calling. I was beginning to make subtle changes to my resume - like daily. I figured this was my only means of communication since the recruiters basically said "don't call us or come in - just apply online." So, I put some very Eye Catching "I am MOTIVATED" type messages on the online applications. Maybe thats what caught their eye - who knows. Maybe it was the constant prayers from myself and friends.
Finally I got an interview, a job even! Six weeks later I am actually about to begin orientation - YAY! I'll be praying for you and all those new grads looking for work. Hang in there, it WILL happen.
Aug 30, '09Definitely one of the best-written articles I've read, as well. I'm not in a program yet and I can only hope by the time I'm done that I won't be able to relate to any of this...
Aug 30, '09It's very well written, but also very depressing, discouraging, and sad.
I really do want to be a nurse, and after reading your article, now have a better insight of what I need to do to get there hopefully.
I will become a nurse, I don't care what anyone says......someone, somewhere is hiring new grads. Maybe the reason there is a shortage is because HR has to live up to impossible standards. Lets also keep in mind that when the economy takes a toll, the lesser on the totem pole have to wait it out. The competition is stiff, and there probably ARE nurses who have all the required experience they want for a certain job. Of course I feel bad for the experienced nurses having to take these jobs, because the pay is probably crappy considering how much experience they have. However if you were an experienced nurse and hospitals were hiring new grads before you, you would be equally as ****** off.
Also, nurses are not retiring like they should be. Everyone is running our of money and flipping out and not wanting to go into retirement. It's a scary time right now, and college grads are the least of most people's concerns, no offense. They SHOULDN'T be, but we have companies that have to choose between hiring a married has three kids and 15 years of experience or brand new grad that doesn't have a lick.
Now I believe your time will come, and there are some things you should/could be doing that others mentioned:
Volunteering. Why aren't you down at your local nursing home or hospital volunteering whatever services they need? What better way to get your smiling face down there and show them that you give a damn lol. Seriously though, they remember that kind of dedication.....and you will retain good practice. If you're broke go for a CNA job, just make sure you get a job in a place where you can quickly move up the ladder if they like you.
Dress up nice, get your resume together and make it super presentable, and then head on down to your local hospitals/doctor's offices/where ever. Find out the name of the person in charge of hiring and call the front desk to find out if she there that day. When you go in, be brief and professional but also warm and friendly. Just let her know that you are very much wanting to work so you are simply trying to get your name and face out there, and that you sincerely hope she/he will let you know if they could find any available work you would be qualified for. If they tell you they won't be hiring for a few months, tell them you will gladly wait and would still love an interview when the time comes.
Good luck and I hope you get out there and get one!
Aug 30, '09Something in your post made me think that you are a career-switcher like me??? If so, look at your background for strong selling points and then knock on some doors. I searched one particular hospital and "found" the Nurse Manager of the Telemetry dept where I wanted to work. She told me that while she was willing to give me a couple of minutes and take my resume, she could not interview me without going through HR. I took that opportunity to "interview" her about the dept and what her needs were. One of her major "needs" was someone who would commit to 2 years and not leave as soon as they got ACLS, etc. It's a very busy, tough floor and many new grads have come, gotten their year, and left for bigger hospitals or slower floors. She has a core of nurses who are super dedicated and have been there 5...10+ years.
After speaking with her, I dropped off my resume and spoke briefly with the nurse recruiter (I had already applied online). A couple of days later, I was called for an interview (early May-before graduation) and hired in July. During the interview, I highlighted my very stable work history (I worked at my last company for 11 years, with a minimum of 2 years in a specific position) and my current stability...married with children, not looking to relocate, etc. I was able to tailor my responses to her needs based on our initial conversation.
I tell you my story to encourage you to try the face to face with managers. Regardless of what HR says, the Nurse Managers have the final hiring decision. If they like you, and have staff available to precept you, then they'll hire you, but you have to stand out and meet THEIR needs not yours. Just like the housing market, it is a buyers market now not the seller.
Lastly, as a Christian, I do believe my faith has much to do with my success throughout my life. I live by the scripture that "Whatever you desire, in prayer, BELIEVE you will receive it and you SHALL receive it" Mark 11:24.
Good luck and may God bless you in your future endeavors!
Aug 30, '09Keep trying, man. I heard from a buddy today who just graduated by law school who said that law firms are getting 3-5 applications for every paralegal position! I'm hoping, like you, things turn around soon.
I can see you use writing to get you through your day. Some grads exercise, some go to church or mosque or temple, some go to therapists, and other give up and find a new job. Don't be the latter.
Personally, I take the time that other applicants are using to pray for a job and use it to put in another application or make one more phone call.
Aug 31, '09Hey all. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
To anyone who thinks there is some area out there I haven't tried, I can tell you that the volunteer clinics want experience, the health department "desperately" needing nurses for immunizations want experience, the school nurse jobs want experience, Doctors Without Borders wants experience, and every stone that I've un-unturned wants experience. Also, the CNA jobs want an actual CNA license (understandably) and most of the less paying jobs want experience.
But all is not lost! I'm actually cashing in on those bachelor's degrees and looking into becoming a substitute teacher. I still get the Comenicia-like flexibility of being able to go to interviews (you know, if they ever come up again) anytime, anywhere.
I'm also looking into RN-to-Paramedic programs. My three buddies that are employed paramedics complain about the hours, the stress, the workload, and the lack of decent pay. However, they are EMPLOYED. Also, it sounds like good experience for when I get into the quick shifts with lots of breaks, low-stress, lazy, high-paying world of nursing!
Now, if only paramedics started complaining about how they can't handle all the winning Powerball tickets they keep finding...
Sep 1, '09I can empathize with everyone's senitiments. Nursing shortage for experienced but not for new eager RNs. I took a job that's over an hour away. I drive past 7 hospitals on the way that pay more than what I'm getting, but they want ONLY experienced nurses at those hospitals. More than half of my class are working at nursing homes or rehab centers.This isn't what I was expecting after graduation. I thought I would have a job in a hospital that is 15 minutes from my home working with the critically ill. We can only hope that things will turn around.
Sep 1, '09I justwanted to thank you! I really needed to read something like this tonight. I am a new Grad and I am finding it hard to get a job. I didn't realize it would be this difficult. I also don't remember anyone stressing the fact that you need a year's experience for most of the nursing jobs that are advertised these days. I really hate returning to my job at a school next week but since I have not found anything I have no choice. I am thankful that I do have a job to return to. I'm not giving up, and it makes me feel better that I'm not alone but I really thought there was a nursing "shortage" not but it seems like in this area there is a nursing "saturation." I know in time I'll find something I just hope it doesn't take a year to begin working as an RN.