getting that first nursing position

  1. Hi, I'm a new graduate from a associate nursing program in the northeast. I have begun my job search, and I am getting discourged. I graduated at the top of my class and have great referances, but since I have no previous experience in the healthcare field, I am passed over for candidates who have experience as aides, etc. I really desire a hospital position, but I am worried that none will give me a chance. Some say I will have to take a position in long term care, (which isn't what my interest is, I want to do acute care) to get started in nursing. I would like to ask what other nurses think about what my chances are at getting a hospital position, and for any advice or interviewing tips that might be helpful in getting my foot in the door. Thanks.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   lids
    first of all congratulations on finishing top in your class, do not give up. i just finished my 1st term amd decided to get a job as a nurse assistant , hospitals have taken 3 weeks to get back with me, i hope you can hook up at a job fair ,check your newspaper, work it , go to every hospital in your area, i do not think you need to start as an aide , you are a nurse,keep your chin up and ask your classmates how they are doing in their search i am sure they are as anxious as you are love lids
  4. by   maikranz
    CONGRATULATIONS!!! on getting out.
    Have you taken NCLEX yet?
    Do you know where I95 is???
    Come on down to the sunny South, where there are only 2 seasons: kinda Fall(with attitude) and Summer. Click on the website for state nurses associations at this site's main page, and email the various
    Boards of Nursing for licensure info.
    Again, congrats and COME ON DOWN!
  5. by   CarolM
    Congratulations on graduating at the top of your nursing school class! If you are willing to relocate to Georgia, most of the major hospitals in Middle and South Georgia are all advertising that they are actively hiring new graduates and are recruiting new grads for internships (at full pay) for various specialty areas, like Critical Care, Cardio, Pediatrics, and even L&D!

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   Nancy1
    Hi Newnurse,
    Congratulations. I want to tell you there are jobs out there. Here in the Greater Milwaukee Area we are looking for nurses in every area.
    As management I can tell you that with all the background checks we need to do before we can even make a job offer, our goal is to have the offer made in 2 weeks from interview. In the beginning we thought that was outrageous, but I am sorry to say that it is happening and we do not have a lot of control over it. You will get a job, but be careful, do not grab the first one, you could regret it. Also remember to accentuate the positive things you will bring to the facility. NA
  7. by   LLDPaRN
    Hello!
    Congratulations on finishing nursing school. I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble finding a job in acute care. All I can say is to be persistent and hang in there. Emphasizing what you can contribute to a facility during an interview will help. Have you tried any of the hospitals where you did some of your clinical rotations? If you apply to any of those places, emphasize your familiarity with the hospital as a result of your experience there as a student. If you are willing to relocate, then go for it! There's lots of jobs out there; I wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Laurie, RN
  8. by   rn68
    First off, congradulations!! I'm sure you are thrilled to be done with school. When did you graduate?? Im not sure about your area but in Fla, Va, and DC......the is DEFINATELY a nursing shortage!! Just keep looking, im sure you will find something! GOOD LUCK :-)
  9. by   JillR
    Cogradulations on your new career choice. If you are willing to relaocate, there are many nursing jobs available in WI. Many with sign on bonuses and some with relocation bonuses. I have been called four times by one hospital since I graduated in December. Hang in there, and I agree not to just pick the first job that comes along, you may regret it. Good Luck.
  10. by   Dayannight
    Again, congratulations! At our hospital the policy is to hire nurses who have had at least one year of experience, and there have been a number of nurses who have gotten that experience doing long-term care. It's a good way for a new nurse to get his or her "feet wet" doing basic things (med pass, blood sugars, etc). You might consider looking into the skilled nursing facilities in your area, as these will have patients requiring more involved care than some long-term care facilities.

    In the meantime, keep plugging away for the acute care position you desire. I'm sure something will open up for you soon or later. Best wishes in your endeavors!

    [This message has been edited by Dayannight (edited June 04, 2000).]
  11. by   ltm
    congratulations newnurse. i too am a recent graduate(may 2000). have you taken the nclex yet?? in my area(SC), the hospitals have no problem hiring new grads. i am awaiting my results from the nclex, then its onward from there. in my area grades are not at all important, i say that because transcripts are not required for applications nor interviews. all of the hospitals know that we have been in school for two years, so they don't require any experience. personally i worked as a patient care tech, but some of my classmates with no experience are getting jobs also. best of luck in your job hunt.
  12. by   AHarri66
    Hi, and congratulations on your accomplishments! I, too, am a recent ADN grad from the Northeast (May, 1999) and faced the same problem finding a position in an acute setting. I ended up taking a job in LTC, which I really didn't want either. I graduated with Honors, had excellent references from instructors and practicing NPs, and had a little experience in Home Health, but that didn't matter. In my area the hospitals want at least two years experience in acute care. It's a conundrum. I think our area of the country is one of those in which it is more difficult to land the 'job of your dreams' as far as health care is concerned. I'm hoping to use the fact that I have floated (occasionally) to the sub-acute/rehab unit in our facility as a foot in the door. Good luck to you, and wish me the same!

    Regards,
    Angela
  13. by   NurseMom
    Hey NewNurse! Greetings from sunny Cape Cod!
    I understand how you feel frustrated in your job search here in the northeast. As Angela said before me, there is NOT a nursing shortage in our corner of the USA. In order to get a hospital job, you do need at least 2 years of sub-acute experience. In order to get this, you'll need to work in a long term/rehab facility. It isn't as bad as you might think..all nursing jobs are stressful, just that you get paid better for it in a hospital. I work in the sub-acute unit of a LT-Rehab facility, and have had a ton of VERY sick, unstable patients. Granted, not as unstable as ones in the hospital, but pretty close. I am in the position now of being able to go and apply at a hospital with a great knowledge base, just dragging my feet at the change.
    If you have to, do your"time" at a long term/rehab place. Think of it as a stepping stone towards your future!
    Good Luck!

    ------------------
    Laurie
    so many patients...
    so little time.....
  14. by   YADA-YADA
    Hi thought I would toss in my 2 cents. i graduated 2 yrs ago, also at the top of my class. I had no difficulty getting a hospital job, actually had 5 offers. My only aid experience was in home health, most of the DONs did not like that but accepted it because of my grades. they wanted hospital experience.
    I am from the NE as well and I am not seeing this glut of nurses, everywhere in the paper are sign on bonuses for nurses. In fact the hospital I work at would not even hire new grads until this year- they still need their BS though.
    It may be because everyone is out now. I know at our place the two new grads that are coming in were hired back in Feb. One is not even starting until Oct.

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