Hope is NOT for the faint of heart

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    I have learned in my almost three years as an unemployed RN that Hope is the one thing that can really keep you motivated. Despite all the negativity about the job market, if you keep just a little kernel of hope you can stay positive. But it's still a hard journey and not for the faint of heart. It is very easy to just give up, on both your hopes and your dreams.

    Like many on this board I went to RN school hoping to improve my life both personally and financially.

    Like many I have prior student loans that have gone into and out of default and I was hoping finally getting my RN would help me to finally meet all of my financial obligations. Personally I was hoping to finally have a stable career without the threat of being phased out at the hospital I had worked so hard to finally be able to work at. I wanted to finally be able to get into Pediatric Nursing, something I found impossible to get into as an LPN. I had hoped that once finished with my RN my then fiancé and I would finally have a decent place to live together once I started working. Our dream was to get a house.

    This was in 2008 and then I graduated and reality hit. My hope and dream to work with infants was answered, I thought, when I applied for and was hired to a NICU as a RN Applicant. I had never worked critical care, let alone critically ill infants as an LPN so this was a very new, very scary, and very exhilarating experience....or so I thought at the time. Four weeks into orientation I was told that I was not a good fit for the unit and that I wasn't learning fast enough. I was terminated "failed orientation" instead of being allowed to transfer to another unit/facility within the system. "OK", I thought, "a small setback, but I can still do what I had always dreamed and hoped to do". I was wrong, very wrong. I took my NCLEX exam 2 days later and passed with 75 questions. I had my license, but no job. I applied to every position I could think of with that hospital system as I was "eligible for rehire". I even got one interview for mother/baby, but didn't get the job. After that nothing, nada, zilch, no more interviews with that system. By the first of the year I had given up on my dream of working with infants/peds and just wanted a job so I applied to adult units out of state. I hoped that perhaps once I got that magical first year's experience I would finally be able to realize my dream and transition to pediatrics. After literally hundreds of applications and only 6 interviews I accepted a job out of state. My now husband and I started our new life together driving to a new state and a new town where we had no one but each other for support and the promise of financial stability. I had hoped that finally I would get to work as an RN and learn what it means to BE one. I was wrong.....again. I had a good preceptor I thought, she taught me good skills that I had never done before. But, I wasn't treated as a new RN. I was treated as a nurse who hadn't worked with high acuity patients before. Neither of us realized this though at the time, I only figured this out after talking to the nurse retention officer. I had been an LPN for 13 years and the transition to being an RN turned out to be a difficult one for me and no one picked up on it. Turns out I fell back to the mindset of an LPN while working as an RN. I focused on the tasks I had to do and apparently was missing "the big picture". I talked to my manager and we both decided that perhaps I needed a less acute unit to go to. Unfortunately there weren't any that had new graduate RN positions anymore. My manager told me that it took a very mature person to admit that they had bit off more than they could chew and to try to make a change instead of thinking nothing was wrong. I wish I could have stayed there, but I was terminated from the system after 3 months of not working as you can't work on the unit you're transferring from during the transfer process.

    Now it's 2011 and my husband and I are the parents of a beautiful little girl and I'm still unemployed. We moved back home in 2009 after I was terminated from the system and it became evident that despite the hard work of the nurse retention manager I just wasn't going to get a new position.

    All my hopes and dreams haven't been destroyed by all this; I guess you could say they are put on hold. I still send off several applications a week and get almost immediate rejection emails, but I persist anyway. I hope that somehow, somewhere someone would at least give me an interview even though technically I don't have RN experience. I have decided to return to school to complete my BSN since a lot of the hospitals in my area suddenly seem to want more BSN nurses than ASN. It is my hope that doing this will increase my marketability in a very competitive geographic job market.

    Hope is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's easy to give up on your hopes and dreams if you dwell too much on the negative and believe me there is a lot of negative in today's job market. But if you nurture that little kernel of hope, give it just a little light, it can grow and keep you motivated. I see my hope everyday in my daughters smile and my husband's support. I know that despite how bad things might seem, it's not that bad. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, and the bills we can pay are being paid.

    It is my HOPE that those reading this will realize that no matter how hard things might seem now, things are not as bad as they might seem. I've recently read on this very site where those who were just about to give up hope found what we were looking for, or if not exactly what they were looking for, something acceptable to them.
    I know it can happen for me....I HOPE J
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 15, '11 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
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  2. Visit WildcatFanRN profile page

    About WildcatFanRN, BSN

    I'm a 37 yo not to recent new RN living in the SE. My experience is not typical, and I own up to the fact that some of my job hunt woes is my fault. I'm just trying to not lose hope and become bitter. That won't help anyone, especially my family.

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 1,062; Likes: 567
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 4+ year(s) of experience in Cardiac-Telemetry

    Read My Articles


  3. by   Queen Tiye, CNA
    wonderful way to encourage yourself . . . it takes good self-esteem to be able to still realize your worth through difficult times.

    best wishes to you, your husband, and little miss sunshine:heartbeat
  4. by   WildcatFanRN
    It hasn't been easy. I've even applied for jobs outside of nursing only to be told I'm overqualified. Overqualified to work Mcdonalds...really? But I keep plugging away, I have too.
  5. by   RHIA, RN
    Ugh, I have heard that "over qualified" line in the past too. I feel like if you're willing to do the work for what they are willing to pay then you obviously need the job . . . but anyway, I wanted to wish you the best of luck in continuing your education and finding a nitch in nursing.
  6. by   WildcatFanRN
    Thanks. I'm even thinking of applying to Neilsen Media Research. But I would prefer an RN job. I mean I'm going on 3 years post graduation in April.
  7. by   FranEMTnurse
    Persistence pays sweetie. With your positive attitude, I am certain that you will eventually land a good position, and you will be grateful you kept hoping. I wish you lots of success in your career as an RN.
  8. by   WildcatFanRN
    Thanks Fran. Just this morning I sent in 6 more applications. 3 at one hospital system, 3 at another. All I want is an interview, that's not too much to ask for is it?
  9. by   FranEMTnurse
    Not at all. Your persistence will eventually pay off.
  10. by   WildcatFanRN
    Well, 3 applications I placed this morning (6AM) sent rejection emails by 1PM. Sad that they can't even look to see that I'm a former employee before trashing my application. At least the other 3 I did at another hospital at least gets sent to the hiring managers. Still don't get an interview, but at least they aren't automatically rejected either.
  11. by   cosmicsun
    Gosh golly - I wonder what happened to the "nursing shortage." We haven't been lied to, now have we? We'd be fired for lying.... Makes you wonder. Supply and demand. There was a nursing shortage a decade ago, but when there no longer was a shortage, hospitals clearly saw that having an oversurplus was to their advantage.... Lower salaries, fire you for any reason, undesireable work place, abuse... so they kept the public thinking there was still a shortage. The nursing shortage has been OVER for years, yet people still flock to nursing school.
  12. by   Queen Tiye, CNA
    wildcatfanrn, have you considered applying to a group home facility . . . from what i've read, it's a place that really appreciates good staff and the environment is cozy and family-like.
  13. by   WildcatFanRN
    Perhaps things might be starting to turn. I just found out about a Nurse Recruitment Open House at a major hospital near me. It's about 90 miles one way away, but doable. Time to re-re-polish my resume to print out and press my suits.
  14. by   FranEMTnurse
    Good luck!!!!