How do you get a job that requires experience if you don't have experience?

  1. This is kind of a silly question. I am still in nursing school but exploring my career options. One area that interests me is the OR. I have plans over my winter break to observe in the OR if possible to get a better idea of what nurses do there.

    Every so often I browse the open positions at the local hospital I will be working for (I'm in a stipend program with them so I owe them two years of employment anyway) just to see what's available. I currently see 2 openings in the OR. But the job description says "must have at least 1 year OR experience."

    So... if it takes OR experience to get a job in the OR, how do you actually get OR experience? This seems kind of like a catch 22.

    Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   SillyLilly
    Some people in the OR have experience working as an unit secretary. But not everyone has this experience obviously.

    Because of the shortage/issues you may get a position in the OR, look around. It depends on the hospital. 2 of my classmates started off fresh out of school in the OR. But I am unsure if they had previous experience, such as phlebotomy or CNA or US.

    The only thing I can say is at the very least get experience as a nurse exter/nurses aid during school anywhere, it looks good on a resume. Good luck!
  4. by   EricJRN
    Do they offer new grad internships there? That might be the way to go.
  5. by   JoeyDog
    I would observe the OR over the winter break and try to get to know the staff and managment if you can. Ask them if they will have OR residencies for new grads, let them know the OR is where you want to be. I would also try to casually mention that you have already planned to work for the facility for two years. This may help sway them b/c they know that they will get at least two years out of you. If they like you they may be willing to create a residency for you. I know a nurse who is in OR residency and it is 6 months long, he has about 25 years exp. in various other things like ER, ICU, ect. but there are also new grads in his residency as well. Good luck!!!
  6. by   Megsd
    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I am in an accelerated BSN program so I am unable to work or do an externship during school (and actually my stipend contract with the hospital prohibits me from working during school). I did do a year of CNA and home health prior to starting school, so hopefully that would help a little bit on my resume.

    I'll try to set up some observation time over winter and see if I can schmooze/network a bit.
  7. by   mom23RN
    Almost any OR job I've ever seen posted says this. Well... good luck. I think they tend to be dreaming. I say apply anyway. When they don't have anyone experinced apply they'll have to take someone. Hopefully you!

    Good luck!
  8. by   suzanne4
    Many ORs have training programs for new grads, or those that never had experience in an OR. You will want to look for one of those.
  9. by   medsurgnights
    If you have to do a practicum or preceptorship before graduation, ask for the OR. Myself and many of my classmates were offered new grad positions this way. Probably easier to train as nurses because we already had this experience in the area and facility.
  10. by   AfloydRN
    They usually hire new grads in med surg first. Then they expect you to work there for a few years and THEN transfer out.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    If you can not work because of contract, why not ask if they have "volunteer" oportunities....patient escorts to dept, run errands etc.
  12. by   MSBYRD0915
    You Should Get At Least A Year Med Surg First For Basics Then Work On Surgical Floor To Or
  13. by   Burnt2
    just apply for the job if it's what you want. see what happens.


    with the state of nursing being what it is, on the job orientation can be pretty comprehensive.
  14. by   RNperdiem
    Go ahead and apply for OR. See if you can find what is available for preceptorship at your hospital. If you are in a big teaching hospital, there might be the option to train new grads. Some other hospitals run their nursing education departments on a shoestring-they simply don't hire new grads for specialty positions.
    The only other reason I can think of is maybe the OR has just hired a great many new grads, and prefer to hire some experienced nurses to keep some senior nurses in the staffing mix.

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