Maintaining the license without work, and a general rant

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    So, I'm one of those once-upon-a-time new grads who is no longer a new grad but who has been unable to find employment. I'm building this little patchwork of short term employment situations (camp nurse, flu shot nurse) and was idly looking at the requirements for licensure in a neighboring state recently when I saw that this particular state has, as part of its maintenance requirements, in addition to CEUs, a practice requirement. To wit, 400 hours. And if you do not have the 400 hours you are required to take a refresher course.

    My state appears to be a little lax in the keep-your-license-active department, 15 CEUs every two years. For this I am thankful, even though I actually think it is wise to require a minimum number of hours of practice. But I wonder how many of us are going to fail in this regard because WE CANNOT FIND WORK?

    400 hours = 40 hours/week for 10 weeks. I guess being a flu shot nurse might get you there.

    - Graduated May 2009
    - Excellent student, top of the class
    - Revived the student nurse's association
    - Got a nationally known speaker on nursing to come to campus, offered CEUs for attendance at her lecture
    - Received the department's highest award for academic, clinical, and leadership excellence
    - I've taken a refresher, I volunteer at a free medical clinic and as a vigil sitter in the palliative care program at a continuing care community; took a medical Spanish class last year; occasionally attend grand rounds at local teaching hospitals in areas of special interest.
    - "Mature," i.e., old, and overweight. I'm working on the weight thing; down 15 lbs so far, thank you Weight Watchers. Can't do anything about the age, though I have considered, for the first time ever in my entire life, dying my hair.

    What was I thinking, going back to college in my mid-50's? I get the occasional interview but never seem to click.

    Hey, you, hiring managers: I thumb my nose at all of you who will not hire me because I have no experience. I hear horror stories from friends who work as PCTs (because they too cannot find jobs but were smart enough to be working as PCTs before they graduated) about the bad behavior of many of the nurses they work with: mocking their patients, speaking of them derisively, not attending to a particular patient because they don't like them, and in general doing as little as possible because they want to be in Facebook or fooling around online. Why are personal devices even allowed on the floor? Oh, because nobody hires real live people to answer telephones anymore. Duh. God help me if I ever have to be in a hospital and have no one to advocate for my care.

    Off for my morning walk, it'll probably cheer me up.
    Last edit by hotflashion on Sep 13, '11 : Reason: Remove an orphan parentheses
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  3. 50 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    I feel your pain hotflashion - I'm in almost exactly the same boat, except that I graduated in 2010 and am closer to "late" than "mid" in the age decade you describe. Oh, and still need to loose at least as much as you've already shed. Thankfully, I kept my old, non-health care related job throughout nursing school and so do not have the same worries about employment as the other 75% of my evening/weekend class who have not been able to find nursing jobs. And thankfully, my state is like yours with respect to maintaining your nursing license and does not have a practice requirement.

    While I'm sure that there is ageism at work with respect to hiring, at least in my case, that's not the reason I can't find a nursing position. The reason is actually pretty simple: There are very few new nursing jobs being created at the same time there are both record numbers of new nursing grads and experienced nurses either delaying or returning from retirement. I've posted this before but in my region, the 5th largest metro area in the country, there were about 80 new nursing positions created last year but over 2,000 newly graduated RN's from the area's nursing schools. It's too simplistic to conclude from those stats that there are 25 nursing grads competing for each new position but it is reasonable to conclude that they strongly indicate a trend of too many nurses competing for too few positions.

    This situation will change but unfortunately, no one can accurately predict when. Until then, just smile and keep your resume up to date.
    gaylarn4, pinkchris2000, Esme12, and 2 others like this.
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    Hotflashion, can you lobby all the nursing agencies there to get shifts at local hospitals/facilities/clinics to get more experience? I find agencies, here in Oz anyway, don't give a hoot re your age, as long as ur physically fit. I worked thru an agency over west, and did a kind of internship at a private hospital, they trained me up in different areas even though I was thru an agency.
    Brush up the CV and start emailing the agencies to see if they can help you.
    I think it's such a shame older people can be discriminated against, when u have so much to offer. There are a lot of young grads who can't get that solid, 12 months of experience they need. It is a real shame after all the work people do to get their qualifications.
    gaylarn4 and Poi Dog like this.
  6. 1
    While it's human nature to complain I find it odd that so many "new grads" continually sit in a saturated market and complain there is no work.
    If I were an auto worker sitting in Detroit wondering when I could get hired building cars when no one is making cars I would have the same complaint.
    Here's a suggestion: Go where the jobs are...

    Florida, California... Hell, Texas is begging for nurses. Houston, Dallas, Killeen/Waco. (Waco was even offering money to relocate. When's the last time you've seen relocation money?)
    2009 and no job??? Laughable...
    johwiklundRN likes this.
  7. 9
    Nice post. Bravo.

    If you're 24yo, then sure, follow your wander lust, pick up your things and go. Easy. Exciting! Now, you're 50+. Own a home that you're trying to hang onto. Not so simple to "just go where the jobs are".

    Hardly a new grad myself with 12 years heavy ICU experience, I'm getting the 50+ cold shoulder as well. 'They' think their little GI lab jobs are so hard. Pffft. They haven't seen hard.
    Squib, gaylarn4, montecarlo64, and 6 others like this.
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    Have you tried working in LTC? It isn't for everyone, but you can probably find a job and there are good ones out there. At least you will get your hrs in and if you read the LTC forum, some of the places do provide very skilled care or sub acute care.
  9. 7
    Quote from EmergencyNrse
    While it's human nature to complain I find it odd that so many "new grads" continually sit in a saturated market and complain there is no work.
    If I were an auto worker sitting in Detroit wondering when I could get hired building cars when no one is making cars I would have the same complaint.

    Here's a suggestion: Go where the jobs are...

    Florida, California... Hell, Texas is begging for nurses. Houston, Dallas, Killeen/Waco. (Waco was even offering money to relocate. When's the last time you've seen relocation money?)
    2009 and no job??? Laughable...
    Not everybody has the freedom to just up and leave......there are many factors that would bind someone to a specific area. So it's not the end all be all answer....chuck it all and leave.

    What I find amazing is that the nursing schools continue to crank out new grads at an alarming rate......
    IdrilRN, montecarlo64, MombearNurse, and 4 others like this.
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    That's funny, "go where the jobs are", and by the way, continue to make payments on the student loans you took out, continue to pay your mortgage cause your house won't sell in this market! GMAB!
    Lovely_RN, Squib, slackula, and 5 others like this.
  11. 2
    Nursing schools crank out new grads continuously at an alarming rate because the instructors need an income!
    Esme12 and CloudySky like this.
  12. 0
    It might be a good thing for loans related to nursing education be frozen, to prevent many from being scammed!


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