New Grads, A Few Words of Encouragement - page 9

by brian Admin

76,021 Visits | 145 Comments

After reading so many threads here on allnurses.com about the hard times many new grads are having at getting jobs, I just wanted to share a few words of encouragement. My feelings go out to all of you who are having a hard... Read More


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    Quote from pgp1
    Upon graduating top of my class becoming an LPN, I was hired immediatly in LTC. My first day as a graduate LPN, my DON assigned me to the "skilled hall". This facility has 6 wings, holding 50 patients per wing. Me? Im assigned to SKILLED! All "NEW" nurses pay attention! I WAS SCAIRED TO DEATH! This hall, recieved all new admissions, the very ill patients, if they progressed, with the ok from their MD, they would transfer to the other halls. To this day, I thank my DON, for assigning me to this hall. The skills I obtained in the ten years I remained employed with this LTC facility are unremarkable. From admitting the patient, paperwork, taking off orders, ordering meds, clarifying questions with MD, treatments, ordering supplies, Iv's, Cad pumps,Ng tubes, peg tube feedings, catheters, peritoneal dialysis, trach care, making and recieving MD calls each day, pushing Iv meds emergency and non emergency, assessing critical situations and watching your patient heal from them, doing CPR, calling and leading a RED TEAM ALERT, also meeting the patients family needs, and at the end of my ten years at this facility, I had been Charge Nurse of each shift, including when I went to 16 hour shift weekends. They sent RNs to me to train, which I enjoyed teaching, they would look at me and ask me how i could take all the stress? Made me smile! Please know new nurses, us seasoned nurses know your fears, we have been where you are, and it takes time to become a great nurse. To learn, ask, Ive been a nurse 16 years now, I STILL ASK, its always changing, and its ok. Expect mistakes. They will humble you, and learn from them, we all make them. After 16 years in LTC, I feel I can go ANYWHERE with my skills and Charge experience, and do just fine. But I so remember walking onto that skilled hall brand spanking new my heart in my throat, thinking maybe I shoud work at Walmart instead! Be strong, Good Luck, Ask, always ask questions if need calls, we ALL are learning each day, you will become "the nurse" only "the nurse" YOU want to be in time! Congrats!
    I just want to say thank you very much for that! I am a recent grad LPN, graduated on Mar. 7, 2009. I am that nurse who worked at Walmart and considered having to go back to it after finding it hard to obtain a job. When I finally got offered a job, it was a charge nurse position in an assisted living facility. I accepted the job, but I was scared to death! I had no idea what a new graduate would be doing as a charge nurse! I was in charge of all of the residents AND the nursing staff. Keep in mind, I graduated at the top of my class and passed my NCLEX the first time. So, I am capable of learning, but "Charge Nurse"!!?? Less than a month later, I was offered a job as a nurse at a LTC facility paying more and gaining more experience that I went to school for. I haven't started Day 1 yet at the LTC facility, but will, but please give me ease in quitting my first job so soon. I want to gain more skill, but am nervous about quitting so soon. Will this hender me in the future?? Advice please...Also, I am scared to death to enter the position in the LTC...so many different skills to learn...I don't want to hurt anyone...I want to be the BEST at what I do! Would anyone share any advice on how to begin in a new environment without "freaking out"??? Thank you!
    Last edit by MichelleM18 on May 27, '09 : Reason: wanted to ask more
  2. 0
    this might already be in this thread -- i haven't read many of the posts...

    i think one big factor in the tight nursing job market might be the big downturn in the value of houses and 401ks. i think a lot of nurses who thought they were retired suddenly have had to get back in to the workforce to pump up their depleted nest eggs. no hard data o this, but it makes sense.

    also with unemployment rising, it makes sense that nurses have to pick up hours to make up the slack in a laid off spouse's earnings. again, no hard data, but it makes sense.

    i do know this: i regrettably resigned from a nursing home because i had a problem with the working conditions, and i am having a hell of a time getting rehired at my old haunts from earlier in my career. the DONs are saying, "i already have enough nurses, and i am not giving them enough hours as it is."

    i had become used to having multiple job offers at my fingertips, now this rude awakening...

    Ouch. it was just like when i graduated in 1994. the job opportunity landscape was barren. i felt like a kitten being born into a snowstorm.

    oh, well. press on.
  3. 0
    Quote from jvalrn
    hello there,
    i just decided to join allnurses today because i'm feeling a bit lost. I'm graduating may 6th, and having a very difficult time finding a job in a hospital (as is everyone else). I've sent out tons of applications, and haven't gotten back a single phone call. I would like to specialize in the er, but am willing to begin anywhere. I live in ct and want to relocate. I'm willing to move pretty much anywhere, but i'm not sure where the biggest nursing shortage is. Has anyone heard of any places that still have shortages?

    I would appreciate any advice. :icon_roll

    thanks for listening,
    ~ jaime
    detroit medical centers and unversity of michigan are teaching hospitals. Search their websites
  4. 0
    adapt more to the enviornment and your job responsibilities rather than how people are going to react to your new arrival.. Remember people are roothless these days. know your job, get plenty of rest, and do a 110% on your job.nurses can now use the excuse of changing companies they needed a change, it is par now.May be better hours, better pay-they certainly cannot hold that aganist any nurse, afterall nurses take the best paying jobs-generally.All of my nursing progessors say that they have specialy areas in nursing, and that we will too when we graduate-a preference for what kind of patients we want to take care of. So, if you are in a "TEMP" position until you find your true love-in nursing-that most definitely is understanding. Hey, the HR or nurse manager were looking for jobs when they already had one, but left to take the one position they currently have.Get all your ducks in a row. If you had any good relations with your nursing instructors go to them for advice.
  5. 0
    I am also a new grad struggling to land a job. It's very frustrating that we are all having such a hard time BUT. . . it's nice to hear from other people who know what I have been going through. I've encountered a lot of surprise and disbelief from friends and family about it, so thanks for the support, my fellow jobless nurses!

    That being said. . . I have been offered a position as a private duty pedi nurse, which i am a little apprehensive about. I know I CANT turn down any job offer right now but would like to hear about other's experiences as private duty nurses. I am a little afraid of working all alone, and also concerned about the actual "experience" that I will be getting. I will be working 40 hours a week with one patient so I won't be exposed to other patients. I am very excited to start working but also nervous about this situation! Any input?
  6. 0
    Thank you so much, this was exactly what I needed to hear. I just graduated, can't get a hospital job and I have started talking to LTAC places. From what I've seen it's just as good experience as working med/surg. If I get a good offer I am going to take it. Congrats on your successful career!
  7. 0
    "We are the first facility (I think besides Enova) who uses bar coding. Each vet has an id band w/a barcode on it. When we do our med pass, we scan the band, then their meds. It's a great program (when the computers don't freeze ) and helps avoid mistakes."

    Our Children's Hospital uses the bar-code method, too. I think it's wonderful..does it make nurses' jobs easier? As parent of an in-patient child, it gave me more confidence in the hospital staff, regarding medication mistakes. After all, anyone can make a mistake, no matter how conscientious they are. I hope they use bar-coding wherever I end up working...LOL
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    Hi there. I am an RN in the Chicago-area, which is one of the most competitive areas for RN jobs in the country. I thought I would offer a few tips & tricks I've learned along the way- I've been through the job search & hire cycle twice here, and learned a lot.
    (by the way, doing all of these things will by no means guarantee you a job, so don't go jumping down my throat if you have done all of them and still don't have a job). They are just tips meant to help people who are not doing these things already.

    -figure out where you want to work while you are still in nursing school, and get a job there as a CNA/ ER registrar/ etc. Most companies (not just hospitals) have policies that they must consider qualified internal applicants before they consider qualified external applicants. (Yes, I know this won't necessarily help those of you who already have your licenses, or whose employers have hiring freezes right now).

    -Look outside of your current geographic area: Rural facilities and those farther away from lots of nursing schools will tend to have more open positions simply based on sheer numbers.
    Off the top of my head I can think of 15 nursing schools within driving distance of my house- if each of those schools only puts out 100 students/ year (and most put out more), that's over 1500 new nurses per year (not to mention the people who went away for nursing school). While there are easily 30-40 hospitals in that 1hr driving distance, they are not willing to simultaneously EACH hire about 50 new grads per year - because new grads are more expensive to hire, retain, and train. The nurses have to spill out into the surrounding rural hospitals in order to make sure everyone is matched up.
    For some of you, this means making a decision between a lower paying LTC position that is local and a still-low paying (yes, rural hospitals often pay less) position that is very far away & may require moving, but closer to the experience you want. Your decision is made based on your current life circumstances.

    -Remember that hosptials are hurting too. More layoffs=fewer people w/ benefits = fewer people getting elective surgeries, procedures, & tests + fewer people paying their overdue medical bills. Everyone is cutting corners right now, and unfortunately, new grad programs are expensive and getting cut. Also, I know many many nurses who are picking up extra shifts because their husbands were recently laid off, or could be laid off soon. Managers are not feeling the staffing pinch, and thus not trying to open up as many positions.

    -Realize why new grad programs are so expensive, and often seen as a bad investment for hospitals. On average, it costs $30-50K to recruit, hire, & train a new grad nurse (this includes orientation, preceptor time, classes, etc). (It only costs about $10-20k to recruit, hire, & train an experienced RN). In order for hospitals to start seeing their money back, that new grad has to stay at that hospital for AT LEAST a year- but statistics show they tend to think "the grass is always greener..." and many new grads move on before they've even hit that one-year mark. So you need to convince your potential manager that you are a team player & will be there for them through thick & thin.

    -Apply, apply, apply. When I applied as a new grad, I applied to somewhere between 300-500 positions. When I changed jobs last fall, I applied for about the same number of positions. It takes a while, I assure you, but each time, it pays off after a couple months.

    -Realize just how many people you are up against. When I was hired for my dream job at a big city hospital back when I was a new grad, we were told that there had been over four thousand applications for the positions on our unit alone. Yeah you're good- but are you the best of four thousand? What can you do to make yourself better?

    -Network with previous graduating classes from your nursing school. Two nursing students from the graduating class after me did this, and they were hired onto my floor at that big-city hospital when they graduated the following year.

    -Invest in your career. Go out there and get certified! Learn what the certifications cost, and where you can get them. Join professional nursing organizations, and attend local chapter meetings. You can put these things on your resume to distinguish you from other new grads, and to show employers that you are keeping current on your knowledge while you are out of work.

    -Don't complain. Especially not to your old faculty. They have heard it all before, & it is nothing but a waste of time & energy. There are people who complain about their situation & then there are go-getters who find a creative way to fix their situation- be the latter. Then go back and impress your old faculty with what you are doing! (and network with future classes of nursing students).

    -Don't be afraid to start out in long term care, doctors offices, or something like that. Some of the best nurses I know started out in doctors' offices.

    -Realize that you will most likely not get a day-shift position, will likely have to work every other weekend, and will likely have to travel farther than you would prefer to get a job, and that you may not be working in the specialty you dream of. Think of it this way: if you learn lots of skills like time management, critical thinking & decision making, assessment, good charting, etc- then you will be much more ready for your dream job when it does come along.

    Good luck to you all, and keep us posted. When those of you new grads pop in with your good news, I'm sure it gives hope to the new grads out there still waiting.
    BelleMorteRN, bywtn, voneek, and 5 others like this.
  9. 0
    Graduating in Aug as an LPN....... Just wondering if facilities will look at my past EMS experience as experience or will they want "nursing" experience?

    Any ideas??
  10. 1
    Quote from WhoNeedsaShot?
    Graduating in Aug as an LPN....... Just wondering if facilities will look at my past EMS experience as experience or will they want "nursing" experience?

    Any ideas??
    YES YES YES. For sure you have a leg up on new LVNs. I have met two EMS individuals that were hired by the VA in Socal straight out of school because they had that experience. (5+ years) One started in the ER. The other worked LTC floor for the VA.(not the same as LTC as most people know it<according to their explanation to me>)
    WhoNeedsaShot? likes this.


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