What nursing jobs are available to one with no experience?

  1. So last a few months back I decided to go back to school for a BSN to become an RN.

    And now I must rant for a moment....

    Right now I am sooo miserable in my current job, I can hardly stand to get up and go to work everyday, but do it anyways and do it well. I work in a commission based sales major chain department store. We are expected to open all these credit cards and sell $1000's of dollars of merchandise everyday, even the economy sucks and it's almost impossible to do.

    The only real pleasure I get is when I truly help out someone that was having foot problems or lower back problems (example: last week I fitted a young girl with Down's Syndrome into a pair of shoes that fit her better than any pair she had ever owned, and she sent me a thank you email to our HR dept). But my management could not care less about that kind of stuff, they only want to see big numbers.

    Sorry, I just needed to vent, I'm sure there is someone who understands what it's like to be miserable in a career they hate.

    Onto my question:

    I have no medical experience beyond volunteering at a nursing home in high school. I plan to start nursing school in the spring, so what are some options to get my foot in the door? Should I try to enter a CNA training program? Or are there other options?
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    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 68; Likes: 43
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  3. by   vicki429
    I have no experience either and I'm starting nursing school next week. Part of me hopes that nursing school will be enough of a experience because I have a family as well and don't think I can squeeze work into the picture.

    I'm sorry you hate your current job. ...At least you have one which is more than a lot of people can say these days. :-)
  4. by   techraider77
    I hear ya, I am working retail now and probably will part time during nursing school when it starts in Jan., but i see it as short term pain for long term gain. Luckily I work with some great people and an understanding manager with my schedule.
  5. by   diane227
    If you have time, get your CNA certification and get to work in a hospital at least part time. It will be helpful for you in nursing school and afterward and it will be a lot more interesting that what you are doing right now.
  6. by   RJS63
    Sometimes a change in careers is very much needed! I worked as a paralegal for 13 years but had always wanted to go into nursing. Once my kids were in high school I started taking the pre-req courses (some online and attended those with labs). When I started looking into going to nursing school there were very little options to be able to work and attend school so I took a PCT course (Patient Care Tech) which is basically the same as a nursing assistant. The course took approximately 5 months. After completing that I was able to take a year off of work and go to LPN school. Would I follow this route again if I had to do it over, probably not. There are minimal jobs for LPN's (at least in S. FL) and the ones that are out there are mostly in nursing homes where they work you to death.
    Anyway, I plugged along and completed my RN degree through Excelsior since it was an online course program. The cost is not cheap and you have to be focused and self-disciplined to successfully complete the exams. Trust me, the exams are not easy and I have compared the work with some traditional nursing school students and they have all said that Excelsior is tough. I recently graduated and am waiting for my authorization to test (ATT) for my Florida license. In the interim, I have taken an ACLS & PALS course to beef up my resume. I attended a job fair recently and the director of critical care told me that she would have hired me on the spot if I had my license in hand. So, to answer your question, there are jobs available out there to newbies but you have to market yourself accordingly. Whatever area of nursing you are interested in, look into taking classes outside of your normal nursing school coursework. You can find these types of course offerings usually under continuing education sites. (BLS, ACLS, PALS, IV Therapy, etc) Trust me, the less money an employer has to spend on you to get you working in the department, the more marketable you are!
  7. by   sugarcoated
    I agree that a change in career is at times needed. I am a former Paralegal as well. I was employed at my last
    fulltime job as a Paralegal for 15 years. I have since graduated form Nursing school as an RN and definitely intend to pursue my Bachelors. I received my License recently and I now am looking for a fulltime job as an RN with two years of rigorous clinical experience under my belt. I find that most of the positions that are available are for "Per Diem" work. Are there no hospitals that recriut nurses straight out of Nursing School?

    In addition, most of the Agencies require at least 1 year of experience before they accept your application.

    How do one acquire any experience if he/she doesn't start from somewhere.

    I am a licensed, qualified, caring and dexterous professional that have a lot to offer any health facility and all I want is a chance to prove my abilities.

    I changed my career to Nursing because I felt that I had so much more to give to an individual than
    just pushing paper. I want to eventually work with the elderly because I want to make a difference in their lives.
    If I can make an elder happy for one day I would be so happy. I take great pleasure in smiling and addressing an
    older person as I approach him/her. In the meantime, I would like to obtain sufficient working experience and knowledge so that I can be well equipped to care for "My Seniors." I am proud to be a Nurse and all I want is just a chance to prove myself. Is that too much to ask?
  8. by   learning08
    OP: before you spend money on a CNA course, I would inquire at hospitals in your area if they hire nursing students. A lot of hospitals will let you work as a sitter as soon as you start nursing school and as a nursing assistant/nurse tech once you complete Fundamentals of Nsg (1st semester course in nsg school).

    You might also be able to work as a transporter or unit secretary (on the job training).
  9. by   RJS63
    I agree with the last post as well. Before I went into nursing school I worked as a unit secretary in the emergency department and then once I was in nursing school I worked as a nurse associate in another emergency department. You will gain a lot of experience that way and get a feel for what area of nursing you like best (and gain a lot of professional contacts that will prove helpful later on!).
  10. by   Ms. BSNRN
    I worked as a para for many years as well....I always wanted to be a nurse...I love it but right now it seems such a pain because it was much of a struggle. It was so frustrated applying and getting into nursing school, then there was the frustration of all those classes that needed a certain grade to maintain your GPA and to stay in the program, the frustration of the every exams, return demo and finals not to mention all those stupid careplans and papers to hand in, then the frustration of graduating and completing nursing school, then there go the frustration of NCLEX and here is the frustration of finding a job, i could only imagine about the frustration of being trained and spending your years as a Novice nurse with all those asses that feel the need to eat their young! It sucks! Talk about being burnt out before even starting the career!
  11. by   Ms. BSNRN
    NURSING is not the career to seek after right now.....this a a career change for me. I have never had so much trouble getting a job....been searching now for 4 weeks.......to no avail.. I do not know about shortage right now because I have everything but prior experience and no one has called me. So I suggest that who is thinking nursing should run for the border....this is not it!
  12. by   lotus2013
    I'm a certified paralegal as well (currently working as a legal assistant) and I'm pursuing the career change to RN. I'm in school taking prerequisites. I wanted a more fulfilling job as well. Nice to see I'm not the only one.

    Ms.BSNRN, keep your head up and try to stay positive. Hopefully, you'll find work very soon!

    Best wishes to you all!
  13. by   allthemadmen
    It depends on the location. In my area there is no shortage of jobs, though salaries are not high compared to big cities (however, our living expenses are drastically lower as well); hospitals near me are, according to my doctor, recruiting nurses from the Philippines!
  14. by   Ms. BSNRN
    This is honestly ridiculous. I want people from other countries to have opportunities.....but what about taking care of your own. We are educated and trained on American soil.......and we graduate only to be competing with this nonsense!!! All I can say is keep going to school......