Hello Everyone and congratulations to those just entering nursing school, those about to graduate, and everyone in between. You worked hard to get here, congratulate yourself for getting to this point, wherever that point is for you. I just wanted to give you a piece of advice from the perspective of recent graduate. I wish someone had told me, or perhaps that I had heeded the warning. Here goes...
If you have not noticed, acquiring a job for new graduates is unbelievably difficult right now. In fact, even getting AN INTERVIEW is rare these days. I graduated in May 2012, ASN from a very competent school in my area. I FINALLY got a job 2 weeks ago! Some of you have already started saying, "Well, I shouldn't have that problem because I am getting my BSN, or I have a 4.0, or etc, etc." Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news because odds are YOU ARE WRONG AND IT DOES APPLY TO YOU TOO! You would be surprised at the credentials, achievements, gpa, and other amazing facts that some of the unemployed new graduates have, that still do NOT have a job up to two years post graduation.
I didn't come here to be Debbie Downer, ruin your day, or discourage you. I wanted to give you guys a humble piece of advice, that I didn't heed or perhaps hear. You guys are busy, and I know that just about EVERYTHING except matters pertaining to school are a luxury, so I will move on, and try to be quick. In your "spare
" time, how about hopping over to the career section of this site, under the First Job Hunt Assistance section and reading some of the threads if possible. Regardless, If I could say one thing to a nursing student to help guide the journey into the world of nursing employment, I would say, start your career care plan NOW. I don't care if you just started school, in fact that would be beneficial.
So here is what you do: Network, GET A JOB IN ANY HEALTH-CARE FACILITY IF POSSIBLE (housekeeping even, ANYTHING), if you can work as an ACP/CNA that is even better, Network, research these job boards regarding first job hunt tips, research your state regarding new graduates and employment attainment, network more, and start planning NOW. Do your grades matter? Well it seems they do, if you are applying at a facility with a new graduate program where you are doing clinicals/precepting. Should you get 800 or even 1 letter of recommendation? Sure! Does that mean you are a shoe in? NO, NO, NO. Should you plan to seek out the areas of nursing you dream about? Sure, but very few new graduates sniff the coveted hospital areas in their first year of working.
What I'm trying to say, is be prepared to be humble, flexible, and probably disappointed. I was, and many new graduates are too. While your achievements thus far are commendable, the past does not pay for the present or future. Mortgage companies, loan companies, utility companies, or hottest shoe store does not care about your amazing achievements. Promises, potential, and goals do not issue paychecks. While your aiming for the sky, don't lose your head in the clouds. It is very hard to get a job these days. Please keep this in mind BEFORE you graduate or odds are you will be frustrated, possibly broke, and likely disappointed. Unfortunately, as unfair as it is, the world of employment is frequently about who you know and not what you know.
I wish all of you good luck. Some of you have survived for awhile and some of you are just beginning, but all of you are should be proud to be in nursing school since many others did not get the opportunity.
p.s. sorry about the typos, grammar errors, or whatever. I didn't have time to edit, have to hurry to my new job at an 500+ bed amazing acute care facility in the OR (which is one of the last places of my desired list of places to work, but I am darn grateful, and super lucky to have my job)