My first job will be as an RN

  1. Hey everyone,
    I'm 20 years old and about to start nursing school in the fall. My parents have been supporting me for my first two years of college and will throughout nursing school. I'm blessed to not have to get a job to pay for my living expenses/tuition but I'm wondering what will happen when I apply for jobs as an RN. I have medical experience from volunteering at a hospital a lot in high school and doing two internships/job shadows with doctors but I have no real job experience. Will future employers look down on me for this? I feel so clueless when it comes to having a job.
  2. Visit msfrance profile page

    About msfrance

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 39; Likes: 12


  3. by   StudentOfHealing
    I'm 20 years old and will graduate May 2014 as an RN without any other work experience as well. I do have minimal work experience but I doubt that putting down my grocery store days as a high school junior are relevant to nursing.

    My experience is mainly in non-paid positions. I have been involved in health science technology with my high school since 9th grade and ever since I have been shadowing nurses and physicians. I have also volunteered numerous hours to nursing homes. I was also a nursing assistant at the high school. I was delegated tasks like first aid, filing medical records, and what I call triage ... (we had LONG lines of students it was up to me to decide what was more important... LOL) So I would typically send all kids coming in for meds to one nurse (especially with insulin) and then I would send any fevers, falls, vomiting over to the 2nd nurse. I took temperatures as well and blood pressures... but other than that ... I haven't had much work experience either!

    Hope this sheds some light to me as well based off what I just said.

    Good luck & congrats on acceptance.
    back to studying for me.
  4. by   rocababy119
    It's already relatively hard for new grad RN's to find jobs as is, I think it would be even harder for a new grad without any healthcare experience to find employment. Most schools allow you to sit for CNA certification after your first semester of Nursing school. If this is the case at your school then I suggest you go for your CNA certification and then try to find employment as a CNA even if you can only work 8 hours a week while in school, some experience is better than no experience. Best of luck to you!
  5. by   calivianya
    Seconding the advice to work as a CNA through the last part of nursing school! It will definitely give you a leg up. I was unable to find a position as a CNA, but I found an externship and stayed on as a CNA after it was over. That could be a good route for you, too.
  6. by   manusko
    You can find a job for sure. Are you willing to move? Some people cannot/will not move away from home. My graduating class had everything from never worked to coming out of retirement and not one person didn't have a job after completing boards. Most of us had jobs before boards. You may not get critical care (if that's what you want) but you should have no problems getting something as a RN. Also try applying for an internship for the summer semester to help line up a position.
  7. by   i♥words
    At least volunteering shows that you've participated in something. (And not paid experience, so it seems better.) Of course, this comes from someone else who also has very limited job experience. Where I am at hospitals hire student nurses who have completed at least the first semester of nursing school. You work with an RN and fulfill more of an RN role than a CNA role. I might try to find a job like that after my first semester.
  8. by   StudentOfHealing
    I've been trying to land a tech job. This volatile nursing school schedule has made it pretty difficult but my search keeps on. Sorry to invade your thread but:

    Does anyone have tips on how to land a tech position besides applying online? I'm tired of the online game. I want to walk in and tell the manager to hire me, that he/she will not regret it! Seriously.

    Also. I found out the red cross uses student nurses for teaching groups of people (HIV, sexual health, etc.)

    How true is this? I will volunteer for anything but I want to volunteer in something that will impress my future employer (like educating, volunteering at cancer centers).

    Also. Do ICU's have techs? After being in the ICU I really want an ICU job. The hospital I am at has SO many new grad RN''s a teaching hospital .. maybe that's why they take so many... I wouldn't mind working where I'm rotating... should I make resumes and bring them with me? Or is that unprofessional since I'm there as a student nurse with my school?
  9. by   rmariee
    I would reccomend you apply online and then go in with a folder with your application printed out, a resume, and a few letters of reccomendation, proof of you lisences, and proof of your volunteer hours. I would also write a nice letter and turn it in to the employer after you apply online. Put all of it in a nice fancy folder / organizer with page protectors and request an inverview. Most employers would find this very impressive although it is time consuming. dont mail it go to the place and drop it off by hand and introduce yourself.
  10. by   shortlilgirl02
    The upside of working as a CNA is that a lot of employers will count that toward nursing experience. For example, one nearby hospital counts each year of CNA experience as 6 months of RN experience. Say that you have two years of CNA experience. This means that when you apply, you will be viewed as an RN with a year of experience and not solely as a "new grad." It gives you the opportunity to make a higher wage than new grads might. CNA experience will definitely give you a leg up on getting a job vs another new nurse as well. I float as a CNA between about 15 hospitals and I can tell you based on my experience that there are a LOT of skills you just do not learn in nursing school that you learn as a CNA. There are skills new nurses just do not have because it takes more than one semester of basic clinical skills to learn them.

    In regards to techs on ICU - that greatly depends on the ICU. In my area, a lot of ICUs have techs on days but not on nights. Some do not use techs and instead have only nurses and a unit secretary. Also, if the ICU does use techs, the turnover usually isn't that high, which makes getting a job as a tech on an ICU difficult. Also keep in mind that ICU isn't necessarily "critical care." I have worked in one ICU where an RN had no clue how to measure a CVP on an open heart patient (the ICU is what I would call a step-up med surg unit.) This particular ICU rarely has vented patients or those with serious medical complications...think of it. One night a nurse I was working with was stressed out because for the first time in her 6 months, she had 2 vented patients and didn't know how she was going to manage the night...all the while I was thinking to myself about major ICUs having almost all unconscious patients that were truly critical.

    Last thing - in regards to the comment about walking in and telling the manager to hire you and they wont regret it...I have a friend who is a charge nurse/mgr in an ER and he has commented to me that those are often the people that stand out. I would be choosy about where I walked in with a resume, but if you're that determined - give it a try. The worst that can happen is they say they have no openings. He told me that he frequently saves the resume/application of those people and calls them if an opening becomes available because they have made an impression on him and aren't just a name on a piece of paper.
  11. by   PatMac10,RN
    I'm 20 and just graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX-RN. I did PRN CNA work on a hospital float pool right after I graduated high school, and volunteered as a Junior Volunteer in High School.

    I think PRN CNA work is a good thing, if you can find it. It can help with becoming fluent with basic care skills, maintaining ones humility, and networking for future job opportunities. It worked for me. I got a job in the CVICU, my first choice, 2 months before graduating.
  12. by   Kate767
    I know you said your were blessed not to have worked anywhere doing school, but I can't imagine not working anywhere. A summer job? The job market is so competitive, most people work some where doing school, if not full time. Single moms work full time during school and take of kids. The thing with young graduates is they have nothing to compare real adult stress to. I can't presume to know your situation, but take a job anywhere while you are applying for nursing jobs. It will show that you are responsible and that regular jobs are not beneath you.

    Good luck!
  13. by   manusko
    Some hospitals just won't hire a CNA unless they have some inside track. My wife applied during nursing school and they never even spoke to her but they sure did hire her no problem to be an OR nurse. I didn't bother applying because I was getting GI bill payments and that was like receiving a paycheck. I applied to the ICU and interviewed against a med-surg nurse with a year on the floor. I figured she would get the one position available especially since I still had a month of school and another for boards. I was hired and she was not. Get the interview and win them over.
  14. by   i♥words
    Quote from Kate767
    I can't presume to know your situation, but take a job anywhere while you are applying for nursing jobs. It will show that you are responsible and that regular jobs are not beneath you.
    Had to jump in here. I know you mean well, but for me, and I'm sure the OP as well, not working has nothing to do with jobs being "beneath" me.

    School, really, is my job. I've been in school full-time since I was three. I work hard to get As, and I've earned academic scholarships because of it. I have summers off, yes, but during that time I usually study subjects that interest me, babysit, and help family out.

    No, I don't do anything as strenuous or inspiring as those of you who have families, work full time, and go to school. My life is, naturally, different from anyone else's. I have plenty of reasons for not working part time; I don't think I need to share them here. I will say that none of them involve me thinking I'm too good for or too above the jobs that are available.

    Responsibility and dedication is developed before someone ever starts a job. Unfortunately, employers only have resumes to look at.