Why many new grads don't find jobs.... - page 7

by MN-Nurse 22,394 Views | 93 Comments

While eating breakfast at a local diner in my scrubs, my waitress was excited to share the news that she, "finished my CNA clinicals yesterday!!" "Great! How was it?" I asked. She starts nursing school soon. "Depressing,"... Read More


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    I really think this is somewhat region specific, as well. I can't say being a CNA before a nurse is a standard thing around here. I've known some, but it was more a part of their specific life plan, not because of some unwritten (or written) rule that we must all have work experience. NONE of my close, personal nurse friends did anything like that before/during school, and all are gainfully employed with no word of regrets in that area.
    Spidey's mom likes this.
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    I just graduated from my LPN program in Dec. of last year and past boards early in the year this year and have had endorsement in NC for about a month. We were advised against working if we didn't have to in our LPN program - even by our nursing director - because the program is so intensive - and all 3 of them (2 instructors plus director) were RN's for over 20 plus years - so I took their advise. I wasn't above doing it - and now that I am out I am not sure how it would have helped me - I have even asked nursing recruiters here if I should seek out Nurse's Aide jobs (same as CNA here in NC) and was told to hold off on it - I wanted to do it just to get the experience but was told no, something should come up eventually. I do have a background in healthcare - its all I have ever done - just more the administrative side - I also have my Associates degree and great references. I still have no job after a month of looking.

    My point is - I am not sure if it would have helped me or not to be more competitive here - but I think it never hurts to have as much practice as possible in the field you are going into. I made the excuse to myself that I was going thru a divorce and didn't want to take anything else on so I didn't persue it, but looking back I should have pushed a little harder and given it a go. I think I would still be playing the lottery tho with jobs -

    xoxo
  3. 0
    well, not sure about all nursing schools, but mine had a 16 hour work limit restriction in place to remain in the program, though they didn't catch everyone who worked more than 16 hours a week in nursing school, the ones i knew who did work more didn't survive very long, nursing school at least for me and my class, was not easy, each semester between clinicals, homework, and class time, would spend easily 40 or more hours weekly doing all this, some weeks i counted 60+ hours for nursing school alone, and that went up even further on test weeks for mass studying

    Not to discourage anyone, the reward at the end is worth it I understand (i wish i could say i know it is, but I'm at the new RN grad w/out job stage as many positions are open for experienced RN's but very few for new RN's in the geographical area I'm actively looking to work in)

    But i think to get back to the point the original author was attempting to make, is I won't be turning my nose up at any jobs, but from what I've seen, working a LTC/SNF doesn't even gurantee to get you that job you want in another speciality down the road, many of the requirements i've seen for some of the specialities I would like to be in only accept experience from very specific areas (looking at ICU for example, ICU/Med-Surg/Tele ones i see accepted most often) though not sure how much of that is "preferred" when the job posting says "required"

    PS whats this about the lie of a nursing shortage? Is it just in the short term its non existant?
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    I would LOVE to be able to gain experience through a hospital or health-related job while in nursing school!

    That being said, it would be impossible for me to support myself financially if I did so. Not only am I maxing out in government loans, I also work 40 hours a week as a bartender and am barely making ends meet. I don't know how many of you have had to support yourself entirely, but I only wish I'd had the privilege of being able to work in a job in my field while in school. That would be absolutely fantastic. The tone of the OP seems to imply that some of us choose higher paying jobs over jobs for experience by choice, but for many of us it is a necessity. Without my bartending job, I would not be able to afford rent, pay my bills, and put food on the table. I don't even have a car - I use public transportation. I'm not here to make excuses, but rather to remind everyone that we're in a different economy, and it's incredibly rough for many of us to make ends meet - especially those of us juggling school fees, all of our own bills, and supporting a family.
    paigekc and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.
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    breezy7, i am in the same boat. luckily, my job is tangentially related to nursing. But people say, "oh, just get a CNA job" like a 50% pay cut is easy when you are paying all your bills yourself. it is a calculated decision. pay tuition or be a CNA. You can guess what i chose.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and breezy7 like this.
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    I concur...I had NO healthcare experience going into school. I quit my (office) job a year ago to start my full-time program. In the middle of my 3rd semester, I got a job as a sitter at a local hospital. Did that for only 2 months, then applied for an extern position at same hospital. Started that last week...I am hoping that the experience I am getting with that will help me get a position after I graduate in August (tho I know there are no guarantees). BTW I did not know anyone in the hospital...just started at the bottom! WORK, STUDENTS!!!
    PatMac10,RN likes this.
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    Thank you for all your advice! I will definitely look in to CNA classes at Red Cross and the nursing homes around here.

    Also thank you for telling me how to post a thread, it's been bothering me because I haven't been able to figure it out. haha.
  8. 0
    I completely understand what you mean. I am in the same position. Recently had to look for a second job just so I can cover my bills and also up to my knees in student loans. I just keep telling myself it's worth all the hard work and one day I will be exactly where I want to be. It's hardwork, but with it, I believe comes a great reward. Keep it up, day by day, good luck in everything you do!
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    I did not have a healthcare job while going to school. I graduated from an ADN program last December and have had no problems landing a job with no healthcare experience. I started first in a LTC facility, and now work in a step-down unit in a hospital. I wish I did have the CNA experience of many of my peers while in school and now. At times I am awkward at doing simple things, and it takes me a minute to think about how I can accomplish what I am trying to do. I also encountered many aides during my clinicals that were rude if I had simple questions about things like how the equipment worked etc. I do not really think that this type of condescending attitude is appropriate.

    Although I did not work in the medical field, I tried to make the most the opportunities at my place of employment. I worked at a distribution center loading trucks, but joined the Severe Injury Response team to try to get any little "experience" that I could. It afforded me the ability to work two days a week while still being able to pay my mortgage. Working as a CNA would not have allowed me this amount of flexibility and pay. I guess that was a risk I had to take, and I was worried about it the whole time I went to school. I even told my husband that we might have to move when I graduated, if I had trouble gaining employment as a RN in our area. Luckily, we are able to stay in the same city, and I have a 10 minute commute to work. There are so many different aspects of nursing, and any life experience is valuable when working with people of all walks of life.
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    Quote from IEDave
    Other than possibly cost, I'd love to hear your rationale for this one.

    The reason that experienced people (or, "connected" people) are hired over others tends to boil down to one main reason - risk. There's less risk in hiring Uncle Bob's second cousin on Aunt Elsie Mae's side than a total stranger - even when someone comes along with excellent credentials. And, I've been passed over several times for positions for that very reason alone. Likewise, someone with a proven, verifiable track record in a given field will be a better risk than someone just starting out.

    Does that mean there's no hope for a new grad? Nope - sometimes you can get the gravy jobs even with everything stacked against you, depending on circumstances. That said - don't be too quick to turn your nose up at less "desirable" opportunities - typically, what you'll tend to find is that the less "risk-averse" organizations tend to pay less, or are more toxic workplaces. However, they will give a new grad a chance to prove themselves - which, when you're starting out is really what you need more than anything else.

    ----- Dave
    Specifically you don't have to work as a CNA to have connections in the hospital. Nurses who work on the floor are a great source of potential help to employment. I absolutely agree that, at least in my area, getting a job as a new grad can be difficult. It is all about connections and those don't have to be a result of working as a CNA.

    I highly recommend participating in a precepted semester if at all possible. Working one on one with a nurse with the ability to show off your critical thinking skills over the course of 150+ hours is worth a great deal in terms of giving a nurse manager a look at your potential ability to transition from student to nurse. Certainly showing up and doing the job of a CNA as delegated on a unit over time will get you knowledge of the staff, and manager.

    I recommend making connections with the nurses you work with during clinicals. Critical thinking, excellent clinical skills combined with connections made in a precepted position are definitely a combination well worth looking at as opposed to a CNA.


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