Why many new grads don't find jobs....

  1. 29
    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," she said. "It was so sad. Those people hardly have any visitors. My client didn't even have a pair of socks. Just two unmatched ones."

    "Yeah, I know what you mean, I worked in a nursing home for two years. Are you going to work as an aide while going to school?"

    "NO WAY!" she answered. "They don't make any money and that job looks terrible!"

    I nodded, "Yes, it can be hard, but you really do learn a lot. I wouldn't have my med surg job today if I hadn't started in a nursing home."

    "I don't know about that," she said, shaking her head. "I had surgery at a clinic the other day and the aide got her job right out of CNA school. Monday through Friday and no weekends!" She continued, "I think she had a really good hookup there."

    "Yeah....but that's kind of like winning the 'CNA with no experience' lottery," I told her. There was nothing I could do to convince her that experience in healthcare would help her find a job after graduation. She is going to graduate, apply for jobs, get no offers and blame everyone else for, "Not giving her a chance."

    There is absolutely no reason for hiring managers to choose new grads who never worked in healthcare over those who have.

    Students, get to work. I know other jobs pay more, but if you really liked those jobs, you would not be going to nursing school.
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  4. 93 Comments so far...

  5. 12
    I think some people expect things to be handed to them as soon as they ask for something. I went to school with several people like this - people who grew up getting what they wanted from their parents and expecting the rest of the world to cater to their wishes.
    michelle24, GrnTea, aachavez, and 9 others like this.
  6. 9
    Well, I worked as a CNA for 3+ years, and then a Med Tech for 2 years. I'm hoping to start nursing school in August (waiting for acceptance) I tried and tried and tried to get a CNA job in a hospital and had absolutely no luck. This girl I know, her mother works in billing or something for one of the hospitals and had lunch with a manager-Bam, this girl has a job right out of CNA training. It's really frustrating to me. I hate the whole "It's not what you know, it's who you know" So what did I do? Finally got hired at a CNA agency. I have to work in rehab for 3 months, than can move to hospitals. Time for me to start knowing people. pfffffff
    KimberlyRN89, GrnTea, aea_11, and 6 others like this.
  7. 15
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    There is absolutely no reason for hiring managers to choose new grads who never worked in healthcare over those who have.
    While I agree that having a job in healthcare while in nursing school can be a great in for a job, I don't think this statement is true. There are absolutely reasons for a hiring manager to choose a new grad without experience over one who has experience in health care.
  8. 8
    What happens when you cannot even find a job as a patient care tech or a dietary aide or a sitter? These jobs are even hard to come by anymore (at least around here.) I have applied to many positions. I guess I don't know enough people - because that seems to be the ticket. If I were to start over again, I would have taken a CNA course before or during the course of my RN studies. But this is still a costly little course here. I think it's about 1,000 dollars and I just don't have that money when I need to pay the bills for my actual nursing courses.

    There are people who are willing to start at the bottom. But, it's hard to even get in at the "bottom" anymore. I have even applied to some volunteer jobs and have had no luck.
    aea_11, i<3u, kgregg, and 5 others like this.
  9. 16
    "I finished CNA clinicals".

    I didn't even know there was such a thing as a CNA clinical.

    "There is absolutely no reason for hiring managers to choose new grads who never worked in healthcare over those who have."

    This is a rather radical statement. Imagine a nursing grad with a BSN from a reputable university with a 3.8 GPA, extensive clinical rotations and superb faculty recommendations and another nursing grad from an obscure community college with a 2.2. GPA who failed several semesters and is on her 3rd attempt at the NCLEX but has 3 years of hospital experience as a tech. Who would you hire if you were the nursing manager?

    While one learns valuable skills as a tech, many of which such as prioritization and communication are transferable to the RN position, the role of tech and RN are fundamentally different. Most of the knowledge, skill set and critical thinking required of the RN are not learned working as a tech but in the classroom, during clinical experiences and later during orientation on your first RN job.

    Disclosure: I am a tech at a large acute care hospital, soon graduating with a BSN.
    KeepClimbing, laurazlsk, Enthused RN, and 13 others like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from windowrn
    There are absolutely reasons for a hiring manager to choose a new grad without experience over one who has experience in health care.
    I would love to hear them. I am a front office receptionist float in a clinic and I am sure that does not count as medical experience. I would love to know what i can do to make me more sellable!
  11. 3
    Quote from grownuprosie
    I would love to hear them. I am a front office receptionist float in a clinic and I am sure that does not count as medical experience. I would love to know what i can do to make me more sellable!
    you can absolutely use that to your advantage. (ie: great customer service skills, prioritization, teamwork, medical terminology, etc) you probably have some networking opportunities there with nurses, doctors, etc.

    add to that doing well in nursing school, being part of some leadership roles in nursing school like student nurse assoc., or student government, and getting a decent preceptor spot with a good reference and you are totally sellable as a new grad.

    being a tech at a hospital is definitely an asset when applying for nursing jobs, but i do not think it guarantees you a position against someone who doesnt have patient care experience necessarily.. and for the record, i am a tech on a med surg floor and started in a nursing home-- and i am still feearful i will have a hard time finding a job when i graduate in august.

    i do think the girl the OP was talking to had a bit of a bad attitude in saying she just wont work in LTC as a CNA and plans to work in some surgery center. i can tell you that is probably very unlikely and shell have a rude awakening. i applied to hospitals for almost 2 years before i got a job offer, and i think a major factor of me getting the job was that it is in the hospital network my diploma program is associated with.
    PatMac10,RN, NRSKarenRN, and CNA1991 like this.
  12. 4
    MN-Nurse:
    I absolutely agree with you. Students do not realize the importance of working (and networking) while in school. There is absolutely no reason they can not get a CNA/tech job after their first semester (after they challenge the exam). Its perfect. You are getting more hands on experience regardless of whether it is LTC or not. Especially if its where your clinicals are at. Once you graduate, you have connections with the nurses you work with. Jobs are hard to find, regarless of major. You just need to know how to work with what you have.



    ***BTW I got VERY lucky in landing a CNA job at hospital with no experience. Guess how? I knew someone. That is the trick, honestly. So start networking now!
    flyhawkfly, PatMac10,RN, CNA1991, and 1 other like this.
  13. 2
    Ashleyisawesome, you are awesome. I had not thought about how I could sell this job on a resume before. Thanks for the help!


    I felt really guilty today. I was chatting with some classmates and many of them were saying that they will only work this specific schedule or in this specialty or in this specific neighborhood. One of them is planning a pregnancy so she delivers right after graduation. All I could think was, "Muahaha... they have no idea what they are getting into. More jobs openings for me!" I wonder how many of the unemployed new nurses have this attitude? i will admit that i dont want to go to LTC/ SNF/ rehab. However, you can bet the farm i will be applying to them if i dont get an acute care interview within a few months of graduation. I am very grateful to AN for the insite i have gotten on this subject.
    Miss Molly and wooh like this.


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