Schofield Barracks, HI

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    Hi, I am trying to find information on nursing positions (RN) in Hawaii. My husband is in the Army and has orders to Schofield Barracks this August. I am graduating this May with my ADN and have heard horror stories about finding nursing positions on the island. I plan on finishing my BSN within the next year and really want to get some experience as an RN under my belt.

    To any military spouses who are currently RNs (or anyone else who could speak on the issue)... How difficult was it finding a job? Were you given "preference" for a GS position or did you end up getting hired off post by a private hospital? How many weeks/months/years did it take for you to get hired? Any tips for finding employment? Thank you for all responses!!
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Hi Kayla!
    Congrats on the orders to Hawaii, we do love it here regardless of the troubles I had trying to find a job. I know I gave you a little bit of background on my experience but I can share some more stuff that may help you

    I graduated May 2010 with my ADN, passed the NCLEX June 2010, moved to Hawaii in July 2010. I applied for my Hawaii RN license in July and recieved it about 4 weeks later in Aug 2010. I began applying for positions here after graduation but many responded that they will not review my resume until I had my HI license. I was able to get an interview with Nursefinders staffing agency as soon as I got my license, but the position did not start until Oct 2010. They have an opportunity every fall for new grad nurses to provide flu shots at elementary schools. It was a really fun experience and offered the chance to network with some other new grads in the area. Unfortunately, it only offers about 10 hours or so a week for 8 weeks. The agency was very honest and upfront about the fact that this experience would not be recognized as "RN experience" or lead to any other staffing positions as an RN

    During this time I put in about 10-15 applications everyday at every hospital, nursing home, assisted living, including Tripler and their affiliated clinics. I went in person to any of the facilities that would allow me to hand deliver. I went down to the Nursing office at Tripler and spoke with one of their HR recruiters. She did take my federal resume but was very polite in telling me that they are not currently hiring any new grads, that they get most of their nurses through staffing agencies (Altos and Valley Health were a couple, but I'm not sure who does most of it now.) Once again, .

    Towards the end of my stint with the flu clinics (Nov 2010), I finally got an interview in a Family Medicine office. After 3 interviews including working an entire shift for an "observation interview" I was offered the position. It was really low paying (about $2 more than I made as a CNA) and a 45-90 minute drive from home depending on traffic, but I was super stoked to finally get my first real job after 5 months of looking. I spent about a year working there before I decided to start applying elsewhere. This time around was a lot more promising! I got a call from the staffing agency about LPN type work in some state facilities. After a couple weeks of picking up shifts with them, I got called for 3 more interviews (Nov 2011). None of these were for floor nursing positions, as I kept getting negative response emails back that I still lacked the experience needed to qualify. I was offered all 3 positions I interviewed for (Assisted Living nights, Psych hospital swing shift, Clinic position days) and ended up taking the position in a clinic setting and LOVE it!

    So not exactly the way I hoped it would turn out as I still have my heart set on eventually getting into L&D, but I was very lucky to eventually find a position that I enjoy and has awesome benefits. I can't say that my Military Spouse status was any help in the job search. I was asked in almost every interview if my husband was military and when we planned to leave (still don't think they should be able to do that but here, it's obvious). A good friend of mine also came here as a new grad in Dec 2011, got a temp job in home health in March 2012 but it didn't work out. She just secured a full time spot that she loves in Jan 2013.

    Places to look:
    -Craigslist
    -Career Builder
    -USAjobs (it's always worth a shot!)
    -Army Community Service, they also offer resume writing (I went to the federal resume class and it was great!) and have a list of job postings in their office.
    -Pearl Harbor/Hickam Job fairs

    Sorry this was so long winded!! Feel free to PM if you'd like
    athena55 likes this.
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    Unfortunately those horror stories you have heard about finding nursing jobs here are true. All I have to say is be prepared to not have a nursing job for at least a few months (if not longer) after you move here. There really aren't many places on the island hiring new grad nurses. I graduated in August with my BSN and moved to Oahu in September to be with my boyfriend who is in the Army and is here for his residency at Tripler. I applied all over even months before I got here and I kept getting rejected from every job I applied to. I finally talked to some nurse recruiters at the hospitals here and they told me they won't consider hiring new grad RNs unless you work in the hospital first as a unit secretary or nurse's aid for months or even years because nursing is so competitive here. I applied for a ton of nurse's aid positions just to get my foot in the door, and I even got rejected from all of those. I applied to a family medicine clinic RN position at Tripler and online it said I was qualified even though I didn't have a year of experience but because I have my BSN. It took about 3 months to finally hear back, but they said they had given the position to someone else. While my application was still active, my boyfriend went and talked to a few people at Tripler to find out more information about my application, the hiring process, etc. and they all pretty much told him that they aren't hiring any new grad nurses because they require at least 1 year of acute care experience.

    I finally gave up on applying for RN positions within the hospitals here and decided to start applying to nursing homes/assisted living facilities because there are so many and a lot of the postings said they would consider new grad RNs. After a couple weeks of applying, I got two interviews for two different assisted living RN positions (and then two job offers as well). I accepted the one offer and I start working soon. I would really recommend getting your Hawaii nursing license as soon as you can. I also recommend looking on Craigslist and indeed.com for nursing jobs. You can also make a list of different places on the island and call them to see if they are hiring. I really would try to keep an open mind and be willing to work in other settings besides hospitals here and just keep applying to places and you'll eventually get something even if it's not your first choice. My job search here was very frustrating, especially knowing that everyone I graduated with in August had RN jobs in hospitals within a couple months of graduating. I'm excited though and thankful that I finally found something here. Good luck with your search and feel free to message me if you have any other questions/concerns!
  6. 0
    Hi Kayla,
    It is very difficult to find a staff nurse position in Hawaii without having connections, even more so without a BSN. Tripler does not hire new grads and does not have a new grad program. So, military spouse preference will get you no where in Hawaii...other states yes...but not Hawaii. Where do you plan to complete your BSN? If you get it in Hawaii, then you may have a better chance of getting a job as a new grad since some of your professors may have connections and you'll be doing your clinicals in local hospitals. Also, many managers who hire new grads give preference to the school they like better.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but enjoy your time in Hawaii!


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