Hawaii has low unemployment so why are RN jobs tough to get? - page 2

by myoglobin

14,828 Views | 19 Comments

I live in Florida where the average unemployment rate is around 12%. When we moved from Indiana in 2009 I had exactly one year of experience as an RN and only an ASN degree. I was offered five of eight jobs that I applied for.... Read More


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    Aside from all the cultural reasons posted here, it just makes sense (to me)that if the unemployment rate is low that jobs are filled and new hires are not needed as much. Doesn't necessary mean that there are lots of jobs to be filled and no one to fill them.

    Although if you walk along Waikiki, every shop there has a Help Wanted sign posted.
  2. 0
    At this point I cannot imagine working as a CNA just to get an RN job! Especially, when my significant other has gotten solicitations for RN travel positions in Hawaii (granted I have only 3 years mostly PCU and she has seven years of ICU experience). However, the point is if they are still "bringing in" travel nurses with housing thrown in (on top of a higher hourly wage) then why wouldn't they be willing to hired experienced RN's? Heck, even at my current job I'm only PRN (no benefits, but $38.00 per hour), but I get all the hours that I want (which is to say three shifts per week, as I like to tell my significant other I wouldn't work even one shift of overtime even for a million dollars).
  3. 0
    My husband lived in Hawaii from age 12 to 35. He couldn't wait for the chance to get off the island. People there don't ever want to relocate and therefore they get the jobs. And they are already in a network, because everybody knows everybody there. It is a very close knit place.
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    Does the whole "network thing" perhaps explain some of what is being described above (and in other threads in this forum)? Personally, it's hard for me to relate to since I've both worked with my significant other (when I'm often floated to ICU) and best friend (former he moved out of our house owing four months of back rent and hasn't spoken to me in a year) on units and I treat them exactly the same as other co-workers (if anything she will tell you that I treat my clients and other co-workers far better than her we will often work shifts side by side and not say even one word to one another the whole evening). Perhaps, I'm more than a little on the "autistic side", but if my son, the President, and Pol Pots were my patients or co-workers they would get exactly the same treatment from me (at least to the best of my ability, and if anything I would attempt to overcompensate in the opposite direction so as not to give special treatment). If my best friend and worst enemy from highschool applied for a job (back when I still had a best friend), I would if anything work to get the job for my enemy just to prove a point (and or proclaim my stubborness to "go along"). So are you saying that jobs are awarded through "networking" more than other places? If so I'm in big trouble since I've yet to send more than five text messages as an adult (and those to my significant other), nor do I have even one friend (that is to say someone with whom I have something other than "functional communication") inside or outside of work since moving to Florida (nor do I have any contact with my old friends and family back in Indiana). I am as they say Mr. Anti-network (not by choice, but rather by virtue of my "autistic like" personality as my significant other would say). Heck, when I have applied for jobs my "tag line" as basically been "I try hard, but I suck, however I will do my best to get better". In fact I used that exact line with my current boss during my last review (a mere perfuntory thing given that I'm PRN).

    Perhaps, that is one reason why I want to live in Hawaii so bad to replace at least some of the void in my personal life with the beauty of one of the most glorious places on Earth. Perhaps, you can never replace close relationships with friends and family, but hiking the the natural splendor of Kauai, surfing twenty foot giants on Oahu's North Shore, and stairing at the creative brilliance of Kilauea may at least suffice as transitory bliss for my soul. But not of course if I have to work as a CNA, that would be a bit much.
    Last edit by myoglobin on Aug 23, '11 : Reason: addition of information
  5. 0
    Take a travel nurse assignment. Our hospital has made several travelers permanent after they completed a few renewals (say a year's worth of work). That's your way in the door.
  6. 0
    The facts: Hawaii is overloaded with nurses and jobs are hard to land, even for experienced nurses who already live here. Residents get preference and here's why: mainland transplants are notorious for staying here for a few years and then going back to the mainland. Hire our local nurses and the odds are they will stay forever.
    I have held FT positions in several hospitals here on Oahu but I have also worked in other hospitals and done agency work too. The use of travel nurses has gone way down and is avoided if possible. You will find them working in the units and floors that are hard to staff (mostly because of poor working conditions or management issues---you can read that as "nobody in-house wants to work there and travelers are a captive audience"). They also lose hours when the census is low. From what I have heard from travel nurses the housing provided by the agencies is sub-par. There is much crummy housing on Oahu and you will certainly not be put up in luxury accommodations as are often shown on the travel nurse ads.
    I am new to this forum but I took a while to read the boards and especially the Hawaii board. Why do people from the mainland seem to have such a hard time believing that things are the way they are here? It's amazing to me.
    Makawiliwili, a question if you don't mind? Where do you work that they are still using travel nurses and hiring?
    In my hospital we no longer use travelers on our unit and are not replacing nurses who leave. We are using more call-ins (occasionally agency nurses) to fill in. We are also sending nurses home when the census drops (without pay if they have no PTO left). Those with the lowest seniority are sent home first. They often have the least amount of PTO and I have seen more than one go back to the mainland when this happens consistently. The cost of living is extremely high here.
    New grads are not able to find jobs here and I know many who have had to relocate to the Mainland to find that first position.
    The unemployment statistics do not apply to the nursing field here. It is a unique situation and it is real.
    Sorry for my very long post, LOL, but after reading so many posts where people seem not to believe what's going on here I think I had to vent!
  7. 0
    I have read everything in this forum. I too am hoping/planning to move to Hawaii one day, but the chances of me getting there may be even harder being a Canadian. I went to Hawaii for the first time in March this year and went again in July, I am totally in love and only have been to one island so far! My whole life I have wanted to move to a beach place and just can not imagine 7 months of winter forever! Good luck to everyone in their plans. Is there a nursing shortage on all of the islands?
  8. 1
    Truthfully, the economy in Hawaii has taken a nose dive, experience nurses are holding on to their jobs longer, and the nurses who are in permanent jobs are not welcoming new nurses or new graduates, There is a lot of backstabbing among nurse in Hawaii. No one who owns a 500,000 home wants to lose overtime especially if you are only making $40 dollars an hour
    Yes we do have a huge population of Nurses from the Philippines that speaks for it self!
    In Hawaii itís not what you know but who you know!
    Additional there are several nurse owned agencies in Hawaii they donít want to lose their RN positions to nurses from the mainland, we are in a tight economy , so they are "not "being socially responsible , they are marginalizing new island nurses in an effort to stay a float !
    Nurse can be wretched WHEN THERE BACKS ARE AGAINST THE WALL!
    My suggestion move to California , get a 3 day a week 12hour shift position paying $70 per hour and visit Hawaii on your time off or vacation time , You will be working in better facilities , the staff are a lot happier and you wonít have to put up with being the new nurse on the playground !
    Good luck!
    tyvin likes this.
  9. 1
    Not bad advice except that I want to live in Hawaii, even if it meant giving up the 70K I now earn as an ICU nurse, and living in a tent, somewhere in the backwood of Kauai or Oahu. Perhaps, I can dust out my "waiter/bartending" skills and make up some of the income that I might lose in nursing. I like beautiful beaches, surfing and hiking and Hawaii has the best of these activities.
    MandaRN94 likes this.
  10. 0
    When I was doing orientation for a travel position in Hawaii, one of the nurse educators stated that most people who move to Hawaii stay for 2 years then leave. After my contract ended, on the plane ride home, I sat next to someone who was moving back from Hawaii- after 2 years...you definitely need to have a certain mindset to settle there permanently.


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