In case my personal experience helps anyone... I graduated nursing school last December and moved to the Big Island later that same month. Keep in mind this was after more than 18 months of personal preparation. I took my board exams in Honolulu about a month later and began applying for work immediately after. We're closing in on 10 months now since the move and I've just now obtained stable work (although I graduated "Summa Cum Laude", was ACLS certified, with two years as a nurse tech in a high acuity SICU, and excellent references...both mainland and island).
It may be worth noting that new grads are the hardest hit. There are a lot of us here (my island has two institutions pumping out volumes of RNs). It appears that the majority of prospective employers dropped me immediately when they heard I had less than "one year experience".
In our case my wife and I did just fine because we came prepared (financially and otherwise). However, I will tell you that I gave it my very best effort to find employment. After 5 months I got my first work of any kind, a temp. position through an agency as an LPN clinic nurse (note: I am an RN). Then I got an on-call RN position with a nursing home. It was a very hard & unpleasant environment. I was tempted to quit every day (I wasn't desperate for money) however I just pressed on realizing I was just getting experience and moving on. It's kind of like stepping stones. The path to where I am now has been a humble one, but it worked out for me. I've just now started a new job in the ICU of a large state run hospital.
I've met a number of local graduates with similar stories. It's not terribly uncommon to work a year after graduation as a CNA to get your foot in the door. Anyhow, I wish each of you all the best as you pursue your dreams, wherever they take you. You can accomplish anything. It's just a matter of whether you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it.
Last edit by Garrulous on Oct 9, '10
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