Older new grad...Career change...No experience...Can't get any interviews!

  1. Hello! LPN NEWBIE here!

    I graduated in Aug. 2010. Took the NCLEX at the end of Oct. 2010. Passed, first time. I had been searching every outlet to land my first LPN position and it took a very long time. I started working for an org. in Feb. and with very minimal training, orientation, or shadowing, I was thrown into the field. Then with very minimal support or direction from mgmt. or the nursing supervisor I was left to 'sink or swim'! I thought I was swimming fairly well, with the RN's and pt's apparantly happy with my work, but for the org. NOTHING I did seemed to be right and after only 2 mos. into my probation period it was mutually agreed that I be LET GO. They were not willing to accomodate my needs.

    So now I am back in the job searching pool again and have found it next to impossible to even get my foot in the door. I have filled out many applications and sent out my resume to almost every place I know of and NOTHING! Not one BITE!

    I'd like to FIX what might be 'wrong' but how can I when I don't know what it is!?!
    Is it my resume?!
    Is it my cover letter?!
    Is it my lack of previous medical experience because of my career change?!
    Is it my age?!
    Is it just the economic times and today's job market?!
    Is it that I'm competing against others with experience and not even being considered b/c of that?!
    Is it a combination of any of these?!


    I know I'm a good nurse.
    And with the right opportunity I know I can further develop my knowledge and skills and grow as a professional nurse.
    All I need is that first employer to give me a chance to show them what I've got and SHINE! :redpinkhe
    I'm trying NOT to get discouraged but ..........
  2. Visit CompassionateLPN profile page

    About CompassionateLPN

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 21; Likes: 2
    from US


  3. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    I'm sure you've tried LTC, LTAC, etc. How about agency? Good luck!
  4. by   CompassionateLPN
    Yes, of course I have, Hospice Nurse.
    Thanks for the best wishes, but at this point I need some advice as to how to get the foot in the door.

    I have a deep interest and desire to work in hospice care also, but they all want 1-2 years experience.
    It's become the old 'Catch 22"!
  5. by   JG_0311
    You mentioned age specifically, may I ask your age? Some companies may hesitate to hire/train someone if they feel that they won't be working for their organization for very long.
  6. by   nurse2it
    It could be a combination of all the things you mentioned, I know several graduates who have been applying since summer of 2010 and cannot get interviews...and let's face it, ageism is a reality now and forever, I'm 59 btw. Have you considered volunteer work to gain experience, if you are able to get a foot in the door, you can use that to show them what you've got and ask for feedback on how to improve. Unfortunately, your sink or swim experience is all too common, been there myself in the past. Also, networking is crucial, let everyone know you are looking, someone may know someone who can help. If you can get a referral from someone on the inside, that's where most employers go first to fill positions. Contact HR at places you are interested in on a regular basis and establish a relationship with someone in the department, persistence pays off. Hope this has been helpful to you, don't give up!
  7. by   CompassionateLPN
    Thanks for the advice Mgammy, it's appreciated!

    I'm 49 years young and have more stamina and get-go than many of the younger nurses I've seen or worked with. I have lost a little of the stregnth I uses to have since I was younger tho'. This doesn't effect my work so far however.

    As for finding nursing volunteer work with older clients isn't as easy as finding places to volunteer for kids. At least that's been my experience. I am looking tho'. If anyone knows of or can suggest places let me know.

    As I've stated I'm trying not to get discouraged by the lack of replies to my resumes and applications but hearing that others from my graduating class finding jobs and me still having a tough time of it is disheartening. And NO! it seems that my old classmates don't want to help me either. They were a very competitive bunch and clickish so no one has extended any offers.

    I am still plugging away tho' and sent out 2 more resumes today.
    I live in Northeast PA and here it seems that the LPN jobs are very few or only p/t (which of course I'd take just to get my foot in the door!)

    I wish more people would read this thread and offer suggestions as to how they got their first LPN job.
    I'm really getting desparate here!!!
  8. by   JG_0311
    Perhaps you could try touching bases with the recruiters that work in the human resource offices. That is how I got my job, I emailed a hospital to ask about openings, they emailed me back to set up an interview, at the interview I was hired on the spot. That may help you to become more than just another faceless applicant
  9. by   HazelLPN
    Make some human connections. Every job that I ever got was through a human connection. Volunteering is a good way to make these.

    Best to you,
    Mrs H
  10. by   CompassionateLPN
    JG thanks for the suggestion but I've tried that and all I get is to apply online or on paper and submit.
    The receptionists or office assistants don't even let you get anywhere near HR.
    Believe me I've tried very hard to even shake a hand and say "HI!"
    Then if I call all they state is, "We'll call you if we're interested. No need to keep calling."

    I don't know what state you are from but maybe they are a little more lax about their protocols.
    I will try to do some emailing tho'. Maybe I can happen upon a position that hasn't been advertised for.
    Thanks for that suggestion.

    Hazel I'd like to do some volunteering for adults or geriatrics but don't know where to look.
    What volunteer resources are out there? And how do you find ones that have a nursing 'edge' to them?!

    Thanks for everyones replies and help.
    I'm beginning to find some new routes to take.
  11. by   notmanydaysoff
    compassionate - They were not willing to accomodate my needs. Just out of curiosity, what did you mean by this comment? Were your expectations reasonable?

    You ask, what in our opinion, we think the problem may be. You listed several items that may be holding you back. I am also older, a new grad, and attempting to expand on what I currently do (skin care) by utilizing my skills in a medical practice. I am also looking for a job.

    I have several clients who work in HR. I consulted w/them about what they looked for in a resume, cover letter, career objective, etc.

    I also looked at resume styles, and was especially enlightened when I read about how to put a resume and cover letter together for cold-call submittals and career changers. I admit to spending a considerable amount of time and effort in writing my resume packet.

    Your resume and cover letter are your first and best chance to be noticed. If they aren't stellar, then that may be where you need to start.
  12. by   nurse2it
    Hi Compassionate,

    Re: where to volunteer, most long term care facilities are starved for volunteers, usually have an activity coordinator in charge of resident outings and other activities. Also check out assisted living places. Alot of the elderly don't have family or friends nearby and would love to just sit and talk with someone. Not exactly a nursing job but a way to get a foot in the door and become known to the staff so when a position opens up you are already in. Also do a google search for " senior resources (your city)" to see what's out there. Check with social services in your county/city for volunteer opptys. Also senior citizen centers in your area, they could probably use some volunteers for bp and diabetes screenings. If the nursing school you went to has job placement assistance, they may be able to help with resume/cover letters like someone suggested. There are way more applicants for fewer positions nowadays, so it takes more effort than it used to when I started working yrs ago. Be creative, write a few letters to DONs and ask what they are looking for in a nurse, etc. I'm curious as well about looking for an employer to accomodate your needs in today's job market, can you be more specific about that?
  13. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    Hospice agencies also love volunteers.
  14. by   HazelLPN
    Hazel I'd like to do some volunteering for adults or geriatrics but don't know where to look.
    What volunteer resources are out there? And how do you find ones that have a nursing 'edge' to them?!

    Thanks for everyones replies and help.
    I'm beginning to find some new routes to take. [/QUOTE]

    All hospitals have active volunteer services programs. Try the websites of hospitals in your area or use the yellowpages. Of course, you would not be practicing as a volunteer LPN, but you could volunteer your time at the hospital and get to know the people who work there. Try to work during the day because that it when the nurse managers work. There are times when units are insanely busy and understaffed, and if you pitch in as a volunteer (assisting the unit clerk, individual nurses etc) you may make relationships with people who may have influence on hiring. There are some hospitals that still hire LPNs for acute care (depends on the state as LPN scope is very different from one state to another), others that will hire an LPN only if she/he is going back for their RN, and many more that use LPNs in their ambulatory care centers. Be cheeful and helpful and people will like you. Its not the best person who gets the job, its the person who makes the most connections, IMHO.

    Best to you,
    Mrs H.