I want to work in the VA!!!! Well anywhere, honestly...

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    I'm moving to Boston and I will work ANYWHERE, literally. I live many many states away and am planning on moving in May when I graduate...I'm assuming I'll be taking the nclex sometime in May or ASAP if not.

    -Can I work as a graduate nurse in boston? and if not, can I work as a CNA? Should I apply for CNA jobs if so?
    -What hospitals hire graduate/new nurses?
    -Do all of the assisted living facilities hire new grads? most?
    -Can I do home health as a new grad or do I need experience for that?
    -Can I become certified in CPLS or TB or anything before I graduate? A lot of jobs seem to want the CPLS.. I'll do whatever it takes.
    -Should I send a hard copy of my resume etc to all the hospitals/assisted living facilities I plan on applying? And if so, should I do this now or wait until I'm closer to graduation?
    -I would LOVE to work in the VA. Would they hire a new grad? What can I do to increase my chances for this?

    Boston is an expensive city and I already feel anxious....

    Thank you so much in advance!!!
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  3. 24 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Hi NewbieNeedsHelp,

    If you haven't already, you should read through the threads in this MA forum. There are many posts by both new grads and experienced nurses that have been looking for jobs in Boston for months, even years, with no luck. The job market is very tight here. There are tons of nursing schools in and around Boston with Dec and May graduates so there is a lot of competition for very few jobs. Even PCAs aren't getting jobs at their own hospitals. When I say very few jobs, I'm referring to hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs, VA, and clinics. Also, the big hospitals in Boston will only consider new grads with a BSN.

    To answer some of your questions:

    *You can not work as a grad nurse in MA. I don't know of any hospitals around here that will allow you to work as a CNA with an RN license. Where I work, once our CNAs/PCAs get their license, they can not work as a PCA anymore.

    *Hospitals, rehabs, VAs, clinics, nursing homes, etc, all hire new grads. The problem is, there are no jobs available. There are limited job postings and like I said before, you have a whole slew of experienced and new nurses applying for the few that are posted.

    *As far as I know, you have to have experience to work in Home Health. I haven't heard of any agencies hiring new grads around here. I would advise against it anyway. You need experience to work alone for the sake of both the patient and your license.

    *I'm not sure what CPLS or TB is? If you are referring to Basic Life Support (CPR/AED) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (lethal arrhythmias, code drugs, intubation) then yes, you can get certified before graduation. You can do that through the American Heart Association. Other certifications, like specialty certs, usually require a certain amount of hours worked in that specialty.

    *Now is a good time to apply... and to as many places as possible to increase your chances. If you read some of the posts here, there are people who have applied to hundreds of job postings without even one call back. Most places will not take hard copies of resumes these days. I would save your time and money sending them out.


    This is probably not what you wanted to hear but it is what it is. You didn't state why you are moving to Boston, but if at all possible, consider other areas of the country as well. It's not a good situation here right now.
    dance4life and NewbieNeedsHelp like this.
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    Thank you for your honesty! I figured it was near impossible...but I guess I have to at least try.. I'll have a BSN too, if that helps..

    Should I try prisons? I was honestly considering going to beauty school or something and applying and applying until I find something....maybe I can be a waitress? I *have* to move too because my spouse is going to graduate school in cambridge so, Im sort of at a loss
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    oh and one more thing

    Should I just try to apply to some positions that need experience? ...just for the sake of trying?

    Do you think I'll be considered even though I technically can't work until the NCLEX in May?

    How do you feel about doctor offices? Should I cold call them or maybe drop in? Mass send out my resume...lol

    Really, thank you so much for all your help.. I keep asking questions and Im sorry haha I just want to start what Ive been thinking about these whole 4 years in school :/
  7. 0
    You can get offered a job before you graduate, contingent upon passing your boards. Definitely start applying now! It's not impossible to get a new grad job here... it's just really tough. I don't think you'll have much luck if you apply to postings stating that experience is required because they likely can't/ don't want to train a new nurse. I just now briefly browsed through some local hospital's/rehab's websites and saw a few postings that don't list experience as a requirement so maybe things are starting to open up a bit. I have no idea how to go about applying to doctors' offices but it can't hurt to call or stop in and ask if they are hiring. Best of luck in your search!
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    Thank you for the advice as well as the luck :redpinkhe Im going to apply today! I have a list of like 80 different hospitals, hospices, rehabs, clinics haha everything. You gave me motivation!!
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    Quote from NewbieNeedsHelp
    oh and one more thing

    Should I just try to apply to some positions that need experience? ...just for the sake of trying?

    Do you think I'll be considered even though I technically can't work until the NCLEX in May?

    How do you feel about doctor offices? Should I cold call them or maybe drop in? Mass send out my resume...lol

    Really, thank you so much for all your help.. I keep asking questions and Im sorry haha I just want to start what Ive been thinking about these whole 4 years in school :/
    Honestly, no. Most hospitals have more qualified internal candidates than they can hire. You really have to have personal connections in HR or with nurse management to get a job around here right now. We have one of the highest new grad unemployment rates for nursing in the United States right now. I graduated in 2008 and have several classmates who went into other fields because they couldn't get hired in nursing. You might consider commuting to Rhode Island or even New Hampshire. There are more opportunities there than here. As a new grad I commuted 1 1/2 hours to New Hampshire for my first nursing job. It was a $7/hour paycut but it was a foot in the door. I worked there 9 months before getting a job in Boston in my specialty area.
  10. 0
    Thank you! I will def check out new hampshire and rhode island

    its unfortunate that its going to be hard to find a job but all I can do is give it my best effort... who knows, i might end up having to do something else as well

    do you know of any places where I might have a better chance?
  11. 0
    The many, many threads on this board about the tough job market for nursing grads in the Boston area are so disheartening and scary!

    I have been planning on applying for accelerated BSN programs this year, and I'm feeling so conflicted. There are so many eager new additions to the work force, and it seems no one wants to hire any of them... What to do?

    For the new grads looking for jobs, are you working your clinical connections from school? Appearing in person at HR depts? Willing to work any clinic, any hours, any days? It's scary to think of so many people who are willing and ready and finding nothing.

    I honestly, totally feel like nursing is the career I want, and I'm willing to tough it out under less-than-optimal placements/hours/etc., but I've got a family to think about, and I can't make this leap into my dream career path if the odds are so low that I'll be able to earn any kind of living once I'm ready to practice... What's a girl to do??

    (NewbieNeedsHelp, I'm not trying to hijack your thread; just didn't want to start yet another thread about the tough job market. I wish you the best of luck in your search. I know that when it comes to job searches, people are more comfortable hiring people they 'know' in some capacity, whether it's from working with them, hearing about them from someone they trust, or meeting/talking with them face-to-face. I would focus on that in your job search; sending out resumes won't work in this kind of climate! Good luck to you and the spouse in your move; I live in Cambridge! )
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    For prospective nursing students, my most heartfelt advice is to get a foot in the door as a nursing assistant in the hospital you want to work in, even if it's just a per diem position. Try your best to get on the floor you want to work on as a nurse. It's much easier to get hired as a CNA or MA than as an RN. Once you are hired, work your butt off. Stand out, pick up extra shifts, go the extra mile for the nurses and patients. It's your best chance to get hired once you graduate. About 50% of our nurses are internal hires and about 75% have connections.


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