I'm a May 2009 graduate, RN BSN. I have been unable to find permanent employment. I, too, made mistakes early on. I did not work in healthcare before graduating. Instead of looking for a job senior year, I was involved in (nursing program related) extracurricular activites. The August after graduation I was injured, and unable to work for several months. So, I didn't really start looking till January 2011. The first job I got was in a dangerously mismanaged LTC and I gave my 2 weeks notice after 2 weeks.
You might want to consider working as a camp nurse. This is a great time to be looking for camp jobs. I tried it out for two weeks last year, and despite having very little (almost a negative) interest in pediatrics, I loved it. Camp nursing has its own quirks and difficulties, I'd be happy to discuss with you. In addition to Craigs List, you can find camp nursing jobs at the American Camping Association website
and the Association of Camp Nurses website
Also last year, in the fall, I worked as a flu shot nurse for Mollen Immunizations
. The company is based in Arizona but runs flu clinics all over the US. It was work and a paycheck, sometimes boring and occasionally frustrating, but I have to think it was better than nothing on the resume. If you want to know more about this job, I'd be happy to discuss offline.
I, too, would be/have been willing to work as a CNA and it is allowable in Massachusetts -- I checked -- but in practice no one will hire you as an RN to do CNA work.
One classmate I know was hired for a per diem position in LTC and has all the hours she wants. I never used to apply for per diem jobs, now I do. If you can move, I'd recommend it. Also, check out the VA. The application process is tedious but they might be willing to take on a new grad; I'm not sure if they require a BSN.
One strategy I have employed in the past is to apply for LPN and MA jobs. I don't reply with a lengthy cover letter, just a brief note asking if they would be willing to consider a new grad/lifghtly experienced RN, and stressing that I am very motivated to work. This has gotten me a couple of interviews. I like going on interviews even if I don't get the job because I get better with practice.
There are some free medical programs in the state and you might want to volunteer; you can check the Needymeds website
for a clinic near you.
As far as Craigs List goes, my latest strategy is to check every morning; and throughout the day depending on what I have going on. I strive to have my resume be the first -- or one of the first -- a prospective employer gets in response to an ad.