new grad/career change

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am a new grad who chose to make a career change at 35 years old. Like many other people here, I make/made a decent salary in my current position but my calling is really to help others and I know that for certain. I passed my boards in February and am proud to say I am a registered nurse at 37 years old. I am encountering one major problem as I search for positions, I have no previous patient care experience and employers do not seem interested in me for this reason. I have only been searching for a job for three months and I have heard other new grads say that it took them 6 months to find a job...so I am trying to keep my head up. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to get some experience if no one will hire you. I am spending any extra time that I have searching for patient-centered volunteer opportunities at local hospitals. It is heartbreaking to sit in orientations with newly hired RNs that tell me they were hired at the end of the interview...knowing that I was never even given the courtesty of a reply from the same facility. I have been offered a position at a local nursing home...but most of the patients have alzheimers and I will be assigned 20 patients after only three weeks of orientation. I am not sure if this is a smart move....will I get experience that will get me another job???? Will I be stuck in LTC for the rest of my career? Any replies or advice are greatly appreciated.
    Sign me....not so jubilant today
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   marwan
    Hi,

    By telling you that you're not the only one in such a situation won't make you feel better, am I right? Instead of scouting hospitals for vacancies, why not try LTCs first? You have to start somewhere; it does not matter where or who your patients are, what matters most is you're able to practice as a nurse. If hiring managers are looking for experienced nurses, and LTCs present this opportunity to you, then jump in to it. I'm not a nurse (yet), but I had wonderful time caring for the elderly during my placement 2 years ago. I'm planning to go back to school within the year, and I would still love to work in LTC. People are different but in my case, I found so much joy -- feeding them, holding their hands, singing with them, dressing them, etc. You will find that some patients had been forgotten by their loved ones. You will encounter patients who would just be so happy to see you because they know that you have come to show care and love to them.
    Well, that's my opinion. I'm also changing career. If you chose nursing as a career because you are what it takes to be one, then you will love your patients no matter what. Make use of whatever opportunity available at the moment; but if you could wait, then that's fine too.
  4. by   jubilant1968
    Hi Marwan,
    Thanks for the reply...and support. I do realize that many are in the same boat. I have accepted an offer from a long term care facility. The reason why I was reluctant at first is because one of those travel nurse recruiters (who bombarded me with telephone calls when I posted a resume on monster) told me that if I chose to work in a nursing home the transition to a hospital would be very difficult. They felt that hospitals would not view that experience as "med/surg" experience. The long term care facility I will be going to has three floors, all with different levels of acuity. What I am worried about is never getting to practice any of the skills that I learned in clinical. I am worried that all I will do is give out medications. Might be a great position to have while pursuing my bachelor's degree. At least when I finish the bachelor's I can say I have been working as a nurse for 2 years. So, on the bright side...having my associates and my RN before the bachelor's has it's advantages. And you are right, caring for people is what I want to do. And what matters is that I can practice as a nurse. Also, if I feel that the orientation is too short and I feel overwhelmed, I can always leave. At least I will be leaving with some experience under my belt. My orientation is on the 24th. I am going to work days for three weeks (full time) Then switch to nites but work only 24 hours once trained. This will allow me to keep my day job until I am sure I can make the transition. Thanks for the reply...wish me luck at the new job.
    Jubilant
  5. by   marwan
    Jubilant,
    Keep in mind that all types of recruiters have their own agenda. Stick to what your heart tells you. If that's the only opportunity for now, give it a shot. By doing it, you will not lose anything, it does you otherwise. Get up and satisfy your curiosity. You'll never know what's in there until you go and find out.

    Good luck. So you live in Lynn? I'm in Peabody. Can you recommend a nursing school in the area? Just moved here from Canada 2 months ago. I have BA but looking for a career change. I want to try LPN first. I'm hoping that some credits will be transferred. PN in Toronto is a 2-year program (full-time). By the way, do you know of a good school offering LPN? Thanks.
  6. by   jubilant1968
    Hi Marwan,
    I went to Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown and found the program to be challenging. I know that there is a waiting period to get into most of the area programs. I have never looked into LPN programs before but I recently read and article about North Shore Community College and I think it mentioned an LPN program.
  7. by   marwan
    hi jubilant,

    thanks. i found the link to bunker hill com. col. i'm glad they have evening & weekend options.
    -what option did you take?
    -how long did it take you to wait (from submitting your application to admission)?
    -how long did it take you to finish the program?
  8. by   jubilant1968
    Hi
    Sorry it took so long to get back. I was fortunate to hit the nursing program at the right time. There was a placement test you had to take. I bought the book and intended on taking the entrance exam the following semester. The acedemic counselor convinced me to take the test that day. I scored a 98% on the test without opening the book and got a letter two weeks later. I was accepted for the fall 2005 day program. I took one semester off because of two major tragedies that occurred, so I should have finished one semester sooner. I don't reccomend taking a semester off to anyone. It is a gruelling process to try and hold your place. I had to write an essay and all of the faculty had to vote on whether or not I should be re-admitted. (my mentor had a major stroke and my father was involved in an explosion at work that left him with 3rd degree burns on 20% of his body....my mentor has since passed and my father retired because his hands will never be the same). Fortunately they took me back.
    Today, I have my orientation at the new job. I have to be there at 8:30 so I have to run. Wish me luck. Good luck with BHCC....I found the program challenging...but I know there is a wait list to get in. (they are all like that)
    Jubilant
  9. by   marwan
    Hi Jubilant,
    I'm sorry to hear about your mentor and father. It seems that you coped well with those events.

    About your job, I'm very excited for you. Good luck my friend and keep me posted on your experiences as a nurse, I'm sure others in this community would like to hear that too.

    Re-Bunker Hill: I still have to meet one of the advisors to discuss about the prereqs. as I took some of the subjects more than 10 years ago, except anat & physio. Likewise, I'm targeting spring or fall of 2008 -- just in time for my daughter to go to toddler school.

    Again, good luck on your new career.
  10. by   extraordinary067
    i graduated this past dec'06 and started looking for jobs in sept. i applied having 2 yrs experience as a pca in an ed and i still did not get so much as an interview from any hospital in boston. i decided to look past mass and applied in ri and ct. got job offers like crazy, took a position, and have been on the job for about 3mths now. i have friends i grad w/ in mass that are having no luck landing a job. either keep lookinng, take the ltc job, or look out of state. it depends on what your career goals are.

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