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CocoChanel 3,447 Views

Joined: May 30, '06; Posts: 65 (14% Liked) ; Likes: 17

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  • Aug 26 '09

    6:30 a.m. I wake up, roll over, and look at alarm clock. There is absolutely no reason to be up this early, but sleeping habits have always been rough for me.
    I had the dream again where I'm at my graduation ceremony. It clings to my mind as I try to roll out of bed like a cobweb I walked through in a dusty, dusky barn.

    We're all wearing our mortarboards and look so happy just to have made it. The ladies in my class are spending a half hour in the bathroom before we are ushered onstage, primping for the best of reasons: they hadn't really had the time to do so since starting school. Us guys are just standing around and joking about what great jobs we are going to find, the lives we will save, and how our wives/fiancees/girlfriends/whatever are going to be glad to actually spend time with us again.
    My mom is there and beaming while chatting on the phone with every nurse she has a number for in her phonebook. She wants the world to know that there will now be two nurses with our last name.
    The ceremony itself is a blur. For a second, there is a slideshow. For a moment, a speech. I'm not sure how this paper got in my hands.
    After we all get our diplomas, hug a favorite teacher (usually in tears), the whole class shuffles outside for pictures and is full of hope. There are promises to stay in touch, talk about networking for future jobs, scheduling for playdates for kids, and even invitations given out to a wedding. One new grad talks about how she desperately needs cash for a down payment on the house of her dreams, but six months ago, her cousin got a $5K signing bonus as a nurse... HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!

    But that's not why I get out of bed. I actually don't have a good reason to leave my apartment today.
    Or this week.
    Or the foreseeable future.

    6:45 a.m. I'm on the treadmill. Angry rock streams through my iPod this morning. I used to work out to happy music, but lately, it has been a steady diet of guys who only know three chords on their guitars and have a severe distortion on their microphone.
    It pumps me farther.
    I'm pretty well convinced my frustration and anger at five months of unemployment fuels the desire for this crap, not the other way around. Who wouldn't be frustrated?
    Lately, I feel like I've been lied to. I turn up the speed of the machine. I need to get back in shape.
    I neglected too many parts of my life for school.

    7:30 a.m.
    Shower. With no job to go to and no interviews in the last few weeks, why do I bother? Sure, it feels good to cool down, but who am out to impress?
    I guess I need to look sharp and not smell like a lobster's armpit, just in case someone panicking comes pounding on my door, desperately searching for anyone who knows CPR for their kids.
    BANG-BANG! "Help! My twins aren't breathing! Oh god! Isn't anyone on this floor a nurse!?!?"
    I could make the newspaper! "Courageous Unemployed Nurse saves Congressman's daughters!" the headline would read. And tomorrow afternoon, the CNO of that Level 1 trauma center down the road will call. She'll start barking high salary numbers at me, like some livestock auctioneer on meth.
    Better use the good soap today.

    8:00 a.m.
    I used to not eat breakfast. Usually, I had no time with class or work every morning. I must have sacrificed hundreds of good meals, just to get another comma and those letters at the end of my name.
    Now, I would trade them for the security of knowing next week I will be able to afford breakfast.
    The phone is buzzing. My mom, just like at the dinner table while growing up, seems to know exactly when my mouth is full.
    I try to hurry off the phone with her. Rude, I know, but I have the same conversation with her every other morning.

    There are lots of jobs back home. I could live with them again until I get set up with the new job I'd surely find. My cousin just got a new job after the private hospital finished remodeling. She loves it! And SHE "only" has her ADN. Of course they would hire me with my BSN! And the family would love to see me again. Every time he comes over, her grandson asks when I'm coming home. He misses his uncle!

    The frustration I've had recently has a serious side-effect: it leads to exhaustion.
    I'm tired of explaining to my mom that the cousin got hired because she already has experience.
    Those jobs she's seeing posted at her own hospital? They want a year of med/surg.
    Two years peds.
    Two to three years critical care.
    I thank her for her help, mumble something about looking into it, and make an excuse to get off the phone.
    She's just trying to be helpful.
    If the money I saved up in my previous career runs out, I wonder if my pride will ask her to be more helpful.

    9:00 a.m.
    It's Wednesday. It seems most companies post their jobs on Wednesday. I have the website for every local hospital, clinic, LTC, SNF, rehab, and public health saved to my bookmarks.
    First step, I call some HR departments. Nursing recruiters must be getting tired of this economy, too. They all go straight to voicemail. I should change what I say from recording to recording so it doesn't sound so dang memorized, but I can't seem to work up much enthusiasm for someone that fields several dozen of new grad and experienced nurse calls each day and, if recent history teaches me anything, won't be returning mine. But being proactive and getting my name out there is important.
    Isn't it?

    10:00 a.m.
    A quick check of the ads online in my state shows the new postings are the same as every week since I passed my NCLEX: 1-2 years experience required.
    Listing after listing, hospitals insist I'm woefully under-qualified to so much as put a 4x4 on a two year-old boy's scraped knee.
    There's a place on the other side of the state that says, "LPN. No experience required! New grads welcome!" Hmmm... it IS honorable work... four hours away... I'm not sure if RNs can work as LPNs... wait, what did my class say the role of the LPN is? Even I don't think I'm qualified for this job.
    While checking a website for the university hospital in the area, I notice a job that doesn't require experience! It says only "graduate of a nursing program, XX state license required. ACLS, ENPC, TNCC preferred." Well, that's me! I fit those requirements!
    "Internal candidates only." Rats.
    I don't know which Peanuts running gag is more appropriate:
    Snoopy gets kicked out of a building and the deep, booming voice sings "NO DOGS ALLOWED", or Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy's football.

    11:15 a.m.
    I started checking hospitals out of state after a few weeks of not finding work. I can actually say I'm licensed in 27 states. Even though that includes compact states, that's over half! Well, there's American Samoa and Puerto Rico... but it still sounds impressive to me.
    Let's see... Texas? Do you have to wear a cowboy hat with your scrubs? Does it have to match? Does Crocs make cowboy boots? I don't think I'm cool enough to pull off telling people I live in Texas. Nothing really much there for work anyway...
    Maybe New York? Nah, I've been hearing the situation for new grads is even worse there than here.
    I check the hospitals back in my hometown to ease my guilt for blowing off my mom. Just like last week, nothing.
    I really would be willing to move just about anywhere. Except Nebraska. Don't ask.

    1:30 p.m.
    I'm treating myself to the new teriyaki rice bowl place down the street. I liked the sub shop next door to this place, but I found myself last week lecturing the guy behind the counter on singing "Happy Birthday" twice to himself while he washes his hands after using the bathroom. Can you believe I saw him in the john just put his hands under the faucet for, like, 2 seconds and then go straight for the towels? Forget that place!
    They don't have to-go orders here, so I take a seat in the corner near the rest of the guys who have nothing better to do in the afternoon. One of the guys is complaining to another stranger because his unemployment insurance benefits ended. He's not sure how he's going to make rent. He was hoping to make it or find a job until his wife graduated from nursing school this December. Then everything will be okay, because, see, there's a nursing shortage on and she's sure to get work immediately.
    I'm over being frustrated with the "but, thar be a nursin' shortage" line. After snapping at the 50th stranger who dared to be ignorant, I gave up. It really isn't their fault when newspapers won't say a peep about it and the TV commercials are trying to get more students to enroll. For now, I'm just too tired to tell this hopeful husband what it's really like out there. It would be like having no Christmas money this year, telling a kid that there's no Santa; the little guy will find out soon enough on his own.

    2:45 Usually, I study Spanish on the computer in the afternoon. I figure it will be a good skill to have considering the population in the area. Heck, it would be nice if it were a part of every nursing school.
    But, it has been two weeks since I applied at the nursing homes and SNFs in the area. I can pull those up again. Maybe this will be the break I need!
    These days, most think they can get the kind of experience that would make a nurse an anesthetist, but many don't even bother having a single listing. When I call or visit, nobody is sure to whom I should try talking.
    I'm running out of ideas. Two months ago, I started applying at the prisons. That would be good experience, but all I get back is a letter stating that they have received my application. I followed up once, but I left a voicemail that must have eerily evaporated into the ether.

    5:00 p.m.
    Social networking time.
    Facebook and the nursing internet boards only get me more disheartened. New grads complaining about how there are no job. Old grads (as I have heard some taking to calling them) either complain about how nursing schools these days don't prepare their orientees to even wipe someone's nose or gripe about the patient loads they are being forced to work. Please, send some of that bad luck my way!

    7:00 p.m.
    A light dinner and followed by a violent video game to relieve stress. Then, maybe, I'm back to my search.

    ?:?? p.m. or a.m.
    Sleeping on your keyboard is bad. Is "QWERTY-itis" an nursing diagnosis or a medical one?
    I watch some old stand-up comedy videos on YouTube.
    Lawyer jokes.
    Dad has joked to me that even an old fool like him passed the Bar examination, so maybe I could go back to school and he would hire me into his law firm.
    It seemed funny at the time, but I consider it a few times each day. I'm starting to forget why I got into this career to begin with.
    I wanted to help people.
    I wanted to be able to support a family.
    I wanted to never have to wear a tie again!
    Someday (hopefully) soon, I the economy will turn around. On that day, a young man graduating from nursing school will be hired the day Pearson-Vue sends him "The Letter". A respected, experienced nurse will be able to finally afford retirement and be able to spend time with the grandkids. The new grad young man will get in over his head because there was nobody experienced anymore to train him right. And the retired nurse will not get the care she earned because the executives at all health facilities were re-active instead of pro-active to this crisis. There will be a true "nursing shortage". And the newspapers will run stories wondering about the deplorable state of the health care field.

    My phone is forever charged and with me, my email is continuously checked, my portfolio is always updated and ready to go, my car is ready to drive me to an interview.

    In one of the two interviews I have been able to be honored with, I was asked if I could use my nursing practice to bring glory of god (it was in their mission statement). I had to lie because of my personal beliefs. I felt dirty lying to a prospective employer, especially over something so important.

    Really dirty.

    And each day that passes uneventfully, I reluctantly admit I would do it again.

  • Aug 19 '09

    I totally understand how you feel.

    I am a new grad who just started my first RN job yesterday, after spending 6 months applying for RN jobs and going on interviews.

    I almost lost my home due to my savings running out in May and I just started back working as of yesterday.

    For the last 2 1/2 years, all we were told in nursing school is about the "shortage" and how we will walk right out of nursing school and land the RN job of our dreams.

    Then reality hit.

    I literally put out close to 100 applications, was granted 4 interviews before I landed the RN job I have now. I didnt give up, but I was really discourged. All I can say is not to give up and keep the faith. Hopefully, it will turn around soon.

  • Aug 19 '09

    Let me be clear: THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am so ****** OFF right now. There are literally thousands of new grads, like myself, who are struggling ALL OVER THE U.S. who can't find jobs for the life of them. This is absurd!!

    I have applied to over 30 jobs and cannot get a single call back. I have spent numerous nights sobbing in my bed because I can't afford my loans starting in December and might have to consider filing bankruptcy.

    And now, to hear that a Florida congressman wants to "import" foreign nursing to "combat the current nursing shortage" is more than I can take ( Are you serious? Pleas tell me you're JOKING!!!

    Why did I foolishly even consider becoming a nurse in the first place (besides it being my childhood dream)? What a waste of time.

    I just can't take this anymore.................

  • Jun 11 '09

    Hi, i'm a new grad looking for an RN position for like about 6 months. It has become a nightmare jobhunting. I'm going from place to place but i always get the same answer " i need experience". It's very frustrating to know that there is a nursing shortage and yet ppl aren't hiring new grads. How am i suppose to get experience if no one is hiring. And to top it all of, i recently encountered a family emergency in which i can't afford being unemployed. Can someone please tell me of any hospitals hiring new grads in NY or NJ??? I would be willing to work in any department. Thankss.

  • Apr 30 '09

    Heck yea!!! I applied to almost all the hospitals as the medical center. Plus 4 hospitals further out. I also submitted my resume online to and other such sites. So far I've only gotten one phone call to be interviewd. But that went in a dead end. I also graduated on Dec 2008. It's frusrating that I don't have a job since then.

  • Apr 9 '09

    All last year and this past fall semester we had an instructor who couldn't tell us often enough "You guys are entering into a secured profession. Jobs are endless for the nursing profession. I want you all to do at least a year of med-surg to get your skills under your belt but after that, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT." Hmmm...Yesterday, a bunch of us were sitting in the lab studying and this same instructor walked into the clinical instructor's office and closed the door. As she walked out she stated, "Well, this is absolutely scarey but they may have to apply across country but at least we can tell them that there are still some places looking for new grads."
    So, Ms. your-going-into-a-highly-demanded-profession, are you now eating those same words that you filled our brains with for the last 3 semesters? But you're still doing everything in your powers to attract more students to the school by offering 2 open houses in a month when you have 15 students graduating in May that are without jobs. Right-attract more students by telling them there is such a shortage and the benefits are endless. Sorry but the fecal matter that we have been fed for so long is not going to repay the student loans we have incrued nor is it going to put food on my table or pay for healthcare insurance for my family! Schools are still trying to attract more and more students who would LOVE to be nurses for the right reasons (and of course some that don't) but these individuals are still being fed the same ol' lines. The public needs to be well educated about the nursing abundance or shortage or lack-of or whatever the blank we have going on. So many people think this profession is recession proof-at least the people that have said that to me have been properly educated on the subject. I tell them that when I graduate, I may be working at the local grocery store and then by the time the market picks up, I will be unhirable because they will think my skills are dusty. Oh, I feel so much better after that rant!!!

  • Mar 22 '09

    I graduated in December. Took my exam in January and got licensed January 23rd. I have applied everyday online. ALL the hospitals around here (Ocean County, NJ) only accept online apps. I have also applied to some nursing homes, most are looking for LPNs. I even applied to different states (figuring I can get a license in that state since I passed my exam). I have had ONE interview, it was for a perdiem. BUT they found someone else that they didn't have to train!
    Does anyone have suggestions?

  • Mar 8 '09

    I guess, I just don't get it. Why hospitals wouldn't accept new grads? If there a nursing shortage and they are looking for experienced nurses why not to train a new grad? Is it laziness? Is it not wanting to accept responsibility? Is it we don't care attitude? How a new grad can get this experience if denied to apply in every hospital because there are no openings for new grads? OK. I don't care if I'm in medsurg or in ER, or maternity anymore. I just want to get a job. Nursing homes tell me they need LVNs, not RNs, outpatient wouldn't take me either. I have searched numerous websites and still nothing. I thought as soon as I graduate I'd be able to get a job. So far I haven't left my home for a week and just stay on line and look for a job. Nothing! I cry, I pray, but no one can hear. I just want to be a nurse!

  • Jan 20 '09

    Quote from CocoChanel
    Please say a prayer for me too. I took the exam today and I am a nervous wreck. The computer shut off at 75, which means I either did really good or really bad. I had alot of priority and med questions (questions on meds I've never even heard of ) and several SATAs and infection control questions. I studied so hard for this, but I feel like I failed. Does anyone know how SATAs, infection control and med questions are rated? Are these considered to be at the difficult level?
    My test this morning was just as you described. I will pray for you. If you trust in the Lord, He will help you, no matter what. I know that for a fact, because I've tried it over and over again. It always works. Pray, pray, pray, but then, have faith, and believe. Place your confidence in the Lord, and then stand in awe and marvel at the wonderful things He will do for you when you trust in Him.

  • Dec 10 '08

    Not everyone cares about pinning.

    I am not a sentimental type. If I could have, I would have totally skipped our pinning. I did, in fact, skip my LPN pinning and graduation. As I did for my four year graduation (other degree).

    Does having no regard for a pinning ceremony make me value my education and hard work any less? No. I graduated at the top of my class. I worked very hard for my RN, personally, professionally, and academically. Honestly, my reward is just doing it and being done. I don't need cheesy music, cookies, full-of-themselves professors and fellow students making pat speeches full of cliches and silliness. I certainly don't need to make some stupid pledge to lead a life of purity, assist the physician in his work, yada, yada, yada, excuse me while I barf blood out my eyeballs.

    If you want to have a nice pinning ceremony, fine. Do it. Organize it, raise or donate money for it, and carry it off with a bang. But don't expect everyone to think that is grand. Don't require us all to attend, or fund it. Not all of us need or want the pat on the back. Don't think just because we don't go for that sort of thing means that we don't have any regard for our career or ourselves. I paid cash for my schooling, worked full time, was a mother and wife, and slept very little for the last year. I have a lot of regard for myself and career. I have very little regard for ceremony. I would rather spend that time with my family, not with faculty and classmates, eating cookies, listening to badly written speeches, and walking down the aisle to terrible music. Yuck.

    Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade--just trying to give another perspective. Not all of us live for nurisng school. It wasn't the best/most difficulty/most rewarding time of my life. It just was a time.

    I'm happy to be done, but I'd rather celebrate privately than publicly. Maybe that's what bothers me; I'm a very private person, and public displays such as this make me so uncomfortable. That I am expected to participate and enjoy it makes it even worse for me.

  • Oct 11 '08

    OK, I am getting sooooo sick and tired of my classmates thinking that just because I don't work, have kids, or a husband..I have no problems. When did having problems only become exclusive to family life. I suffer my fair share of problems that drastically altered my grades first semester and was on the brink of failing..battled severe depression because of my problems and barely passed on...Im not going into detail about my personal life, but its just mind blowing how many of my classmates have this ONE SIDED VIEW ON life, its almost sickening....