Latest Likes For smn2010

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smn2010 5,028 Views

Joined Jan 18, '08 - from 'Virginia but considering another state'. smn2010 is a Registered Nurse. Posts: 266 (34% Liked) Likes: 184

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  • Jan 20


    i am not sure "why" you would apply for an lvn position. don't give up yet. just try a different avenue as far as job hunting.

    i would suggest that you contact the personnel department//hr dept. of the facility you are interested in working at (whether they have openings for rns or not) to determine who the point-of-contact is for the nursing department. for most long-term care (ltc) facilities it is the director of nursing (don). get the individuals correct name and title and send him/her an "exploratory" letter. what is an exploratory letter....

    ...paragraph #1 usually begins (using your own words) with "this letter is being written to explore possible employment opportunities within your organization/facility. i am a recent graduate of a nursing program/i have ?+ years of experience as a nurse... my resume is attached to provide you with information about my education and work history... " paragraph #2 provides information about yourself, why you have an interest in their facility, what you can "bring to the table", (team player, organized, multi-tasker...) etc. paragraph #3 closing paragraph that provides telephone contact numbers.

    you will be surprised by your results!!! with today's economy, all businesses are not posting every job opening in the local newspaper. they can't afford to. additionally, by submitting your resume and cover letter, before an ad is posted in the newspaper you provide yourself with a possible "first chance" in the interview process, long before the ad is posted and other people start to apply. if there are no lvn/lpn positions available, you may be able to get your hands on a position (above an lvn/lpn). like an rn doing assessements (ltc facilities report to medicare/medicaid in order to be paid and usually have a mininum data set (mds) nurse/coordinator that is responsible for the new admits, 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, quarterly and annual head-to-toe assessments). this is what i did! this can at least get your foot in the door until a position on the floor/unit is available. i submitted a letter, got called in for a interview the next day, was hired the same day as the interview. the facility was still organizing their job description to place in the paper when they received my letter. shortly thereafter, my girlfriends (3) did the same thing and got hired immediately as unit nurses and nurse supervisors. ltc facilities are always in need of lvns/lpns; but are eager to take on new grad rns. i worked in the mds office with 2 lpns and 1 rn for 5 months at a ltc and learned quite a bit! especially my pharmacology. this short period of time allowed the facility to view me, my work ethics, etc. now, while i work full-time at a hospital, i work at the ltc part-time as an rn on their skilled unit (i have a pencil schedule and can select my own work days (nights actually) around my full-time rn job!). i am considering working full-time as an rn with the ltc. right now, i can't make up my mind which way to go. as a new grad, i want the experience that can be gained in a hospital; but i enjoy the environment of the ltc.

    sending an exploratory letter is time consuming because you have to do the work ahead of time by finding the correct point-of-contact. i've used this method the majority of the jobs that i have ever had (non-healthcare included) and it seems to work.

    again, don't give up. stay positive!

  • Sep 12 '15

    if you are interviewing for a position at the v.a. you must have applied directly to the position or you applied for a posting that had "open" locations (positions available all over the u.s. with the same job title). regardless, be calm. actually, be very, very excited and happy you have been contacted. i have friends who applied to the v.a. 2+ years ago and continue to reapply for new positions and still have not been called for an interview.

    your current location really isn't an issue. the fact that you have no experience is really not an issue either. believe me, the individuals who will be interviewing you have reviewed your application along with all of your accompanying application forms so they are fully aware of what experience you have--or don't have and they know that you are on the opposite coast from where the position is that is available. i have friends from north carolina that were offered jobs at the v.a. in california. ...they are no longer in north carolina---packed their bags/belongings and moved, with no problems!!! the interviewer will definitely be discussing the facility along with the location of the facility. he/she will most likely ask you "why" you want to relocate. just be sure not to sound as though you will go "anywhere" for a job. instead, talk about the job itself and what you find most interesting about the job that appeals to you. this alone will let the interviewer know that you are interested in relocating--not just to have a job but because you want to work on this unit/department/patient skill set, etc.

    for every position that you have worked, you can some how incorporate that experience into the skills/abilities that are needed for the v.a. position that you are applying for. take your resume and compare your listed skills/abilities to what the registered nurse position requires. where ever you have worked, i am sure you can draw comparisons to good communication skills, detail oriented, multi-tasker, organized....

    hopefully, you printed and saved a copy of all positions you have applied for with the v.a. (or any organization) which includes the full job description and job requirements/expectations. take that copy and do the following:

    • beside each v.a. skills/abilities (job requirements) - write down something from your resume that you can use as a "comparison." write down "how" your non-medical experience has helped to prepare you for any/all skills you plan to use as an rn. as i said before, good communication skills (can be compared to therapeutic communication); detail-oriented (even if you worked at mcdonald's you had to pay attention to detail!!!); multi-tasker (very few people do only one thing while on-the-job); computer/software knowledge (software used at a previous job can be easily be compared to the computer environment that hospitals are utilizing now--versus hand-charting....i.e. "you are good with computers and willing to learn new software applications" is something you can state in an interview. heck, for example, even mcdonald's has new computerized cash registers that everyone has to learn to the interview i would talk about how you were not intimidated about learning something new!!!)

    • with the requirements that are strictly medical (vital signs, head-to-toe assessments, client teaching, charting, therapeutic communications, patient admission/transfer/discharge, etc.) use your clinical rotations--all of them (medical/surgical, geriatric, l&d, community health...) and write down "how" the clinicals have prepared you to do the job the v.a. is looking for.
    i believe you actually have more skill/abilities than you realize. many people sell themselves short and don't give themselves credit for what they have done in the past and what they are able to do in the future. i think that once you go line-by-line down the job description for the v.a. job and site/write down your resume-and-school clinical experience (medical vs. non-medical) you will realize that in many, many ways your non-medical/non-nursing experience has basically prepared you for the field of nursing and can be associated, in some way, to the medical experience that is needed for the job you are applying for.

    complete the comparison. then read it over and over again until you believe in yourself that you have the skills and a lot of the experience that is needed. then, when you interview, you will be more confident about the job you are trying to get hired for.

    you're a new grad!! be happy!!! let that happiness and optimism shine when you talk on the phone or in an in-person interview.

    good luck with your phone interview.

  • Jul 29 '15

    regarding salaries:
    as an fyi....the sentara pay scale for new grads begins at "about" $21.00 for new grads. for rn's with experience, add about $0.30 per hour for each year after that. they stick closely to this because it was determined that (years ago), many nurses with little experience (especially those coming from the central and northern areas of virginia and out of state) were coming in and making more money than seasoned/senior nurses at their facilities. the rn's max out at $32.00 (i think, it may be a little less...). for this reason, many new rn's stay for 2-3 years to get experience then move on to other, higher paying areas. keep in mind, sentara has their own bsn program so they pull their nurses from the graduating classes first then hire from the "outside." this is one of the reasons whey new grads from outside the sentara school system are not being offered jobs as often as in the past. most of the new graduates at sentara went to the sentara nursing program for free and now owe sentara two years of work to pay off their free tuition. while the starting pay is low, you do make up a big difference with the shift differential....especially if you work straight weekends....with a shift differential of $9.00 per hour. so this shift diff (for example) plus $21 hour base pay amounts to $30.00/hour for a new grad (calculation: $30 hour x 1872 hours year (3-12 hour shifts in a year) = $56,160 annually. not bad for a new grad!!!! if you don't do straight weekends (fri-sun; sat-mon or some 3-day variation of this) the regular shift differential is $4 dollas (weekdays) and $6 on weekends. also, for those thinking about where else to work in virginia, consider doing rural nursing (central virginia, western virginia, etc.) these areas have pay incentives if you have an adn or even give you credit if you were an lpn....and even credit you for being a certified nurse aide (cna)/patient care tech (pct). there is a hospital in emporia, virginia and petersburg, va that will pay $0.39 per hour above their base rate ($20 or $21, i can't remember what my friend told me) for each year you worked as an lpn, cna/pct and on top of this pay $1.00 additional for a adn/bsn....

    so in response to the initial statement of $60-65k annually in the hampton roads are of way for a new grad unless you are incorporating shift differentials and other incentives to increase your base pay rate. i hope this information helps!!!

    wherever you work....don't get caught up on the (low) base rate.... consider shift differentials and other incentives along with your base pay...before you make your final decisions on an job/offer. i say this because there are facilities out there that will provide you with a base pay of $25+ hour but their shift diff is $1 to work nights which "sounds" good on paper but $26 x 1872 hours/year (working 3-12's a week) = $48,672 annually)!!! forget that!!!???

    looking for hospitals in the area...for any u.s. state??? ... access this website: just select your state of interest and hospitals (with their own web links) will appear!!!! don't forget the links on the top left-hand side of the page.

    good luck with your job searches everyone!!!