acp0041 1,646 Views
Joined Jun 8, '08.
Posts: 14 (50% Liked)
Great news! I just got offered a part time position today at a very reputable SNF in our area! So now I have my foot in the door and once I earn my BSN I will have a crack at those hospital jobs Persistence pays off in the end people!
I have a probation license in Oregon due to DUI history and I can tell you from my experience that Oregon is very strict about these things. I don't know how the full license from Nevada would influence that but since you're required to disclose everything when you apply, I am pretty sure they will put you on probation for at least some amount of time. And I've heard that CA is even more strict but have no personal experience with that...do you have some job prospects already set up in OR? Maybe if you have a job already in place it wouldn't be such a hassle.
No, I didn't get the job...I was told it was given to another applicant with more experience But I'm glad I got the interview, believe me, after sending out hundreds of applications, its a wonderful feeling to even get some interest! I'm still plugging away and have had a few more interviews, hopefully someone will see in me what I see in myself soon! Oh, and to answer your question, I just graduated in June and had no pediatric rotation, it was optional and I chose ICU instead...so if you have experience there, it would probably be beneficial if you decide you want to work there.
As a fellow nurse in recovery, I'm so happy for you and wish you the best. We are the positive examples to the healthcare community that recovery is possible and works! I know your experiences will serve your patients well in the future.
Congratulations on your success!
I'm in the same boat as you (as are many new grads!)...I just earned my associate's degree in June and got licensed in October and have probably submitted 200 resume/apps! Here's my strategy, maybe some of this would at least help you get an interview:
1. Find out which hospitals will hire both your degree type and new grads. If you know anyone that works at that facility, make sure to put them down as an "employee referral" as this could flag your application to the manager.
2. Craigslist! Who knew it was such a gold mine of job postings, but I've found that this is where the clinics and LTC facilities post their openings first and its usually alot easier to apply, most of the time they post an email to use to send them your resume and cover letter.
3. City, County, State, Federal job sites. Sign up for all of them and check them every day! I've found that there are new jobs there at least a few times a week and I've had good success being able to get interest...I just went to an interview for a state hospital this week and feel like I have a good chance of getting an interview at our VA hospital as well.
4. Google...on days when my usual sites don't have much, I use Google to find those LTC, Assisted living, clinic, dialysis centers or ambulatory surgical centers that are in my area and search their company websites for jobs...you would be surprised at how many small companies just post it on their website and don't advertise it.
5. Local paper (online version) job classified...this has been kind of hit and miss for me, there was about a month where there were alot of postings (I got one of my interviews from this search) but its definitely tapered off lately...I check it maybe twice a week now instead of daily.
6. Reach out to your classmates that have jobs and ask if they know of anything opening up soon at their facility. It seems like the hiring comes in waves so you probably just missed that first wave. Once the holidays are over, hiring managers will get re-focused on hiring more people. But don't slack off during the holidays because if a facility wants to have someone start by Jan. 1st, now is when they are calling people in for interviews.
Don't get discouraged...you are a professional now and most professionals don't get a job on the first interview. You're also a new grad so understand that as a new hire, you will take more time (aka cost more money from the budget) to train and get ready to be on your own. This won't necessarily hold you back but you have to convince them that you're worth it! I created a document that has all of the hard interview questions already prepared and then I update it for that specific facility...I include their mission statement and change my "why do you want to work here" question to be specific to them. It works and after 4 interviews, I am so much more confident with my answers, I don't stumble over my words, and I think it will only be a few more weeks or so before I get some sort of offer. Learn how to answer the questions succinctly and not ramble off topic...nothing is more annoying than someone who talks just to talk...practice with someone if you need to.
Also, don't discount part time or temporary jobs as this will help you start to work on that "one year of experience" requirements that we all see so often in job descriptions. Perhaps you have to work two part time jobs for a while? Be creative, volunteer at the facilities want to work at, and don't give up!!
Well I can't speak for your state, but here in Oregon, I was able to get into school just fine but had to talk to the director a few weeks into the program. She wanted to let me know that I might run into problems when I applied to the board for my license but that I was allowed to continue if I wanted to (mine were 9 and 14 years old at that time). She never mentioned anything about liability insurance for students so we either didn't need it or I was eligible, I don't know anything about that. Of course I decided to stay and my experience with the board was that I would only be able to get a license if it was granted on probation. I agreed to the probation stipulations and have been licensed for a few months now. I've had about 4 interviews so far (since October) and have another one set up for next week, so you can get companies interested in you, you just have to start looking at the right ones.
Here's my advice for you...first, I would ask your program director if the insurance is the school's policy or the hospital sites' policies. If its just the school doing that, then you should find another school to go to (easier said than done, I know but if you can get into one school, yo have a good chance of getting into another, right?). Also, you said you were writing a reconsideration letter, is that like an appeal of the decision? If so, consider what you have done since that last DUI 3.5 years ago...have you been in recovery or just sober? Would the school allow you to delay your start date to another time, maybe 6-12 months later if you were willing to start attending meetings/submitting voluntary U/As? I would have another meeting with the director and ask if there is anything you can do to be eligible for that insurance, in fact, find out who the insurer is and call them yourself.
I was told by my director (who had been told by the head of the board), that the literature says that after 2 years of recovery, the incidents of relapse are significantly lowered so this is the time frame that I have found to be the "standard" both with the board and with employers. So I don't think its the time frame...not knowing anything about you though, it would be hard to tell why they aren't more willing to work with you right now.
If you want to talk more, send me a private message and I'm happy to give you whatever advice I can Its not an easy road but I can tell you that after having gone through all of this, I am more committed to my recovery and my career...I've had to work harder for it than most of my peers. I also know that recovery and change are possible and have honestly made me a much more understanding and empathetic nurse, especially in the field of addition.
I just wanted to update my story for those who might find themselves in a similar situation. After having passed the NCLEX in June (I was the lucky one who got all 265 questions, yeay me!), I finally got my license approved in mid-October. I am on probation for 24 months and have 36 months to complete it (meaning, I have to work and be monitored for a total of 24 months within a 36 month time period). There are a few other restrictions but I have the same scope of practice that any other RN has. I have also had two job interviews since getting my license and find that my main barrier is lack of experience, not my criminal record or probationary status.
I hope this gives those of you out there struggling with this issue some hope...I know when I first started looking into this I wondered if I should just give up because everything I read was negative. My advice is to use it to your advantage (yes, your advantage, can you imagine that?!?) and capitalize on how it has made you grow as a person and how it will positively impact your nursing care.
I have an interview for an RN position at Shriner's and am looking for information about the company, such as employee opinions, salary expectations, and general work environment info. Any advice on interview prep specific to this hospital would also be appreciated!
From what I've read, it sounds like CA is kind of doing its own thing lately and I'm sorry to hear they are being so obtuse. If you can, I would try to apply for a license in another state...I know it sounds extreme but if you have to move, do you think you would be able to? I don't know your situation so I won't presume to know the specifics but if you think you could work somewhere else, maybe CA isn't the best place for you right now.
Your nursing school will run the same background check that the state BON will run...which means ANY kind of conviction you have whether its misdemeanor or felony needs to be disclosed. That includes sealed and expunged cases (read the fine print on the background check questionnaire).
As for coming clean right away, I would say that being honest from the very beginning will only serve you well in the future. That is advice that I got from my favorite nursing instructor when I started getting nervous about job prospects knowing that I would have to start out with a probationary license. I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to find anything at all and she said that wasn't true, nurse managers really respect people who don't ******** them and are upfront. They want people they can rely on who they can trust and if you put yourself out there from the beginning, it shows you are willing to be transparent and truthful
I don't know what kind of legal issues you've had in your past and I know that there are some issues that just can't be worked out with the boards, but if you're talking about DUIs or drug offenses then don't give up. Yes its an added burden on top of all the other burdens of nursing school but nothing worth having is every gained easily...I've learned that time and time again and I've proven to myself that if I really want something I will do what it takes to achieve it.
I know this topic has been discussed ad nauseum but wanted to add my story to help those who have a record who are thinking about nursing school or are going to apply for a license. This has been my experience with the Oregon BON so I can't vouch for any other state but I would think they all have similar standards.
I have 4 DUIs in my background at various points in my life. I knew before I even started nursing school that I would have an uphill battle and here are some of the lessons I've learned:
1. You CAN get a license, but you are almost guaranteed a license on probation and participation in the monitoring program. Accept it and be grateful for the opportunity to practice at all.
2. You need to have at least 2 years of continuous, documented sobriety...this means proof of treatment, support groups, random U/As.
3. You have to appear before the board and state your case. This is your opportunity to tell your story...what happened, what you've done to change your life, and how you plan on maintaining your sobriety. Depending on their schedule, it could take up to 3 months from the time you take your NCLEX to actually get a license in hand, so have an employment backup plan.
4. You actually have to change!! You must admit you have a problem and get help...you can't just pretend that you've changed and then go back to living your life the same way...in the end you WILL get caught and all your hard work will go down the drain.
Here's the bottom line...
People make mistakes. People have addiction problems. People can and do change.
Getting your license is in your hands, you just have to put the work into it and accept that you have a harder battle to face than your peers without criminal records. Maybe you don't think its fair because you've changed but that's life...you pay the price for your mistakes but they don't need to define you. Here's my advice to current or future nursing students:
1. If you have ANY DUIs/drug offenses you probably had to go to a treatment program. Make sure to get the paperwork from that facility and let them know you are planning on applying for a license. Most treatment centers have experience working with state boards and understand what paperwork is needed.
2. Contact a treatment facility and sign up for voluntary U/As to provide objective data that you are continuously sober. Your sob story is not going to be enough, remember, we are nurses, we use objective and subjective data to make decisions.
3. Participate in support groups and keep a record of your attendance.
4. Get a sponsor or psychologist who can attest to your progress. Your word means nothing to the board so start gathering respected people who can vouch for your change.
5. Go online to your board of nursing and look for the discipline records...read them...get an idea of how your board of nursing deals with people in this or similar situations. I guarantee you will find someone who's situation is similar to yours if you look hard enough. If they made a mistake during their hearing, learn from it and start building your case now.
6. Be patient, humble, and accepting of your situation. Sometimes I feel like I'm being punished for something that someone else did because I've been in recovery and sober for over 2 years now and that lifestyle seems like a bad dream...but that's just one chapter in the story of my life, it does not define me. And I have a compassion for people with addiction issues that I know some of my cohorts don't have.
7. Contact the board at least a year before you graduate and talk to the background compliance officer and ask "what can I do in the next year to help my case?" They will give you the right advice and it looks good for you to be proactive...remember, they are the same people who decide whether or not you need to go before the board so if they know you are transparent and willing to do what it takes, it looks good for your case. They can also give you an idea of when your case will be heard based on the board meeting schedule.
Last but not least, don't give up. If nursing is what you want to do with your life, then don't let anything or anyone get in your way. I read alot of posts about how "you'll never get a job" and "people with addiction pasts shouldn't be nurses anyway." There are always negative people out there who will try and convince you that you're worthless or damaged because of what you did...but I'm here to tell you that there are places that will hire you (think detox nursing, mental health nursing) that will accept you as you are and in fact will respect you for having gone through the process of recovery. Accept the fact that unless you have close contacts at a local hospital, you may not be able to work there right away...work somewhere else for a few years, get through the monitoring program and then apply for those hospital jobs.
I hope this helps anyone else out there who is going through this. When I first started this journey, all I read on these message threads was negative, negative, negative and I just want to let people know that there is hope and you can achieve your goals if you have the right tools and the determination.
Best of luck to all!!
I agree with everything this article says and have been trying to tell my cohorts the same thing. I'm graduating in mid June and have had my profile up with all of the major hospitals in my area since March, attaching cover letters and recommendation letters to it and applying for everything that even closely matches what I am capable of doing probably since spring break. But I also know that in the current economy and culture of BSN, BSN, BSN, I have to do whatever it takes to stand out...including busting on up into nurse managers offices armed with a resume and big smile!
I've been using this time not so much to secure a job, but learn what managers want and learn what positions I can realistically secure. For example, because I cold called a nurse manager in the ER of the facility where I am doing my spring practicum, I found out that its a waste of my time to even apply to ER jobs without having either experience or having gone through their internship program...that kind of information isn't listed in the job posting and continuing to apply and getting rejected because a computer automatically kicks me out due to having an ADN instead of a BSN is just mental torture. So I'm focusing on the areas and managers that I think I have the best chance with...MED/SURG!!! This is where new grads should begin and where I know I have the best chance of getting a job...I've been pulling in favors from old coworkers, past classmates, and even current instructors because I don't have the luxury of being picky. Like the author, I have also been living off of student loans and just want to get out there and do what I know I am called to do...be an excellent nurse!! It only takes one manager who believes in me, likes me, and is willing to take a chance on me for this to happen...but it takes me putting myself out there and selling what I have to offer first!
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