Discouraged Nurse Graduate
- 0Mar 16, '12 by ahilt24Hello everyone. I have a bit of advice to ask all of you if you have any to offer. I will be graduating as a new nurse with an ADN in just a few more weeks. I will be taking the NCLEX first thing in June and my BSN program begins in July. I have been searching everywhere in the Chicago land area for a NICU job, and I am starting to get discouraged and pretty sad about it. There are positions out there, but a lot of them require experience in the NICU and I obviously don't have any yet. I have known from the beginning that this is what I wanted to do, and I wouldn't be happy in any other field. I just don't understand how I am supposed to get experience if no one will let me start. You have to start somewhere! I just don't get it. Some instructors have told me to take whatever I can get (Med/Surg and elsewhere) but I just don't see the point in starting somewhere I won't be happy when it still will not gain me any experience. Any advice to a brand new grad? If only these employers could know how badly I want this...
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- 3Mar 16, '12 by llg GuideAs your instructors have tried to tell you ... you need to start from where you are and move forward from there. There is probably nothing magical that is going to happen to change your world in the next few months (or years). You will probably not be able leap-frog over the obstacles in your path. So get a job to put food on your table, pay for your schooling, and get some nursing experience.
While you are working at that job ... begin doing things that will improve your chances of getting your dream job. If you have any opportunities within your BSN program to choose the focus of any papers or projects, choose NICU. Look for a job that has anything to do with babies, children, OB, etc. -- specialties that will show your interest in babies and help you network with people who work with them. Look for opportunities to volunteer with babies, pregnant women, new moms, etc. Another route to consider is ICU of any kind. See if there are any opportunities in that realm.
The truth is, if you are not qualified for the NICU jobs in your community ... you need to focus on getting those qualifications. And that is going to take time and effort. Make the most of any opportunities you can find -- even if those opportunities are only a small step in the right direction. Those small steps can add up over time.
- 1Mar 16, '12 by babyRN.Don't let 6 months to a year slip by just because you refused anything but NICU...getting experience as a RN in any field is more important than not getting any experience at all. Nothing worse than being completely unmarketable and being forced to take a refresher class...
You especially can't be picky in this type of economy and many new grads are desperate for anything. You can always start on a med-surg and move over to peds/L&D and then to NICU (or other variations)...also, you have an ADN. Again, in this economy, managers can be picky and would probably choose BSNs over ADNs and there is no shortage of supply of BSN new grads also looking for a job.
Read throughout this forum, you'll see that you are not unique in this situation...other advice I can offer is to be willing to move. I moved from the west coast to the east coast back in '08 as a new grad for my job.
- 1Mar 16, '12 by NICU_babyRNFrom a NICU nurse in Chicago: I work in a facility where we had over 150 applicants for ONE position. The hospital now hires BSN prepared only. It's a TOUGH market to crack into. If hire new and experience, however you must have that BSN behind your name. This will be true for any magnet hospital. It will NOT do you any harm to get ANY experience you can get. The NICU skills will come to you later, but if you can come in with time management, IV skills, very proficient in tube priming....it will only make your NICU orientation THAT much better and you will feel really good about yourself. I say IV skills even though adults/peds IVs and then baby IVs are vastly different, but even getting a feel for how to hold the angiocath will help!
Stay positive, take your time, get any experience you can get and then try again!
- 1Mar 19, '12 by AnnemRNI had a friend who went directly into the NICU as a new graduate nurse. Eventually, after 8 yrs of working in the NICU she decided to tried to apply outside of the NICU and had great difficulty finding a job. She had absolutely no experience working with adults and she said she wished she had started in something like med/surg before going into her specialty.
- 0Mar 20, '12 by NicuGalLike all the others: You may have to take a job for how in anything you can get into...med/surg, peds, etc. Get a foot in the door. Many of the bigger hospitals are looking for BSN prepared now and can be choosy since there are so few jobs. We just filled 2 positions where I work and we had over 100 applicants for those two jobs. We choose the BSN prepared ones over the ADN ones...do I think it is better, not really, but that is what the hospital wants. Many of those applicants had experience also. Don't go too long without a job, that isn't good either and doesn't bode well on applications.
Sometimes you have to take the long route, but it will be worth it in the end. Keep telling yourself that.
- 1Mar 20, '12 by FocusRNHonestly as a now OLD "New Grad" (May 2011) who is still unemployed and moving out of state in search for work, you need to drop the NICU, and take a job, any Nursing job you can get. Now is really the time to be picky.
Just being honest. This economy and jobs market suck balls.
- 1Mar 22, '12 by not.done.yet GuideI am confused....How will being unemployed look better on a resume than getting nursing experience? Do you think that going into interviews saying "I wanted to work in NICU so badly that I refused to work at all when I found out I am underqualified for NICU" is going to make you somehow look good or be MORE hirable than if you work in the adult population? Because that is basically the choice you are making. No potential employer is going to see that and think that you are dedicated or passionate. They are going to think you lack common sense.
Yes, you need to take whatever actual RN position you can get. Get past the "I don't wannnnnnaaaaaaa" foot stomping. Nobody gets to work a job simply because they want to. The current market has made you not qualified yet to work in NICU due to a plethora of applicants who are more educated and more experienced than you. Getting basic nursing skills, maybe having a foot in the hospital door where you can network and build a good reputation for yourself (if you can get a hospital position, which also may be extremely difficult) all are going to do nothing but serve you well, even if that experience is with adults rather than babies. Even with a BSN you would be having a hard time finding a job in a high demand specialty like NICU. Every third person who graduates from nursing school wants that job too. Not everyone is going to get it...only the most qualified (or most networked) of the applicant pool.
Think hard. Working as a waitress or at a desk job or in retail or whatever you would do to pay the bills is 100% positively less likely to make you a NICU desirable hire. Being unemployed would be even worse. Your best option is to go to work in the adult population wherever you are fortunate enough to get offered a position, continue your education, network like crazy and hope for the economy to change.Last edit by not.done.yet on Mar 22, '12