Military Wife, 6 Years Later...Still New Grad?

  1. Hello Nurse Beth,
    I am unsure whether or not you have come across someone in a similar situation as I but I graduated with my BSN in 2010 from UMass Boston and have never worked as a nurse! I had my first baby a few months after graduation then two more came along.
    My husband is in the military, we were out of the country for a couple of years and the Army moved my husband to 3 other states since my graduation. Prior to getting my nursing degree I was a medic for both the Air Force and Army for a total of 9 years. I love emergency medicine. My nursing license has always been active and I keep up to date with my ceus. We are moving to Texas next month and will be there for at least 5 years. I would like to focus on my nursing career. Is there any hope of securing an rn position for a 6 year old NEW GRAD? Is my license useful? I don't think there is such a thing as getting another nursing degree so what are my options? I am looking into the Texas nurse refresher course however I will still be a very old new grad. I am not sure of the new grad residency program requirements in the local teaching hospitals in the San Antonio area but I would imagine they are looking for RECENT graduates. I am very motivated, a go getter type of gal but am also realistic and know my situation doesn't look too hopeful. Should I consider getting an MSN? Thank you in advance for any advice you give.


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    Dear New Grad,

    Congrats on the three precious additions to your family.

    It’s semantics, but you really can’t refer to yourself as a new grad any longer...I wish you could, but for purposes of getting hired into a residency program, a new grad is generally a nurse who received their license within the last 6 months.

    Now, each hospital decides its’ own criteria, and some do accept nurses who are not traditional new grads but instead are:

    • Foreign trained and have never worked acute care
    • Graduated up to one year ago
    • Graduated greater than 6 months to one year but have no acute care experience.


    So there is an outside chance that some hospital in San Antonio has less stringent criteria, and they need nurses, and the timing is right, and… I would apply to several facilities. You will quickly learn the lay of the land in San Antonio, Texas, as far as the nursing market.

    Let’s say you are unable to get into acute care. You need a backup plan. Would you consider sub-acute, rehab, skilled nursing, behavioral health? All would offer more experience than you have now and give you a start in your nursing career.

    I would hold off on pursuing a Master’s degree in nursing for now and put your time and energy into your job search.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    nurse-beth-purple-
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   bhouse113
    Doesn't the army have a large medical center in San Antonio? Why don't you look into starting your nursing career there?
  4. by   Kysam
    Are there nursing refresher classes any more?
  5. by   beckysue920
    I believe San Antonio also has an Air Force base. With your experience in the military, I would think they would hire you in a heartbeat. Let us know what you end up finding.

    I wish you the best of luck!
  6. by   feelix
    Contact your board of nursing and ask about your status first. Your license may have expired. I have a friend who went to the refresher course at Memorial Hermann in Houston and was hired by them.
  7. by   feelix
    Network, network, network. Most jobs are got by people who you know and who like you.
  8. by   Shanua
    It's possible you still qualify for a residency or new grad program. My hospital requires it for anyone without acute hospital experience. We've had nurses who've worked in clinics or outpatient areas go through it and new grads. Anyone that hasn't been a nurse in the hospital. There may be options for you.
  9. by   tacticool
    Quote from bhouse113
    Doesn't the army have a large medical center in San Antonio? Why don't you look into starting your nursing career there?
    Military nursing jobs as found on USAJOBS.GOV, require experience. It won't hurt to apply, but chances are slim. However, having veteran's status is worth between 5-10 preference points.

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