Just got an RN job at a laser clinic, does this hurt my chances at New Grad Programs?

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    I'd like to hear some feedback from nurse recruiters or anyone who has been in this situation. I've been trying to get into a New Grad RN Program for several months now and have not had any luck. I know most new grad programs consider applicants with 0-6 months, and some some less than one year, experience. My dilemma is that I just received a job offer for an RN position at a local laser clinic (non-acute settiing). If I still would like to eventually get into a New Grad program and get into an acute-care setting, should I still accept this job offer, or would this hurt my chances of getting into a New Grad program?

    I heard different things from different new grads. Some say don't do it because once they see that you've used your RN license for ANY position and for ANY AMOUNT OF TIME, that they do not consider you as a new grad anymore and disregard your application. Others have told me to take the job and work there for the meanwhile to get some experience until I am accepted into a New Grad position. I've also seen some new grads take small jobs at the flu/immunization (ie. Mollen clinics), so does that hurt their chances too? To help my situation, I'm in California, so the job marker here is worse than most places. So if anyone can give me any suggestions or have been through this, please help! Many thanks
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    My hospital (also in CA) will consider you a new grad if you have less than 12 months' experience...so you'd still qualify.

    You should consider the following when making your decision:

    1. New grad program requirements vary, so check with the programs that you are interested in to see what the criteria are. It doesn't really matter what other students or nurses say, when it's the program that has the final word on whether you'd qualify. So find out directly from them.

    2. In this job market--especially in California--new grads do not have the luxury to be too picky.

    3. Any experience is better than no nursing experience.

    because...

    4. The only thing more difficult than getting hired as a new grad is trying to get hired as an old new grad. Especially since many new grad programs won't accept you if you've been out of school for too long.

    IMO, I think you should accept the offer, start accruing experience and income, and keep applying to the new grad programs. But ultimately, you need to do what you feel is best for you. Good luck whatever you decide!
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    Thank you for your wise words and detailed suggestions, Meriwhen.

    I agree, with the California nursing job market being so competitive and so rare nowadays, any opportunity seems better than nothing I suppose. I have contacted some nurse recruiters, but the couple I have contacted did not reply. This laser clinic RN job is not a permanent position forever. I ultimately would want to work in an acute-care setting. Nonetheless, they seem pretty flexible and I would still consider working there part time even if I DO get into a New Grad program. I just don't want hiring managers to trash my app and prefer someone with completely no experience. I understand most hospitals want someone w/o experience to mold their ideal nurse for their facility, but it's not like me working in a little laser clinic zapping armpits will change how I care for clients in an acute-setting.

    Anybody else faced with this dilemma? It may be a no-brainer to some, but I just want to consider my options and not screw myself over and get stuck in the position of experienced RN....but none in acute care, then struggle getting into a hospital when i'm 60+ years old, hahaha. Thanks for any input, I appreciate it. Love allnurses.com....some great RNs out there
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    Hello there congrats on the job offer first of all! Im replying because I went through a similar situation and know the feeling...so basically it took me a while to get a job as I too was trying to get into new grad programs problem is here in NJ the job market sucks! Very competitive anyhow I found a job at an adult medical daycare...after a little over a year I had no choice but to accept..I still kept applying for other jobs mainly because I was hired part time and after 6 months I got a call for a new grad program! I was shocked because I thought working as an RN ruined the chances but it didn't! Find out about the grad programs and their requirements...please don't be picky I was in your shoes...take whatever is offered to you it's experience and something you can put on a resume...put it to u this way...I put my job as an adult medical daycare nurse and I got interviewed and was blessed enough to be chosen! Do not give up and good luck to you...sorry for the long reply
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    Thanks Roxy518. Yeah I guess with today's overall economy, CA is not the only place that's suffering. Okay, that is very good advice. Desperate times call for desperate measures right? Glad I'm not the only one out there faced with such decisions. I should consider myself very lucky to even have an offer. I think it will help me in the long run too, having RN experience early on...even though it isn't acute care. But nowadays, it seems like hospitals leave us no other choice but sub-acute/home health care since they only have 5 openings for 27474823254 applicants!! I know a couple of new grads that graduated almost 2 years ago (guess they're not new grads anymore, hah) ,and cannot seem to find an RN job because they were too picky. No...thanks for the long and detailed reply! That's what us nurses do best...DETAILS! Thanks again for your input.
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    Quote from me2hypr4u
    I know a couple of new grads that graduated almost 2 years ago (guess they're not new grads anymore, hah) ,and cannot seem to find an RN job because they were too picky.
    And there you go. If you take this or any other non-hospital nursing job, you may or may not break into a new grad program. You may or may not land in a hospital in a year or two. But there's a lot of factors in play here: who knows what the market will be like? Who knows what opportunities will come your way? You may decide that you don't want to go work in a hospital after all--there's no law stating that you have to have worked in a hospital in order be considered a real nurse, a successful nurse. Who knows?

    But one thing is certain.

    By taking this or any nursing job, you will have two years' of nursing experience under your belt, which puts you in a far better position of breaking into a hospital job, let alone getting ANY job, than the "too picky" new grads who are now 2 years' old with zero experience.

    New grad programs do have limitations on how much experience you can have to qualify, but remaining a nursing virgin while you wait for a new grad program isn't going to up your chances. As you have seen, be too picky and you may find yourself an old-maid new grad.


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