New grad RN in CA, no jobs, what hope?

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    I'm a new graduate (May 2012) from an ADN program here in California, specifically the SF Bay Area. When I first started prerequisites, students were being hired during the end of their preceptorships, the sky was the limit. Fast forward 5 years and there are NO JOBS! Hundreds of applicants to a hand full of new grad programs. All the local hospitals want experienced (at least 1 year) acute care nurses. Some of my cohorts are leaving the state. It all seems so drastic. I decided to get my BSN while I'm job hunting and waiting for the tide to turn. At this point I'm considering applying to SNFs or clinic work. If I got a job working as an RN in one of these facilities, would that preclude me from a new graduate program at a hospital? I really want to be working, I miss taking care of patients, but I don't want to limit my options in the future.

    Any advice, information, or leads would be greatly appreciated. Or if you just want to commiserate, that's fine, too. thanks!
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

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    Welcome to the world of job hunting as a new grad. You are still a fresher new grad since you graduated in May 2012. So, chin up and keep at it. Good job on going after your BSN.

    New grad programs have differing requirements - some will take NO paid RN experience, while some will accept your application if you have less than a year of paid RN experience. The way the economy is right now, it is better to have paid RN experience than have a big gap on your resume.

    In this regards, my advice is to apply to hospitals and non-hospital settings in order to find a RN position. As you have already stated, you know the high number of applicants for a small number of positions. Broaden your search to up and down the state. And maybe even different states as well.

    And if you may have not done it already, visit the FB page for RN New Grads in CA. That can be another resource to vent or network.

    Best of luck to you!
    starspark likes this.
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    Hello! I feel your pain. Several years ago I applied hundreds of times before making it into psych, an inpatient clinic setting. Two years later I have finally landed my dream hospital--not a dream unit but I am stir truly happy. My advice is if you don't mind, and you want to keep actively applying after you've been at it about 9 months, but psych seems to be a bit easier to get into. And go for a hospital psych unit because then your foot is in the door. I really never wanted psych, but I did it and my co workers been thought I did well. You'll get there. So my advice, broaden what your willing to do and try to stick it out for about a year! Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes!
    starspark likes this.
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    Congrats RN!

    My Advice: New grad programs are to few and far between for you to look at making yourself a perfect candidate. Apply but don't hold your breath. Your goal is to get experience wherever you can as soon as you can. Build your resume and show you aren't sitting back waiting to get hired. Take classes, volunteer, do flu clinics and health fairs, etc. The Bay Area nurse work climate is bad with hospitals laying off staff and staff striking due to no contracts--the health care economy and politics are making an already bad situation worse.


    Also, continue pursuing your BSN as in the long run this will be worth the effort you put into it now before you are actually in the work force and this becomes harder to do.

    While finding a job in the Bay Area as a new grad RN is not impossible it's just very hard, even for top of their class BSN degree RN's with ACLS/EKG certs and years of CNA experience at their local hospital with excellent reference letters attesting to their good work. Nurse work is out there, but it's usually very specialized nurses with years of experience in a sub specialty getting hired. I haven't seen a new grad on our unit in a year--and I've tried to help a couple of our wonderful preceptee's get in with no luck.

    Remember your precept connections are golden. It's all about who you know in this environment. But, at the end of the day, if a facility is not hiring you can still be the best candidate with no job. If at all possible, move further afield or to another state and consider it an adventure. Stay connected to the people who might help you come back one day. Best luck to you--we need our new blood as you guys bring such good energy to our units.
    Last edit by Testa Rosa, RN on Oct 29, '12
    Caligirl96 and starspark like this.
  8. 1
    Good Luck to you, jobs for new grads is difficult all over the country! Please let us know how it goes and GOOD LUCK
    starspark likes this.
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    Thank you for the advice!

    Update: I was able to get a job at a long term care facility for dementia. I am extremely grateful for it, too. My former instructor got me in touch with an employee there (also her former student). Like you stated, it is all about connections. I wish I could have gotten my foot in the door where I precepted, but that hospital seems harder to get into than Fort Knox!

    Even though the job market is bleak now, I think that will make all of us new grads more adaptive. It may take several moves before I find my dream job, but along the way, I'll be learning and making connections. Who knows, maybe I'll find something I didn't think I would love.
    Caligirl96 and Testa Rosa, RN like this.
  10. 0
    Learn lots and do the best job you can. Build your references and your resume. Congrats!!!
  11. 0
    Congrats! Definitely lots of things to learn and continue to WANT to learn and it'll help you in the future.
  12. 0
    Skilled Nursing Facility needs staff IMMEDIATELY!!!

    Job for new grads in san rafael.


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