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.
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