Newly LVN graduate and I'm unable to secure a job.

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    I just joined today and I'm excited about entering into the world of nursing. I have been licensed for one year and actively have been looking for work and submitting my resume with hospitals, private medical offices, LTC facilities, correctional facilities, and home health care agencies and they all are requiring at least one year of paid experience. I have been told by the Director of Nursing from all the home health care agencies here in california when I have inquiried about employment that they are required by state law to request that all applicants have one year of experience. How is it possible to obtain experience if these places are not willing to give a new LVN grad. the opportunity? I am beside myself and don't know which way to turn. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you have.
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 10 Comments...

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    Hi there!!

    Welcome to!!

    WOW!! I am so sorry about your situation..I too am in California, and have just started my LVN program, entering into the 7th week today...I have never heard of this law requiring that LVN's have 1 year of experience prior to hiring? I googled it and cannot seem to find it...have you seen this law in writing or referred to a California State website that states this law? I'd really like to know this for myself...Are you CA State licensed as a Phlebotomist? Certified in IV Therapy? Any other licenses or certifications besides your LVN license? I licensed as a Phlebotomist a year ago, because, even though I knew that subject is covered in a LVN program, several schools around my area, including my own, informed me ahead of time that an additional license would look very good on my resume upon completion. About a third of my Phlebotomy class were either licensed LVN's or in a LVN program.

    I am certainly not doubting you were told about this law, however, I am curious about the validity of the MAY be illegal to make this statement. It sounds a lot like what I was told when I was looking for Phlebotomy positions...and like you said "How is it possible to obtain experience if these places are not willing to give a new LVN grad. the opportunity?"

    Please keep us posted...I wish you the very best and don't give up!!
    josieandthepussycats likes this.
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    I became a Certified Medical Assistant in the 90s. I took whatever job I could get in a hospital which happened to be Medical Transcriptionist.I did not want to do this at all, but it got my foot in the door. I did that for a year and I met doctors and gained a good recommendation and a Pediatrician gave me a chance. I have never had any trouble getting a job in a doctors office since. Take whatever you can get, even if you don't think you would like it and meet some doctors and nurses and work your butt off! Where I live a lot of the doctors offices are hiring CNA's instead of LPNs and CMAs, so it is making it hard here to even in offices. Sometimes you have to take crappy jobs and pay to work your way up, don't be to proud to do it, a little humility is good for all of us.
    josieandthepussycats likes this.
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    Quote from newlvnstudent
    I have never heard of this law requiring that LVN's have 1 year of experience prior to hiring? I googled it and cannot seem to find it...have you seen this law in writing or referred to a California State website that states this law?
    It is not a law. Rather, many healthcare facilities in California prefer to hire nurses with at least 1 to 2 years of experience due to the economic situation in that state. In a nutshell, brand new nurses cost time and money to train properly. Management at many of the facilities does not want to pay to train newly graduated nurses, so they would rather avoid financial risk by hiring someone with experience who will not require lengthy orientation. To these facilities, hiring experienced nurses is a cost-cutting business decision.
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    Hi newlvnstudent,

    Thanks for the comments, encouragement and well wishes. I to am curious about the validity of what I have been told and have searched goggle and the California State website and could not locate such state law nor have I see it in writing. My former instructors have never heard of such state law..... I am also a CNA, IV Therapy and Phlebotomist certified by CA State. It is quite disturbing to me hearing that these businesses are using such tactic in not hiring new grad. Here are some tips that helped me succeed in the program. Distance yourself from things and people that are distracting, stay focus, yes this program is going to consume your life; the amount of hours required to study, complete assigments, and projects while preparing for exams will have your eyes crossing. And your love ones will began to feel neglected it is only temporary. Always be the first one to try a procedure or a skill in clinical. There are no dumb questions you are there to learn all there is to know doing this will only make you a more knowledgeable nurse.

    Go luck and I also wish you the very best.
    newlvnstudent likes this.
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    Hi meghen,

    Thanks for the comments. I am also an experienced CNA and would start in this position or a MA if offered a job. These positions would get my feet in the door and then I could apply for an LVN position when one is available. With my skills and knowledge of a Licensed Vocational Nurse I would be able to handle the duties of a MA. I have also been applying for these kinds of position. Being a CNA is very rewarding and is quite a humbly job. I questioned myself about becoming an LVN knowing that the amount of time being spent with patients/residents and developing a personal relationship with them is something that I would greatly miss and knowing that it would be minimized due to more responsiblities and time constrains with passing meds, care plans, charting and interacting with all the doctors. So, oh yeah I am open to work other positions.
    newlvnstudent likes this.
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    Hi TheCommuter,

    Thanks for the comments. Well, it is still quite disturbing to be told this when inquiring about employment when it is a false statement. Due to the economic state of California these businesses should not even make such a statement indicating "that it is required by state law" it really causes me to question thier ethics. Long Term Care facilities and home health agencies are some businesses that I'm sure are still profiting through Medicare, Medi-cal, private pay and health insurance coverage. I know that if this continues there is going to be a even greater problem being created; they will be a large amounts of LVN unable to find work in there field and the vocational nursing progarms are still enrolling and graduating students at an alarming rate. This can not be good for the economy. I sure do miss the good old days when jobs were plentiful. I am glad about one thing that I did not attend a private nursing program school which can cost around $25.000-$40.000 and have that debit to pay back and not being able to find a job.
    newlvnstudent likes this.
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    Hi Josieandthepussycats - just wanted to concur with what has already been said here, I've never heard of a law that a home health agency must require 1 year of experience, and have worked with new grad LVNs in home health, so I believe you were given incorrect information.

    It's tough for all of us, and on top of that many foreign-trained RNs are being denied the ability to take the NCLEX-RN due to some issues with their education, and all of them are being told to "just go get your LVN". I don't think that's right, either.
    newlvnstudent likes this.
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    Now imagine your a new graduate who has moved to a new town (or even state) and don't know ANYBODY but your own spouse! Then look for a nursing job when they all seem to want anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of experience.

    I was in the Army as a medic for 8 years. I know all about being a robot. I know about the chain of command, being in place on time, staying on task, staying within your scope of practice, etc. I have experience as a CNA at acute care hospitals and home health. I've served as a CNA in hospice assignments and worked with geriatric patients and the terminally ill.

    Now...I'm a "new grad" nurse and no one will talk to me. No emails, no return calls. When I call, it's "sorry we don't hire new grads". Yes, I've tried all of them from prisons to mental health to long term care to acute care to home health to school districts, etc.

    When I started, I was told nursing was the next gold rush. "You'll never be without a job!" they said. I haven't had income in months and I'm broke. If I ever do land an interview, I'll have to rob a bank to pay for a haircut and a load of laundry just to go! Sometimes it doesn't even matter if you CAN be a robot and fit the still can't get noticed.
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    Quote from nursel56
    ...I've never heard of a law that a home health agency must require 1 year of experience, and have worked with new grad LVNs in home health, so I believe you were given incorrect information...
    Here in Texas, you might say it's not a LAW...but it is the Board of Nursing's official opinion. Don't expect too many agencies to go contrary to the Board's opinion.

    BTW, I don't want to sound like a jerk--though I'm sure I will--but at this point, the LAST thing I care about is some foreign nurse having the ability to take the NCLEX and take yet another job away from me. Sorry, kids, America has been the land of milk and honey for everyone for too long. We're running out of resources for ourselves now. My suggestions is stay in your own country and make it work...that's we I have to do over here. Do I sound like a total jerk? Maybe...but I'm okay with that right now. I'm not feelin' the love today.
    Last edit by north on Aug 29, '12
    nursel56 likes this.

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