Nurse and military wife

  1. I graduated with my BSN and passed the NCLEX in 2016. Instead of working, I moved to Japan with my husband who is in the military. I volunteer with Red Cross and volunteer as a school nurse here in Japan. we are moving back to the states at the end of next year and I am terrified about not getting a job. I have no hospital experience and I will have graduated over 2 years ago by the time I'm back in the states.
    has anyone not been able to work after they graduated and found a job?
    Any hope or advice is appreciated!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   jennylee321
    Maybe some kind of acute care refresher course before applying for jobs.
  4. by   Becca20
    I am looking into refresher coarses. They seem really expensive and long. Would I need to do a refresher coarse even though my license is clear/active? Thanks!
  5. by   BedsideNurse
    I don't think that's an outlandish amount of time. You'll be pretty much a new grad I think. That being said, new grads are often struggling for jobs it seems. I guess your prospects greatly depend on where you end up, but you should be able to find something. I am sympathetic to your worries as my husband is retired Air Force and now a civilian and I've had to job hop and have gaps of unemployment from being overseas, etc...It's tough! Even so, I've always managed to find work that I wanted, luckily. Once you get experience it will get a lot less daunting....Try not to stress too much about the unknowns. Once you find out your assignment you can start feeling the area out, etc...Most feedback from refresher courses I've heard is that they aren't that helpful, aren't necessary , and expensive. Maybe employers like to see them though, not sure. I'd review myself and see if I could land a job without a refresher course if I could. Good Luck!
  6. by   REzell86
    Another spouse here. You might try looking through USAJobs for whatever base you are going to. You get spouses preference on those. So it might help out a little with transition. (But, it is a GS position and a lot of those are gotten on a "I know so and so" basis)
  7. by   dropRN
    I'm a military wife too and from my experience, applying through registry or as a contractor works. I applied so many times at usajobs and I only got interviewed once and never got hired. I also have spouse preference but never worked for me too.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from dropRN
    I'm a military wife too and from my experience, applying through registry or as a contractor works. I applied so many times at usajobs and I only got interviewed once and never got hired. I also have spouse preference but never worked for me too.
    Another one here...small world.

    Spouse preference usually kicks in when all other things are equal (or thereabouts) between you and other applicants. It won't make up for 2 years' of experience the other applicant has and that the OP lacks. And of course, you have to meet certain requirements to be eligible: being married to someone in the military is in itself not enough to qualify. Here's some reading material:

    Federal Jobs: What You Need to Know | Military.com
    Military Spouse Preference for Federal Jobs | Military Spouse

    That being said, OP can still apply for government jobs because you never know.

    From my own experience, I agree with you in that registries would a good option...if the OP had previous experience. Most registries won't take on inexperienced nurses.

    OP: Try applying to whatever you can before you resort to a refresher course. You may also want to look outside the acute care hospital box for that first job. There's nothing wrong with starting off in long-term acute care (LTAC), rehab, LTC, clinics, offices, etc. It's nursing experience, which would be more helpful getting into you a hospital than if you didn't have any experience.
  9. by   Froggybelly
    Hi, Becca. I moved right after graduation as well, and people told me I wouldn't be able to find a job because I had extremely little work history at all, and none of it healthcare related. However, I did find a job and it didn't take long at all. I think that your volunteer work and school nursing won't be viewed as not working after graduation, as they kind of fall under community health nursing. As far as the hospital goes, I think that if you interview well, you may be accepted into a residency with new grads. A manager suggested that route to me when I was interested in moving from a non-traditional to a bedside role. Don't let anyone tell you that you won't find a job or cannot do something. There is always a way.
  10. by   Becca20
    That is great! Thank you!
  11. by   BeccaznRN
    You didn't specify if you were looking for only a hospital job, but you could certainly use your experience to apply for school nursing jobs, community health jobs, or other positions outside of the hospital. If you are looking for hospital experience, do you know where your next duty station will be? If so (or even if you have a general idea of where you'll be going), start researching local hospitals to figure out what their needs are and how you could meet them. If new grad positions have a timeline, look into refresher courses. Hospitals that are expanding will obviously be looking to hire more staff and possibly be willing to give you a closer look.

    GS jobs are extremely difficult to obtain unless you have substantial contacts, especially as a new grad with minimal experience. You can always try, but I certainly wouldn't spend a lot of time/energy applying for those positions.
  12. by   ShomshorRN
    Do you know where you will be moving yet? There is Facebook group with military spouses all over the US. It's a great place to network with people who know what you are going through as a military spouse and as a nurse trying to have a career.
    Log into Facebook | Facebook

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