What is a new graduate nurse supposed to do if there aren't any jobs available?

  1. 1
    What is a new graduate nurse supposed to do if there aren't any jobs available?
    Especially if relocating/traveling is not an option.

    I graduated in December 2012 with a BSN. I was part of a very demanding accelerated nursing program which left little time for anything but studying. During the course of the program I had to quit my steady and long term job at a dentist's office to focus on my studies full time. I took the NCLEX and passed first try! Woohoo!!

    I knew it was going to be hard to find a job as a new grad but had no idea how difficult it has been. I spoke to a few of my classmates and out of 50 only three already found jobs. The three that found jobs have relatives who work at the hospitals where they got hired. Go figure! I am happy for them but what are the rest of us supposed to do to get hired too (me included).

    I have been looking for a few months without any success. I have applied online, called human resource departments, asked family and friends and even meet with two recruitment managers at two mayor hospitals here in NYC. One nurse recruiter told me that they haven't done any hiring since 2011 and the other told me they had long waiting lists and were not hiring at the moment. It has been a soar experience so far. I don't want to lose faith but it has been very hard. My goal is to ultimately work at a hospital, start practicing my skills and provide good quality patient care. However, with 0 nursing experience this job search is getting no where.

    I would like to know of any job alternatives or suggestions that you may have for a spanking new registered nurse. I am open to working in a variety of settings except traveling (I am not able to afford a car at this moment) or volunteering because I have several bills that need to get paid asap. I just don't want to start working for example at a nursing home or community clinic only to hinder or hurt my possibilities of working at a hospital later on. I hear hospitals do not consider certain jobs as nursing experience. Any advice would be highly appreciated.

    Yours truly,
    Spanking New Registered Nurse
    Last edit by skyheaven477 on Mar 20, '13 : Reason: Incorrect grammar
    Hopeforfuture likes this.
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    I am literally in the same boat as you.... Graduated in December, passed the NCLEX, applied to at least 3 jobs a day since graduation, and I've heard nothing. It so hard not to get discouraged after working so hard for four years to get a BSN degree that will get me jobs, and not have a single prospect 3 months after graduating.

    I guess I don't have any advice, I can only sympathize with the situation that you and I and tons of other new grad RNs are dealing with. I wish you the best of luck with your job search!
    socal529, Not_A_Hat_Person, NMGirlRN, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    My good friend graduated RN-BSN from a very good program and it took her 6 months to land a clinic job. She had hook ups too but it led to nowhere. She sucked it up for a year, I met her while working there, mainly she did IV's because we did IV therapy in office. One year later she started getting interviews and a couple months after that she got an offer to work part time in a cardiac step down unit at a great hospital..so you will get that hospital job you want and I would hope LTC experience would at least get your resume a second look and pay your bills...I have done skilled LTC and its not too far off from an LTAC at times. GL!!!
    skyheaven477 likes this.
  6. 3
    Do you know what a spin doctor is? I understood when I could not find nursing work that I had to do something... I have a lot of experience in retail as a make up artist and I had to sell this to nurse managers who would kind of scoff sometimes and say statements like "Oh, the things we do to make a dollar..." I mean, I wasn't a hooker... This is very easily turned around. With HCAHPS tying reimbursement to patient satisfaction, it was very easy for me to sell my customer service experience. Waitresses are fabulous at multi-tasking. Look, if you have to make a buck, do it however you have to as you need to feed yourself. It might not have been "nursing experience" but I was snagged up by the right employer by being confident and connecting with the nurse recruiter. I also would suggest Provant or flu shot clinics in the meantime really helped in networking. All the best and God bless.
  7. 1
    It's tough to get that first year under your belt. Have you looked into LTC? Many of them handle acute patients. After a year of almost any experience you will have better luck.
    skyheaven477 likes this.
  8. 0
    Hi, thank you all for your help. I have a background in ophthalmology since I used to work at an eye hospital as an assistant. I got a few interviews related to a position as an ophthalmic nurse but trying to figure out if I want to work in a clinic or a hospital setting. The other interview was at an inner city hospital. They were all very impressed with me, trying to decide what is best.
  9. 1
    Did you find anything yet? I too graduated last November with a BSN and most of my class do not have a job. I have had two interviews and both led to not getting hired. My most recent interview went really well, however I didnt get it because the other candidate showed more passion. I really tried to emphasize how enthusiastic I was about the job, but it didnt work. I understand your plight. Im considering working at a long term nursing care home. How did it go with you?
    Carrie RN likes this.
  10. 0
    I just want to take the time to say I completely understand what everyone's feeling. I graduated in November and got my license in December, and after a few job prospects that didn't quite work out and 5 interviews that didn't lead to a job (2 of which I thought I aced), it's hard to not be discouraged. But at least I feel comfort in knowing I'm not the only one! I've been looking at jobs out-of-state, and that gives me a little more hope about the future.

    Eventually, we'll all put our education to use in the best way possible.
  11. 0
    Quote from coconutgirl14
    I just want to take the time to say I completely understand what everyone's feeling. I graduated in November and got my license in December, and after a few job prospects that didn't quite work out and 5 interviews that didn't lead to a job (2 of which I thought I aced), it's hard to not be discouraged. But at least I feel comfort in knowing I'm not the only one! I've been looking at jobs out-of-state, and that gives me a little more hope about the future.

    Eventually, we'll all put our education to use in the best way possible.
    I am sorry that nothing has turned out yet. I am also still looking. I have been on many interviews but everyone seems to want RN experience which I do not have yet. It can be very discouraging but hopefully it will work out for us pretty soon.
  12. 0
    Quote from Nursebrandnew
    Did you find anything yet? I too graduated last November with a BSN and most of my class do not have a job. I have had two interviews and both led to not getting hired. My most recent interview went really well, however I didnt get it because the other candidate showed more passion. I really tried to emphasize how enthusiastic I was about the job, but it didnt work. I understand your plight. Im considering working at a long term nursing care home. How did it go with you?
    Hi Nursebrandnew, nothing yet, I have not been as lucky as my classmates who most have found jobs already. I did not get offers from the previous job interviews I posted. I believe I interviewed well, but it did not work out with either place. I am still on the hunt :-(


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