1 Year Experience required... but how do i get experience if you won't hire me?

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    I am a new grad with my RN in hand, applying to many locations around the Dallas/Fort Worth region, and a universal theme I'm starting to notice in this region, with much dismay, is 1 or more years experience required, at almost all jobs. There are hundreds, if not thousands of jobs like this for experienced RN's. However, for positions for nurses without experience are few and far apart. How does one build experience, when there are little to none jobs hiring nurses without experience? Even job placement agencies for nurses (I've contacted 2 thus far and applied for various others) are mostly unable help because they won't get paid for finding you a job, hospitals only pay them to find experienced candidates.
    To make matters more fun is many of these places require your 1 year of experience be in a relevant area, so scratch SNF off your list of places to build experience, unless this is your calling as a nurse.

    Is this something universal throughout nursing, or have I discovered a rough patch per say?
    I keep hearing about nursing shortages throughout the country and projected nursing shortages in the millions, but if they won't hire new grads, how will we build the job experience needed to fill these vacancies in the coming years, or even have any where close to the projected numbers?

    Any good advice you can throw this new RN's way?

    born2circulateRN likes this.

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  2. 18 Comments...

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    My advice to you would be to not give up and do not limit your job search. Have you considered relocating to an area that will hire and train new grads ? What about home healthcare or a LTC facility ? Maybe you can find something to get you going and then you can work your way towards your dream position. My wife has been looking for quite sometime (Phoenix area) and hasn't had any luck either as almost everyone wants one years experience. She has applied for the few new grad positions that have been available but hasn't gotten in yet. She has talked to hiring managers in person and gotten some good feedback on her credentials but it is just a rough market here for new grads. Luckily my wife is not desperate to find a job but it still doesn't make it any easier.

    You would think it might be a bit easier living in a major city and looking for a job but that doesn't seem to be the case right now. Keep your head up, stay positive and sooner or later something will come your way.

    Good luck !
    born2circulateRN likes this.
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    Hey there,

    I am most definitely in the same boat. I recently graduated with a BSN this semester; however, I have not taken boards yet. But, I have been applying to new grad positions. I've gotten only 1 phone call and was told they chose the more experienced candidate - I was heartbroken for a while, but am over it. I am also relocating, which was sort of a disadvantage because I was not able to make it to any open houses. I heard it's better to place your resume in the manager's hands and talk to them, but sometimes that isn't the case. When I relocate, I do plan to go up to hospitals and personally give them my resume if I need to.

    I agree that the job market for new grad nurses is tough and that is pretty depressing. Also, getting into a residency would be a great opportunity but it is so competitive because everyone wants to apply. I've been applying to positions within a thirty minute distance, but I may definitely have to open my options. I really don't want to drive a hour, but I will if I have to.

    I would suggest to make sure you have a really good resume and cover letter. Place all of your certifications on there and everything. My resume is pretty simple, because I really don't have much to put on there. I don't have my license yet, the only certification I have is my BLS, I was not a nurse tech and hasn't had any volunteer work (besides the required community service during nursing school) within the hospital setting. So, I am definitely going to have to pray about it for sure! But, keep on applying and applying and applying. Since I am not in desperate need of a job yet, I am trying to apply to jobs that I would rather work such as hospital jobs (Med-surg and ER, would consider telemetry) and jobs with a 20-mile radius. But, after receiving my licensure or when money becomes tight, that may change. And, any time now, the manager may call and it may be a phone interview - so, practice on what they may ask, make sure you stay professional and enthusiatic...that happened to me, and I was oh so nervous! It was so unexpected.

    Stay Optimistic, Good Luck and God Bless!
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    As someone who assists my manager in the interviewing process, let me just tell you that I know it is very frustrating. However, my manager likes to see that someone is interested in our specific specialty more than how many years of experience they have. Managers want someone who will be staying for awhile, and not leaving or transferring to a different department 6 months down the line. If you can get an interview, make sure you express that you will be in it for the long haul (if you are). As far as actually getting in to an interview, I am not sure what to tell you. I work in Maryland, and certain areas are requiring experience to even apply (my facility does not for general rn positions like med/surg.) look for facilities that are expanding. And really, if all else fails, you can always do long-term care for a little while until something else comes up. Just keep trying and don't give up!!
    Aongroup1990 likes this.
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    At my hospital, many people are getting their foot in the door with non-RN positions. I have seen people start in transport or even as volunteers, successfully network and make good impressions, and land RN positions. We have to be creative in this job market! Good luck!
    Aongroup1990 likes this.
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    Thanks for the support, encouragement and ideas, I'll have to get right back in the saddle tomorrow and keep on trucking!
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    In DFW the hospitals for the most part won't hire outside of their internships for new grads, which post twice a year and are filled long before graduation takes place. Summer internships are pretty much past at this point. You can watch for the next wave, which will post in the Sept-Nov timeframe for January start dates, but that doesn't help you right now. I graduated in December of 2011 and was lucky enough to get a full time internship in a critical care area at a local hospital. That offer came to me in October of 2011 - three months before graduation - for a start date at the end of January. Many of my classmates are still looking for work. About half of us had jobs upon graduation, another fourth found jobs a month or two after (mostly home health) and the rest either moved out of state or are still looking.

    There are places north of DFW (Sherman area) hiring without that one year of experience. Quite a commute but your odds will be better.

    Best of luck in your search.
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    Apply even if they are asking for experience. There's another thread that talks about knowing the company (mission statement, specialties etc). I do agree with you, how can you get experience if nobody gives you a chance. That is the way it is here in WI as well. A fellow grad put her app in and landed a job that wanted 5yrs experience for a prn position. It was posted for so long that she put in and got it. Good luck and congrats on that RN!!

    Isn't it something that you finally jump that hurdle and make it through nursing school, then you have to face your state boards, then you have to try to find a job. Just seems like one hurdle after another hey!
    NursieNurseLPN likes this.
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    I have heard so many people say that if you are having a hard time getting an RN job then you should start applying at LTC facilities because they will hire new RNs. In my neck of the woods, central Ohio, this is not true. Even the LTC facilities want experience and are turning away new RN's like crazy.
    LovedRN likes this.
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    Just now it's just basic economics the supply of nurses is greater than the demand so if your an employer why spend time, money and resources training someone who may or may not turn out to be a good nurse when you have experienced nurses available to fill the slots. It's practical not personal. In general I've found most healthcare places would prefer someone else bear the responsibility of training you and they'll just scoop up the ready to go ones. This probably won't change until the supply/demand starts tipping the other way.

    In other words it's rotten luck.

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