In Need of Advice Please. MA job while looking for RN position?

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    Hey Nursing Community,

    I'm a New Grad RN currently living in SF Bay Area and graduated from my ABSN program for almost 1 year now. It has been extremely tough trying to look for a job here in the bay area and everywhere else. I have looked into SNFs, homehealth, and many new grad programs in the Bay Area and throughout California. Because I had no luck, I started to apply to PCT, LVN, and MA positions. I was recently told that hospitals are steering away from hiring RNs for MA/PCT/LVN positions because theyve been having problems with MAs (w/ RNs) going out of their scope of practice. This becomes a "liability issue" for the hospital. Because this was on the phone, she didn't go into how this is a liability issue. However, I was finally offered a MA position at a private practice. So, my question is: Should I take this MA position? My original plan was to take a MA/PCT/LVN position in a hospital so I could network. However, with this urgent care clinic, I wouldn't have very many networking opportunities and I would be the only RN at this clinic.
    Any insight will be very appreciated! I tried asking my (employed) nursing friends but they don't seem to understand the situation I am in: unemployed and looking for 1 year.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    That's tough. I think I would take the job and then volunteer in an ED or on med-surg floor to somewhat keep up my RN skills (and to network!). I'm also in the Bay Area, and I really believe that it'll be easier to get jobs here in a couple years. They're building a new Kaiser in San Leandro, rebuilding SFGH, adding on to CPMC... And nurses have to retire at some point, right?

    Are you absolutely against going out of state for a couple of years and then coming back? The longer you go without a RN position after graduating, the harder it gets, I think. You need to keep up those skills!

    Good luck. I know a few people in similar situations.
  5. 0
    Quote from Zatara142
    That's tough. I think I would take the job and then volunteer in an ED or on med-surg floor to somewhat keep up my RN skills (and to network!). I'm also in the Bay Area, and I really believe that it'll be easier to get jobs here in a couple years. They're building a new Kaiser in San Leandro, rebuilding SFGH, adding on to CPMC... And nurses have to retire at some point, right?

    Are you absolutely against going out of state for a couple of years and then coming back? The longer you go without a RN position after graduating, the harder it gets, I think. You need to keep up those skills!

    Good luck. I know a few people in similar situations.
    Thanks for your input. I'm not against applying out-of-state at all. Actually, I've applied to several out of state hospitals in Arizona, New York, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Kansas... just to name a few. I've been rejected within hours or immediately following a phone interview because I am an out of state applicant. I feel that they are apprehensive about hiring someone from California since they think we'll just get our 1-2 years of experience and then leave. I don't have the funds to apply for a state license to every out-of-state I apply to since endorsements can run $200-$300.
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    This may be off-topic, but I am curious about what an RN can do in an ED or med-surg floor as a volunteer? I've seen this idea mentioned before, but what specific things would a nurse do as a volunteer in those areas? I am unemployed (again) too, but --Yay!-- just got called for TWO interviews today. But need to check out the volunteer opportunities, too.

    Also could use some advice on interviewing...

    My cohort of 6 ADN grads from a small community in the midwest all took a long time to find jobs. One of the outstanding members of my group (in my opinion) was the last to be hired. She interviewed all over the country and finally got a job 14 months after graduation. (I still can't figure out why she wasn't snapped up immediately -- she's brilliant, had terrific grades, great references, and a resume to drool over! Go figure!)

    Anyway, I have to add that I envy you Bay area folks your scenery, though not your high unemployment or cost of living. I left my heart in San Francisco many years ago! Now, I'm a landlocked flatlander! I sure hope you find a job soon!
    Last edit by Flatlander on Aug 3, '12
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    I wouldn't take the MA or a PCT job for the reasons you cited. Mainly, once you are an RN that is your scope of practice, period, and you can't really "undo" it. I think it would be risky ethically, if not legally. It's a very good question, though, and one I haven't seen answered definitively.

    From a different angle, I say don't give up on the nursing jobs just yet. There might be one just around the corner. Here's what I did when I couldn't find a job in my little backwoods corner of the world:

    I got out the state/regional map and drew a circle out from my town as the center. The radius was about the distance I could cover in half a day. I figured this would get me to an interview and back in one day, with time to "look around" at the area. Then I went online to find every single hospital, nursing home, and clinic that existed within the area of my circle on the map. If a big town was just outside the circle, I extended it a little bit. It was surprising how many places I came up with. The American Hospital Association (I think it was AHA -- ) has listings of hospitals by state, and some are ranked by sizes and specialties, too. You can look up the towns and distances on Google maps or similar tools. There's so much info available online. Anyway, this kept me busy for quite awhile.

    I ended up interviewing and taking a job in a neighboring state within my, as it turned out, 300 mile radius. Six hours drive to the interview, a couple hours to look around and get lost in town, then a six hour drive back home. I left my town at 6 a.m., the interview was at 2 p.m. and I was home by midnight. And I got the job! Now I'm job searching again, but that's another story.

    Just some suggestions! Don't give up on your dream! Work hard and make it happen!
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    PS -- I took a job at a convenience store and gas station at one point, just to make ends meet. (Needed a referral from a friend of the boss even to get that job!) But, no scope of practice to worry about there. To keep skills and knowledge sharp, do some self-study at home. Start working on your CEU's through one of those CEU journals... it will look good on your resume....
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    Thanks for your input flatlander! Dunno where you're residing but i did apply to hospitals in Oklahoma and Kansas City. However, they weren't too interested in me after they realized I was still living in California.
  10. 0
    Quote from starghadeer
    Thanks for your input flatlander! Dunno where you're residing but i did apply to hospitals in Oklahoma and Kansas City. However, they weren't too interested in me after they realized I was still living in California.
    Hi Starghadeer! Fellow old new grad nurse as well. I really feel like other non-new grads don't understand what we new grads go through.

    When applying out of state, it's been mentioned to me by my friends that you say you are currently in the process of applying for that state's license. That way, they are more likely to hire you. At least, that's how my friends ended up getting their out-of-state jobs. One got it in ND, another in Denver, CO, and the last in Buffalo, NY.

    And here I am, still unemployed in the nursing world. But I am not giving up!

    Good luck and keep us posted! I for one, love to hear success stories!
  11. 0
    Quote from starghadeer
    Hey Nursing Community,

    I'm a New Grad RN currently living in SF Bay Area and graduated from my ABSN program for almost 1 year now. It has been extremely tough trying to look for a job here in the bay area and everywhere else. I have looked into SNFs, homehealth, and many new grad programs in the Bay Area and throughout California. Because I had no luck, I started to apply to PCT, LVN, and MA positions. I was recently told that hospitals are steering away from hiring RNs for MA/PCT/LVN positions because theyve been having problems with MAs (w/ RNs) going out of their scope of practice. This becomes a "liability issue" for the hospital. Because this was on the phone, she didn't go into how this is a liability issue. However, I was finally offered a MA position at a private practice. So, my question is: Should I take this MA position? My original plan was to take a MA/PCT/LVN position in a hospital so I could network. However, with this urgent care clinic, I wouldn't have very many networking opportunities and I would be the only RN at this clinic.
    Any insight will be very appreciated! I tried asking my (employed) nursing friends but they don't seem to understand the situation I am in: unemployed and looking for 1 year.

    I am a new grad, live in Bay Area as well, I graduated 7months ago - I was an MA then an LVN and kept my job while in school and while looking for a RN Job. I was just offered a position in a family health outpatient clinic based on my MA and LVN exp working in a clinic rather than a hospital. The manager that interviewed me said she was very interested in me because of the exp I had in a clinic setting rather than hospital. So I would take it, at least you're working with patients, building skills, working as a team player all that you can apply when you get your "dream job!"
  12. 0
    I graduated back in 2009 from a school in Massachusetts.. I applied for a job in Wisconsin four months prior to graduation. I did the phone interview the flew out for my second interview and was offered the job. I'm not sure why these places won't hire you since you seem willing to relocate. Good luck!


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