No luck with a new grad job- should I go back to school? Any nurse managers around?

  1. I'm wondering if I go back for either an RN-MSN program or a RN-BSN program, will I still find myself just as unemployable?

    I gradated in Dec 2011 with an RN diploma degree. Right after graduation, I moved out of the country for 6 months due to my husband's work. While away, I got pregnant. Between not having a bachelor's degree in nursing (I have a BA), moving right after graduation, then being pregnant I have had zero luck getting a job and I'm going NUTS! I've applied for over 100 jobs, gotten resume critiques from my nusing school instructors and I've applied to every type of job that I can think of where an RN can work-- and I've gotten 1 interview with a nurse manager at a clinic but not at any hospitals.

    I'm due to have my little girl in Dec and have pretty much given up hope that I'll get anything before I'm settled with her. That will put me at over 1 year since graduation with no experience!! EGAD!

    Moving is not an option as my husband has a career in our town in Connecticut.

    There are 2 local programs that look good for continuing education: RN-BSN and and RN-MSN program. My fear is that after graduating from either of these, I will have spent even MORE money on my education and still won't be able to find work in a hospital. As a side note, I was very good in school and clinically, I like working on the floor and I think I would honestly make an awesome nurse.

    Any thoughts? I'd really love to hear from a nurse manager if any of you have some wisdom to spare! Thanks!!
  2. Visit BA_anthropology profile page

    About BA_anthropology

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 85; Likes: 33
    from US


  3. by   Hoosier_RN
    It depends on the need in your area. Where I am, without experience to back up the MSN, you would still likely not get a job. Notice I said likely. I can't answer for every situation.
  4. by   HouTx
    I have no experience with your part of the country, but I agree with PP. In my area, hiring managers avoid MSNs with no clinical experience... they just aren't a good fit & the average hospital really has no positions that are appropriate for them. They want new grad BSNs.
  5. by   BA_anthropology
    Thanks for the responese!! Do you know, if I went back for a BSN would I be considered a new grad (and eligible for a job) even though I got my RN license after finishing my diploma program?
  6. by   SummitRN
    RNs who complete a RN-BSN program are not considered new grads.
  7. by   LobotRN
    What about RN refresher courses through a community college? That might help demonstrate that although you had a little hiatus, you are doing things to keep fresh. It's usually a class or two, and some have a mini clinical component.... Wouldn't cost as much either as pursuing the RN to BSN/MSN route....
  8. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from BA_anthropology
    Thanks for the responese!! Do you know, if I went back for a BSN would I be considered a new grad (and eligible for a job) even though I got my RN license after finishing my diploma program?
    Graduating from a RN-BSN or RN-MSN program doesn't make you a new grad again.

    New grads are determined either by experience or length of time since they were first licensed. Generally you're a new grad until you have a year of paid experience as a RN or have been licensed for a year.

    The good news for you is that even after December passes, you may still be considered a new grad for some positions because you will have less than a year's experience. On the other hand, some new grad positions won't consider you even without the experience, since you've been out for more than a year. It's double-edged once you pass the year-without-working-at-all mark :/

    Also, consider that the new grad job market is horrible period: most new grads take 6-12 months or longer to bag that first position, and that includes a lot of the cream-of-the-nursing-school-crop. All you can do is keep applying for anything and everything.

    I realize you're going to give birth soon, but have you thought of volunteering? It can give you something to put on the resume, become a chance to network and help make your name and face known.
  9. by   Alibaba
    If you were planning on getting a MSN anyways, I say go for it. The time will pass anyways and you may as well use the time to acquire a degree that you intend to get anyways.
    Going back to school and looking for a job are not mutually exclusive. You can continue to look for a job while attending school (until you start preceptorships).
    Congrats on your soon to be addition to the family.
  10. by   missnurse01
    If they had interviewed you and seen that you were pregnant then I can see an employer being skittish to hire you-because they know you are going to go on maternity leave before being finsihed with orientation. I would at least start your bsn, take a class or two each semester-it is easily doable with an infant (I have done it). Then you can show them that you are pursuing additional schooling, keeping fresh with info. Also see what reviews are in your area-often your local AACN will have a list of upcoming courses-things like reading 12 leads, interpreting and caring for MI's, heart failure, etc. All of this would look great to them that you have been doing things.

    keep your BLS up to date, do ACLS, and/or PALS.

    hope this helps spark some ideas!
  11. by   LaceyRN12
    Get your BSN degree. That's what all of these places want now. Don't think it's a waste of time. Still apply for jobs while getting your BSN.

    I was still considered a new grad after completing the RN-BSN program. I didn't have any experience either.
  12. by   FurBabyMom
    I am an RN that completed a BSN program for licensure. I have had more than one job in a year. It's a long story not my fault but not wholly appropriate for the Internet. It was my experience that hospitals tended to want the BSN grads if they could get them (if able to be choosey when hiring as they can be in this economy). It depends on where you live though, each region can be very different. Maybe look in your area to see if any of the hospitals have orientation programs just for new graduate (or inexperienced) RNs. It was also my experience that (at least the hospitals I was considering) considered new hires new grads until they had one year of experience working as an RN.

    Research places you might want to work, get to know a lot about them (that way if you get an interview you have already considered some options about what you might say as to why you'd work there or what attracted you). In general, be very well prepared for any interviews and go with notes if allowed . Update and proofread your resume several times, give cover letters an equal amount of attention (read them out loud and/or have someone else help proof them). First impressions matter a lot, especially in this job market. Contact old clinical instructors, reach out to them about job seeking, see if any old instructors/preceptors would be willing to be references for you (healthcare is a very small world).
  13. by   Scarlettz
    Use this time to do whatever you can to stand out. I just graduated from as associates program this past May 2012. I went straight into an RN-to-BSN program b/c most places around here want a BSN. I am still trying to apply to jobs - but I honestly I go back and forth between feeling hopeful and hopeless. What can I do anymore? I just do what I have to do at the moment- which is getting through this program. And what is worse is that everyone in my class has a nursing job now, so I just feel like the odd man out.

    I am going to start volunteering in a couple of weeks at a hospice. That is something you might want to consider. You can also try to obtain special skills and training, such as ACLS. Keep on applying and updating your resume. I have been on only one patient care tech interview (and I am a licensed nurse) and I stuck around and interviewed at a nursing home open house, even though the coordinator blatantly said that they just hired 5 new nurses and were looking for experienced only. I decided to pursue the interview, even though it was optional for me, just to get an idea of what sort of questions may be asked in future interviews. So, I would suggest attending open houses to get a feel for questions and practice mock interviews.

    Sometimes I feel like there is no rhyme and reason as to who they hire. It's either who you know or luck. I know a couple people who have no healthcare experience and got hired. While I feel happy for them (as it shows it can happen even with no healthcare experience), I desperately hope that I am bestowed some of that luck . Good luck- do whatever you can to sharpen your skills or show that you have been active in some way or another in the community.

    I am taking a big financial gamble here. I already have a previous bachelor's degree, my associates in nursing, and now I am in a year long RN-to-BSN program. I am worried sick that I still won't find a job. But, I just forged ahead and I hope for the best. You cannot tell what the future holds anymore.
    Last edit by Scarlettz on Nov 4, '12
  14. by   JSlovex2
    I disagree with the poster who says RNs who get a BSN aren't new grads. According to many hospitals (stated on their websites) any RN with less than 6 months professional experience is eligible for new grad residency programs.

    You will be a new grad RN BSN regardless of how long you've been an RN an been unemployed. Besides, if you're applying to jobs before you graduate with your BSN and right after then you will be, by definition, a new grad.