New Grad, Can't Get Hired?

  1. Hello!

    I am a RN-BSN graduate from an accredited school of nursing class of 2016. I moved across the country upon graduation and got licensed in my new state in February 2017 (It took a while due to multiple long issues with the BON).

    I graduated with honors and have 1,200 clinical hours and a 300 hour capstone. I have multiple letters of reference, a nice resume, and a nice cover letter. I've had old professors and preceptors look over all of my resumes/papers, and they say everything looks great. I also feel like I do well in social situations, ace all of my interviews (according to the people who interview me?) and generally people take a liking to me.

    I have applied to most places within an hour of me, every position, every availability, everything I can find. I'm applying for about ~30 positions a day, and about 50% automatically tell me no. I also always check to see when new positions have opened that I can apply to. I get called in for interviews for a few positions...but not many. Interviews seem to go well, they act very pleased with me and interested in me, tell me they can't wait to see me next, then I get letters that another candidate was hired. Its been four months so far and none of my interviews have come to fruition. I am worried I will have to apply for a license in another state and start searching for jobs elsewhere.

    One thing I keep getting is "We're looking for someone with more experience", but my last interview said they preferred New grads. I did two interviews (nurse manager and peer), and shadowed with them. The way they were speaking to me it sounded like they had already decided to hire me. They told me to look for a call from them the following week. Instead I received a letter stating "another application has been chosen...".

    Is there anything I can do? Anything I am doing wrong? I feel I am getting so discouraged and stressed. I spend hours prepping for every interview, and the interviews keep going so well but then I don't get hired. I am so excited to start working, even anywhere, I don't care at this point, but every day I check my application statuses and see "another candidate has been chosen".
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Did you move to New York or California? Judging from your BON issues, I'm guessing California?
  4. by   NurseCard
    Yes, I was about to say before my computer cut me off ... you likely
    live in an area where jobs for new grads just are very difficult to come
    by. It may seem like there are tons of jobs, but there are also tons more
    candidates... or companies are hiring from within.... or, they are advertising
    and having to interview for jobs that they may not really have any
    intention of filling.

    Also, what specialty are you trying to get into? Please don't say NICU.
  5. by   Justineqt
    Hi! I moved to NJ! One of the Nurse Managers I interviewed with said the NJ BON is notorious for taking MONTHS to process applications (Even though I was calling them every 2 weeks).
  6. by   Justineqt
    Hello! yes I also feel like there aren't any jobs for new grads here, it's been such a struggle. Originally I was trying to get into Med/Surg, ER, Tele, Step Down, or anything like that. However now I'm just trying to get into ANYTHING. The position that I had multiple interviews and shadowed for was for the ER. The Nurse Manager wrote me an e-mail saying she was glad I enjoyed my shadow experience and couldn't wait to see me soon! I also hit it off well with all of the staff and assistant managers as well, and I was 90% sure I was "hired", then got the dreaded letter saying someone else had been chosen, RIP! My Capstone was also MedSurg Tele and those are where most of my references are from. I was close with the Nurse Director on that unit and frequently got complimented by the staff!
  7. by   NurseCard
    Welllllll, have you tried the nursing homes? Psych facilities? May have to
    get your first experience somewhere other than a hospital. Good luck,
    I hope you find something soon.
  8. by   Justineqt
    I have not YET tried nursing homes, but now that I am running out of options, I'm definitely considering it. That is what most people have suggested to me so far, since none of the hospitals are biting for me. Another suggestion I've received is to apply for licensure in Philadelphia, PA, since there are apparently a lot more new grad jobs there?
  9. by   kaylee.
    You have only been at it for 4 months as a new grad. This is quite normal for new grads these days and can take longer. Keep applying to positions you actually could see yourself at, and hold off on settling for a job in a setting that you know you don't want to be in. Seriously, a new grad program is worth the wait!

    Also, it seems that you are applying to positions requiring experience as well as new grad positions. These will almost always be automatically declined based on not meeting the baseline criteria. Focus on jobs you are qualified for.

    But you are doing the right thing being on top of the job search. I remember for me I practically lived on the internet, and it payed off, because the new grad program I was hired into had the application open for only an hour, and I got a call for a prelim interview within an hour of submitting. So for me, the timing was a big factor, and the fact that I was searching often, not just once a day. Because hospitals do sometimes post the new grad app for a short time to limit and select among less candidates, as they know there are 1,000s of equally qualified candidates.

    So just keep plugging away, focus on new grad programs, and remember 4 months is not very long for new grad rn jobs, expect the search to take some time. u can consider going into panic mode at 7 months j/k

    Good Luck!
  10. by   NurseCard
    Oh absolutely, I agree keep plugging along and looking as long as you are
    able to. Just saying that I've known of people who have had to go ahead and
    take a less desirable job in order to, you know, get that nursing income that
    may be needed.

    Also, consider that there are other areas of the country that are in more of
    a need of nurses, old and new. I realize you just moved to NJ and I'm sure
    for a reason, but...
  11. by   Isakolistic
    Start applying to some SNFs that have rehab wings. Or, literally anything. Sitting on your butt filling out applications isn't making your resume look any better. Might as well get a "less desirable" job while you are continually looking and applying, then you can at least say "I have this many months experience as an RN".
  12. by   Workitinurfava
    Try nursing homes and in no time you should be hired. I started out in one and now with my bachelors and experience, I could apply for a job now and within two weeks get a call.
  13. by   meanmaryjean
    Look outside the hospital.
  14. by   Swellz
    Philadelphia has a lot of nursing schools and consequently a lot of their own new grads, plus everyone coming to work from South Jersey and Delaware. I would look in surrounding areas rather than in Philadelphia specifically.

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