"Experience Required" .... Soooo, HOW Do I Get Experience??

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    Seems like every specialty I have an interest in has jobs postings but require a year or more of experience in that specialty to apply. So I ask, HOW and WHERE can I get this experience in the first place?? Nurses have to start somewhere, how did they start? I have been in med/tele for almost 2 years (right out of nursing school) and I only started working on my unit just to get a job in a tight economy. It was a great job at first to learn the ropes, but now it leaves me with wanting more, especially a move towards critical care or emergency nursing. And I have also thought about a move into OR, NICU or PICU but that seems so far-fetched now having started out in adult med/tele, and I don't want to work in this specialty for the rest of my career. I have seen new grads enter OR, NICU and PICU but rarely see RNs experienced in other areas transition into them. I sometimes feel I shot myself in the foot starting out in med/tele, to the point that I don't want to even get certified in med surg later on when I am eligible for fear of being typecast forever in that specialty (I would prefer to be CCRN). Also, I would like to do some travel nursing later on and dont want to be limited to med/tele assignments.

    Any advice on how some of you lucked out and overcame this experience hurdle?

    Sent from my iPad using allnurses.com
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    At this website the consensus seems to be that if everything else fails you relocate to a quieter, less populated, more rural area because that's where the shortages are, esp. for BSNs. For me the formula was 50 miles from the western suburbs of Chicago. The further away you move, the greater the demand for nurses, esp. if you have a degree from a big city college.

    According to some research they've done, 2 years is the minimum you need to become competenet. You won't have expert knowledge, just enough knowledge to demonstrate you know what the hell you are doing. I think that's why recruiters are so fixated on this number.

    It's not normal to have a huge city so full of BSNs they're standing on every street corner begging for work. This is pathological and apparently exists only in the largest metropolitan areas. In most areas of the country, away from the massive population centers, nurses not only find work quickly, but they live well because pay is good compared to the cost of living.
    Last edit by Concerto_in_C on Feb 3
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    I would begin looking at different healthcare systems. There was a reason why I personally chose not to continue in an ER as I worked in one as a paramedic because I didn't want to set myself up as forever being an ER RN.
  6. 0
    Wow
    I was under the impression that once you get a year or two of med Surg experience you can transfer into any unit you want.
  7. 0
    Quote from obesity33
    Wow
    I was under the impression that once you get a year or two of med Surg experience you can transfer into any unit you want.
    Well, from job announcements that I have seen: the OR wants OR experience, the ER wants ER experience, Oncology wants Oncology experience, NICU wants NICU experience. SOME ERs are willing to take med-surg with 2 years experience, but I just dont see how someone with only med-surg experience can possibly break into OR or NICU when all the ads seem to want experience in that specialty.
  8. 0
    Quote from obesity33
    Wow
    I was under the impression that once you get a year or two of med Surg experience you can transfer into any unit you want.
    Back in the days when there was a shortage of nurses willing to work in the conditions of the time (not a shortage of actual nurses) that could have been possible. However, since the economy tanked, many nurses who weren't working or were only working part-time found themselves needing to return to full-time positions because spouses lost jobs/got laid off, etc. Current nurses also can't afford to retire early- the economic crash wiped out a lot of retirement accounts. The new reality is that those without experience, those without a BSN, are going to be looked upon less favorably by those doing the hiring in areas where applications far outnumber open positions. And those areas are continuing to grow as schools continue to pump out grads at a rate faster and higher than ever before.
  9. 0
    Quote from Sweet_Wild_Rose
    Back in the days when there was a shortage of nurses willing to work in the conditions of the time (not a shortage of actual nurses) that could have been possible. However, since the economy tanked, many nurses who weren't working or were only working part-time found themselves needing to return to full-time positions because spouses lost jobs/got laid off, etc. Current nurses also can't afford to retire early- the economic crash wiped out a lot of retirement accounts. The new reality is that those without experience, those without a BSN, are going to be looked upon less favorably by those doing the hiring in areas where applications far outnumber open positions. And those areas are continuing to grow as schools continue to pump out grads at a rate faster and higher than ever before.
    man

    Is there any job where this isn't the case?

    i am freaking out about being unemployed and/ or possibly being stuck somewhere miserable.
  10. 1
    Hi Obesity33,

    I'm speaking from the other side, where unemployment is my continual battle - and working at jobs that are not fulfilling is my reality. Being "possibly being stuck somewhere miserable" is the least of my worries.

    The economy is affecting everyone it is true, but I firmly believe that if you are determined to do what gives you a sense of significance that is the priority. Yes, you have to pay your bills and yes it would be great to be living/working in a place that you like.

    But ultimately I think what is most important is that you are good at what you do and have the degree to get placed somewhere - and anywhere will satisfy your need to be significant.
    babyboobooexpress likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from woodland123
    Hi Obesity33,

    I'm speaking from the other side, where unemployment is my continual battle - and working at jobs that are not fulfilling is my reality. Being "possibly being stuck somewhere miserable" is the least of my worries.

    The economy is affecting everyone it is true, but I firmly believe that if you are determined to do what gives you a sense of significance that is the priority. Yes, you have to pay your bills and yes it would be great to be living/working in a place that you like.

    But ultimately I think what is most important is that you are good at what you do and have the degree to get placed somewhere - and anywhere will satisfy your need to be significant.
    Wow!!!!

    This is is a wonderful response!!!!


    thank you!!!!!!!
    woodland123 likes this.
  12. 0
    Exactly Rosa Queen.


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