New RN, graduated 2 years ago.

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    As my title states, I am a newly licensed RN (end of last year) but I graduated with my BSN two years ago. I acknowledge the fact that I will have an extra hard time getting hired as I am no longer considered a new grad and will not qualify for the new grad programs or residency programs. I have no experience. I had my CNA license six years ago but I never worked as one and it is now expired. I also volunteered at the local hospital for a few months, but this was before I started nursing school.

    What advice/suggestions do any of you have for someone in my position? I would like to start at a hospital and get some experience on a med/surg unit, but I have seen many openings require experienced RNs. Should I take classes and get certified (ACLS, PALS, etc.)? Take any job that is willing to hire me? Volunteer? What can I do to better my chances of getting hired?

    Any and all help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I just feel overwhelmed and lost and I have no idea where I should begin. Thank you.

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  2. 12 Comments...

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    I volunteered at a hospital that I wanted to work at. I think that really helped. It is easier to get a job when people know your face. I would also suggest taking ACLS or a tele course if you can find it. That is what I had to do. I feel your pain.
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    Don't get so down! I was also in the same situation. I was out of school for a year and half before I secured my nursing license. I obtained my license at the end of January and started looking for jobs mid February. I was recently offered my first nursing position at my top choice facility!

    My advice would be to get as much face to face time with people as you possibly can. My resume caught a few nibbles.. a telephone interview here or there.. The usual clinics contacting new grad (or newly licensed) nurses.. But not much more than that.

    The facility I was interested in hosted open house interviews every so often. They would often email me the night before. I would drop any and all plans I had for the day and go. After doing this twice, I was able to impress someone with my brains and personality in person. I did explain why there was a gap in my nursing history, which helped. And if you have an associates, like I do, I would express an interest in going back for a BSN. (This is what really landed me my job.)

    Also, google career fair for nurses and the area you will be in. I did this and it was tricky to find, but I finally found one. If anything, it taught me what facilities I did and did not want to work for. Some of them treated me horribly upon hearing I was a "new grad." Others were very welcoming!

    I would still apply to new grad positions. Technically, you're still new. It couldn't hurt. And when I was looking, plenty of people told me to post for positions that require experience. You never know!!

    Last but not least, don't be picky! Apply EVERYWHERE! And if one of those clinics calls you for a job? Take it! Get whatever experience you can. Best of luck and keep us posted!!
    j.katerina likes this.
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    You should try volunteering to gain more experience. & apply this to ur resume
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    Thank you

    I have been considering on taking an ACLS course. What should I review prior to taking it? I've found online that some suggest EKG rhythyms, physiology of the cardiovascular system, electrical conductivity of the heart, and pharmacology (which ones do you suggest?)
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    I would love to get into the new grad programs, they sound awesome. I've found a few in San Diego that are a year long and takes you to 3-4 units. That would be great experience, however, it states that applicants should have graduated no more than 18 months ago, or at least by the time they start the program. I'm past that

    But I will remember your advice, thank you!
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    Just want to hopefully bring this post to the top of the list by adding that I too graduated two years ago (May 2011) and just acquired my license this past November 2012 and it is now July and over two years since I graduated and still nothing. I have had one interview and before that was just a fluke since they called me only to tell me that they JUST realized that I was not qualified after reviewing my resume before I arrived to the interview. I am not gonna weep over it and I am trying my best in getting some courses but it requires me to work on my part time job even more to get the money for these courses.

    Another plan that I'm thinking of doing is physically going to these places and handing them my resume and hopefully sell whatever I have left which is basically my lack of experience but willingness to learn and commit to the unit. And possibly volunteer on LTC facilities..while trying to pay my bills with my current part time job, while applying for jobs and hopefully to also get into these certificate courses. (I honestly will break down like there's no tomorrow if Christmas comes and I'm still not employed)
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    ACLS is easy! They teach you everything you need to know to pass the written exam and megacode practical during 2-day classes! You will be given the ACLS book and a pre-test before class so you can start reviewing necessary information. I did not review anything before class other than the book itself and some basic EKG rhythms just to pass the pre-test. (you can take pre-test online as many time you want until you pass) Once you go to the classes, you will just know what will be on the exam because those same information will be repeated so many times by the instructors. GOOD LUCK!!!

    OH and I definitely recommend you to volunteer at a hospital where you want to work or anywhere!!! I did volunteer in ER during nursing school and it DEFINITELY help me to get my dream nursing job in ER as a new grad along with having ACLS certification!!!!!! It worked! BEST WISHES TO YOU!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!
    Last edit by HelenRN88 on Jul 21, '13
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    Thank you for the tip =). It was hard trying to do my ACLS I guess because the moment I got in the class they went from a 2 hour basic knowledge of the acls routine then went to a mega code practise and I was the only RN out of 18 ppl the rest were MD or Res... Which made it even more intimidating. They were finding different diagnosis and here I am jus overwhelmed with the information. My Ekg reading is not the most amazing it was different from seeing it on paper and clearly rather than the real machine and while everything else was happening.

    One doctor in there didn't even want to lead it he was also a bit taken back.
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    I'm not gonna 'whine' and make excuses because I honestly think I'm not strong at certain things at this time and am just ill prepared. But them teaching me EVERYTHING before going there's not true. We're definitely required to learn 80% of it all before entering the course because the first day you come in you definitely have to know it and it's just there to 'refresh' on some area and the next days the full testing.

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