Useless degree! At what point do you quit trying?

  1. 3
    I have my BSN, passed my NCLEX and haven't found a job in 2 years.
    Not through lack of effort mind you, but i live in Philadelphia, where the job market is basically nil for new grads. I applied to absolutely everywhere including Nurse Residency programs, and i get rejected all the time.
    There is absolutely no way i can move my family to another part of the country.

    I would like to have a career in nursing, but at this point, that dream seems all but impossible.
    I have to do my education credits and renew my license, but there is a part of me that is legitimately wondering, why bother.

    Someone said to me the other day, "a masters degree is the new BSN."
    I told them that to spend another dime on a useless degree was completely out of the question.
    Is a masters degree really an option is one still has no real experience other then clinicals?

    So at what point do you give up and move on to other things?
    I would think that the more time i spend out of school without a nursing job, the more i become unemployable, the longer i will go without a nursing job, till there is no chance for any opportunities.
    I really hate being negative, but after 2 years, i am tired.
    Tired of all the lies i heard in school, tired of never being given an opportunity, tired of spending money, and tired of wasting my time.

    Has anyone else ever gotten a job after a few years of being shot down?
    Has anyone else abandoned nursing altogether because of the job market?
    Is Grad school the only option?
    kalevra, CNA1991, and lindarn like this.
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  3. 69 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Post moved to General Nursing for better response.
  5. 14
    You don't give up. It's a new year and a new business quarter with (hopefully) a better outlook.

    I have been looking for about 15 months and just got hired last week. Now, I've got 12 years ICU experience, but it's been hell for me as well. I was driving an hour, one way, for interviews and ready to expand that out to an hour and a half plus expand into the next state, but out of the blue my luck has changed. Eventually, it will for you as well. It will still be over a month until my first paycheck, so it's still PB&J for breakfast, Mac 'n Cheese for supper, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Quitters never win and winners never quit!

    Last edit by Biffbradford on Jan 26, '12
    DFWgal, DarkBluePhoenix, CNA1991, and 11 others like this.
  6. 5
    I can feel your frustration through your post and I can see your tired. You have probably heard all of this and tried it all before but give it another go. Have somoene review your resume and rewrite or revise it. Most applications are online these days in my area, so have an eresume ready, too. I am wondering why in 2 years you could not at least get something even if it is less desirable.

    What have you done in the last 2 years to get hired? Have any of your classmates gotten hired? Have you tried networking with them or your faculty from nursing school? Did you try all the places you did your clinicals? Did you work as a tech or anywhere in healthcare while in school? Any healthcare background?

    have you tried:
    Dialysis
    the American Red Cross
    Private Duty
    home health
    Adult day care centers
    mental health/ psych
    public health - try your state website and apply
    night positions

    Apply for all positions that do not specify "no new grad" all of them. Cast a wide net. Be prepared to commute up to an hour each way. I commutes an hour and a half each way and it sucked, but it got me in the door and got me a chance.
    GrnTea, CNA1991, beeker, and 2 others like this.
  7. 3
    Never heard of dialysis, private duty, or public health for that matter hiring new grads.

    In my area, dialysis requires 2+ years medsurg or preferably ICU experience. Public health would like ER experience, and private duty means you are gonna handle and are solely responsible for a medically fragile individual - your experience will be questioned at length if not the agency, by the family. The red cross often wants people who are ER or disaster trained ( I used to have an interest and occasionally looked at their website and found absolutely nothing that wasn't of a field experienced type position).

    To make you feel better OP, I am in the Chicago area and I've met many who've never worked as RNs and are at the 2 year mark. Many, many more who have had crappy first jobs and are always on the prowl for something better - some at the breaking point of wanting out of nursing altogether due to this. I'll say I've interviewed and worked for some nutjobs, myself and probably will not renew my compact license. If something better came along I would not renew my home state license.

    I suggest you look into peripheral jobs. I don't know if you have another degree or not, but try and push that for interviewing instead of nursing because a nursing degree, as you have found out, is worth very little. Hospitals are sort of on the outs for nurses for many reasons, so look into what edu and skills you have and just add the nursing as a sideline when you interview.
    Last edit by netglow on Jan 26, '12
    elprup, LaughingRN, and lindarn like this.
  8. 1
    There was a story here of someone who got a job after a very long time trying, but that person had to relocate as I recall.
    CNA1991 likes this.
  9. 8
    You can't relocate your family or you don't want to? there is a difference. Also why not relocate yourself if needed to find a job/ I remember way back when, I had to do that to get a job. Millions of Americans also do that to this day to find a job. It all depends on what you are willing to do to get a job. There are many places that are hiring new grads to this day. You just have to be willing to locate to those places.
    GrnTea, CNA1991, not.done.yet, and 5 others like this.
  10. 5
    Netglow-your information is not correct. Maybe it is in your area not in mine. Many of the job descriptions say they would like that type of experience or "preferred" but if you don't try you will never get anywhere. Unless is says "NO NEW GRADS" apply apply apply. You are limiting yourself by skipping all these postings. Sure dialysis would like a year or two of icu experience, but guess what? They do not require it.

    I worked in dialysis with less than 6 months hospital experience. I met several new grads while in training class. FMC hires plenty of em. They have excellent training (3 months) and it was a very good learning experience.

    I was offered a public health job as a new grad but turned it down d/t extremely low pay. (17.33 an hour which for an RN is pretty bad here most new grads get 23ish) If it were my only option I'd have taken it. A lot of new grads get PH jobs here because experienced nurses are not willing to take the crappy pay.

    The American Red Cross does blood banking and some of my classmates who were unable to land jobs took jobs at the ARC, private duty, and home health. A lot of them ended up in Psych facilities or geri psych.

    I am from an area where new grad jobs are hard to come by and had to mvoe to a new place where I knew no one and had ZERO connections with only 6 months experience. So I have been through the whole "bad market for new grads" TWICE. There are a couple of my classmates from a class of 70 who have yet to land their first RN job and it has been over 2 years. However, those were the picky ones, not willing to commute, didnt want to work at nursing homes or in psych etc etc, refused to do nights blahdy blah blah. You start at the bottom and you gotta work your way up. you do not get the best preffered schedule or job as a newbie.

    You gotta go out and get it! No one is going to hand it to you. Get creative and cast a wide net. There is something out there but you have to dig to find it.
    MMaeLPN, CNA1991, slave_diverRN, and 2 others like this.
  11. 8
    Well sure some places will let a new grad do just about anything, and we do see the fall out here on allnurses. I guess, I am talking about legit companies, as a Chicago girl understands what's legit and what's not. Do you want to keep your license or don't ya. I also only look at things realistically. I would also admonish that a start in some of these areas will not lead to anything but something else in the same area. Nursing is like that. Not that many get to move around freely anymore. I think that the OP is pondering very wisely on things, IMHO.

    I don't believe that the OP is not trying his best. I also think that the "go" to the rural areas and they will welcome you with a parade is a bit off, LOL. Kind of an old wives tale.
    elprup, luvmy3grls, DarkBluePhoenix, and 5 others like this.
  12. 12
    Sometimes you have to take what you can get until you can get what you want.
    itsmejuli, CNA1991, hiddencatRN, and 9 others like this.


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