If you are a new grad without health care experience then here is my story of encouragement. I graduated in May 2012; ADN with no healthcare experience. I took the NCLEX in Nov. and started applying in Oct. Like you it was a very long road to graduation, a full time mother, student, employee and wife. When I realized finding a job as a RN was not happening quick enough, I was deeply discouraged. Even allowed my myself to shed a few tears in private!
Application after application was rejected without an interview and even though rejection hurt.. persistence and humor would make up for it. I even had a good laugh when immediately upon applying online to a RN position "reject" popped up (now that is what you call fast!). I kept applying; making myself available for any shift on any unit. I sent out batches of resumes at one time and when no response came, I'd tweak my resume/cover letters, and would send out more. Each time I tweaked my resume I got at least one call. The three interviews I had were for positions I really didn't want but was willing to take for the sake of working.
Each interview where I didn't get the position only prepared me for the one I had been waiting for. So when the recruiter for that hospital called for an interview last month I was ready. In preparation I realized nursing isn't just about possessing the technical skill, its also about possessing the knowledge, ability and qualities. When writing a resume or interviewing for a position, think not only about the clinical skills you learned in nursing school but think about the knowledge,the ability, and the qualities you now possess that make you a great nurse. Think about what you did for your previous employers that could pertain to nursing such as critical thinking, leadership, responsibility & accountability, as well as communication. And then make them all known on your resume and in your interview, thats what I did differently for this interview.
I interviewed with the nurse manager and two staff members on a hospital SIU. I also met with 2 recruiters. and within minutes after leaving I was offered a RN position as a new grad. A great hospital; my first pick. A position I really really wanted versus one I was just willing to take. Each time you don't get that interview or you get the interview but not the job..think about what you can do differently, if anything. Be persistent... ....be confident.. be disappointed but don't give up applying. And if you have faith like I do ..PRAY.