I wanted to share my story for those who might be discouraged with finding a job, trying to get into their desired area, or watching everyone around them get a job but them.
I went to nursing school planning to go into labor and delivery, and potentially to become a CNM. I graduated nursing school May 2014 with an offer to work in postpartum, which, at the local hospital, is THE way into L&D. The manager had lined up my preceptorship, and offered me a position partway through. However, upon getting licensed, the hospital refused to hire new grads due to the BRN delay that happened in Dec 2013 in CA, and the manager's hands were tied. I was DEVASTATED. I also hadn't researched new grad programs, because I already had an offer on the table, and I was floor-ready. So I was at square one. I applied everywhere I possibly could, and found a couple of random jobs on Craigslist. One doing health fairs, and one doing home infusions (I am a former Navy corpsman, so I have a lot of IV experience already).
I kept applying like a mad woman for anything that didn't make me gag while craping by on what I made from those jobs. I bit the bullet and applied for SNF jobs, one of which I quickly landed, but after a couple of months, I hit my limit and left. A couple of months later, I started working at a local free-standing birth center, but the pay was low, and the work sporadic at best. I was barely making ends meet with the three jobs (still doing health fairs and infusions, and my infusion client base was building).
Then I interviewed for a urology clinic and an oncology infusion center, and was offered both positions! I chose the uro job, because it paid better, had better hours, and was closer to home. I was finally down to one job, and was working full time, but really NOT even close to what I really wanted to be doing, ultimately. I had occasionally been in touch with the manager in postpartum, sending her updated resumes and just checking in. I also ran into her, because my clinic was professionally attached to the hospital, which was next door, and I would go over to have lunch on occasion. I kept random feelers out for ER and L&D positions, not really expecting anything to happen. A few months into my uro job, I interviewed for L&D at the hospital next door, but the manager said I didn't have enough experience. She said she'd love to bring me on when I have experience. Of course.
A few months after that, I got a call and interviewed for an ED position about an hour from home. I was offered that position, but something about it didn't quite sit well with me, so I declined it. The same day, a position posted in the postpartum unit where I had precepted, and I applied and e-mailed the manager, who quickly responded. We had some dialog, but she was dealing with some more red tape at the hospital. I then received a call for an L&D position an hour away, interviewed, and was offered that position (4 PMs/week), which I accepted. Of course, I then received an email from the manager in postpartum offering me per diem nights, and saying she was trying to get a more permanent position. I didn't respond after so much silence.
I started the L&D position last month, and I am absolutely in heaven! The people on the unit are wonderful, and I love what I do every day. I still have to pinch myself that I am actually doing this!!
In a twist of irony, I was in EMR training with the woman who accepted the position in postpartum (as it's the same hospital system). She was in email contact with the manager, and told her she was in training with me.
Early into my job search
, I saw classmates getting into new grad programs, often moving away from home, a luxury I didn't have with a husband and a son. Many were paying to be in new grad programs with hopes of landing positions, again, a luxury I didn't have as the sole breadwinner. It was very defeating to see them getting positions, but to keep hearing I needed experience. I have other healthcare experience, and it seemed to work both for and against me. I was too experienced to be a new grad, but not enough to take a position for experienced nurses. Thankfully, this position is meant for nurses who have been working in other specialties, and we are attending classes with a new grad program that people pay to attend, but we get paid to be there. So I am getting the training I need to succeed, but I am also a Staff Nurse II.
Stay strong, be persistent, have people review your resume, and talk to people about what is or isn't working. In my case, I was interviewing well in general, but I believe my experience held me back. I had a ton of interviews (so my resume was OK), but I think I came off sounding a bit like a know-it-all when speaking to my experience and not acknowledging out loud that I am eager to learn and I know I have a lot to learn. As soon as I started saying that out loud at interviews, I was offered every position I interviewed for. Sometimes it's just finding that one thing that's holding you back. I posted a thread on here trying to suss it out, and it was through that that I discovered that was probably it. Get feedback from your peers, because it can be really helpful.
Good luck venturing forth!!