I graduated in May 2013, took the NCLEX at the end of August, found out I passed Sept 3rd, and became licensed a few days later.
As soon as my license number appeared on my BON I began vigorously applying to ANY job wanting an LPN; clinics, private offices, hospitals, LTC, acute care, rehab centers, substance abuse centers, etc. You name it, I applied! Although my dream position was the ICU/ER/Trauma/or Cardiology at Montefiore I would've taken anything, anywhere.
Having heard how hard it was for LPNs to land a job, especially for LPNs like myself without any prior medical experience, I was determined to beat the odds and NOT WAIT 5-6months to get a job in my field (not to mention I really needed to move from my current residence!). Anyway with no luck getting any callbacks from any of the 50+ places I'd applied to I decided to look into what it could be that wasn't getting me any callbacks.
I spoke with my nursing professor who sent me to the career counselor to review my résumé and cover letter. They were both very helpful and with some google searching and this website I rewrote an amazing cover letter and résumé that I was super confident would get me a call back from somewhere (dear baby Jesus ANYWHERE!). The cover letter and résumé pinpointed and highlighted my skills from clinicals and my extracurricular work which provided me with leadership skills as well. Really I worked my ass off on those two documents!!
Also while I was at work I always always questioned ANYONE in scrubs that came in about any openings at their workplace for LPNs and most were very glad to help me out, giving not only the name but the number, address, and sometimes the best time/person to call. THIS ladies and gents is what actually got me an interview! My FIRST nursing interview!! (Holy Fack I was so excited!).
It was actually an HHA who gave me the number to her agency and told me to call, which I did that following Monday (person I needed to speak to wasn't there on weekends). I got who I needed on the phone and although he kept repeating 'We don't usually hire people without experience,' the last thing he said after telling me to come in the next day was 'we don't usually hire without experience SO DON'T mess this up.' AS IF I would!
So I went there, was interviewed by him for a home nurse position of a 4yr old boy with a trach overnight 7:30p-7:30a two days a week. Then I was interviewed by the RN who didn't really ask me any questions pertaining to the case but instead gave me some career advice and talked about other stuff. She gave me some details on the child and said 'I don't usually hire nurses without experience but I'm going to do it.'
And like that I had a job. I met the family yesterday and the child is adorable. The nurse who trained me (so to speak) was super nice and gave me her number in case I had any questions while I was there. She also gave me the opportunity to have 4 days a week which I might take her up on after I get used to being there.
I'm so excited. Plus it's $25/hr. Can u say 'Moving Day'? I'm still going to call back the last few places I applied to prior to getting this job, 2 is better than one!
So to my fellow new grads just keep trying. Maybe tweak your résumé and cover letter a bit. Ask anyone in scrubs and see how helpful they are at pointing you in the right direction for a job!