Houston New Grads Beware of St. Luke's

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    i begin my story by explaining that when i was contacted by st. luke’s to interview for their fall 2012 gn residency program, i was thrilled! i graduated in december 2011 with my bsn, i quickly scheduled my nclex exam, and passed with flying colors. i did originally want to work in nicu, l&d, or pediatrics. however, i do know that those jobs are extremely difficult for a new grad to get into. so, i always knew i may have to work med/surg for a year to aquire some expereince first.

    after trying to find something in nicu, l&d, or pedi, and not having much luck i decided to apply to st. luke’s fall 2012 gn med/surg residency program. i figured, while it may not be my dream job, it would be a wonderful starting point.
    i was contacted by a recruiter within one week of submitting my application, at which time she set up an interview for the following week. i was very excited to be given the opportunity to interview for a position, considering i had been searching for 7 months with no real leads or jobs to show for my persistence and hard work (i had been calling and visiting hr departments quite frequently since graduation). i spent several days prepping for my interview, and polishing up my portfolio. i collected 3 letters of recommendations from former professors who all said they were pulling for me.

    on the day of the interview, i arrived early, and good thing too. they had me fill out some paperwork, and had me complete a psych assessment on the computer before i was taken back for my interview. once in the office of the hr rep, she asked me why i wanted to work for st luke’s. i began to explain why i wanted to work for their institution. i could tell the hr rep didn’t seem too interested in what i had to say, and she interrupted me within the first minute of my explanation. she then asked me when i graduated. i kindly informed her, december 2011. however, she should have known that info from my resume and cover letter that i had submitted. after all, it is the first line on my resume. she informed me that the gn residency was only open to april/may/august graduates, and wondered why i even bothered to apply? i informed her that i did see that on the job listing, but never thought it would be limited to a certain class of graduates. she told me that is in fact how st. luke’s operates. she told me that they had already given the december 2011 graduates two opportunities to apply and interview for the position that began in june.

    i apologized for not understanding the process a bit better, but urged her to still consider me for the residency program seeing as how i did graduate from a bsn program, and already hold my rn license. she refused to interview me, and kept informing me that i had missed my opportunity to work as a gn with their hospital. i couldn’t believe my ears! a completely qualified rn was sitting right in front of her for a position that was open, and i was being denied because i graduated 6 months earlier than the newest new grads? i was very upset, but knew i had to remain calm and professional at all costs. i asked why this rule even existed when the demand for nurses is so high, especially in med/surg. she informed me that they do not open up their gn residency program to any and all graduates because according to her, “they don’t want to hire someone who has been sitting around for a year or more doing nothing.” this upset me even more! i couldn’t believe the ignorance of this woman! i know many nurses who have worked very hard to find employment after graduation, but have yet to find anything. how dare she say that those who don’t have a job lined up immediately after graduation are sitting around doing nothing! i have been diligently searching and spending hours trying to improve my resume through earning additional certifications, volunteering, and attending professional organizational meetings to make connections. i was very insulted by her ignorance, even much more when she looked at me and said, “i can interview you for any rn position in this hospital once you have 6 months of professional nursing experience.” i with all the pride i could muster said, “that is why i am sitting in front of you today, to earn a position at your hospital to gain that much needed experience.” she then began to tell me about the gn program, but i stopped her because there was no real point in telling me about it if i had, “missed my opportunity”.

    at that point, i ended the interview, and walked out of there with my head held high. i didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me upset. as soon as i was back in the safety of my car, i cried harder than i ever had in my entire life. i am very upset by what happened. they should have never allowed me to get that far into the interview process without checking when i had graduated! a simple phone call would have been nice instead of making me sit in front of them and deny me the opportunity to interview for a position. if this is how hospitals are treating new grads, then the healthcare industry is in much worse shape than i even feared! i wanted to warn new grad nurses of this possibility happening to them if they are to interview with st. luke's. the hr rep did say this was not the first time for this to happen, and she may want to make the job posting a bit more clear to prevent confusion in the future. i know for me anyways, st. luke’s will never have me as an employee of theirs regardless of my experience level. i will take my passion and talent elsewhere.
    Last edit by applejacks36 on Jul 16, '12
    ferrerjen and Plover1 like this.

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  2. 33 Comments...

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    oh my God I am so sorry to hear that! I interviewed with them today for the same program. Although I am a May 2012 graduate, I still saw the lady as very rude. She also interrupted me on many occasions during my answers and gave me the impression that she was ready for the interview to be over with before it even began! I also had to maintain my composure throughout the interview, but I left feeling like "what just happened?". I really hope you don't let this discourage you though! you will eventually find a position that's right for you.
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    Thanks modernhippie!

    Congrats on becoming a recent graduate! That is an accomplishment all on its own, and you should be very proud of yourself! I wish you all the best of luck with your job search, and do hope it doesn't take you too long to find a spot that fits you.

    I am sorry to hear that she was rude with you as well. I don't understand why so many interviewers seem to be on such a power trip, it's not just St. Luke's. My husband wants me to contact the head of HR to let them know how I was treated, and what a bad impression it made for their hospital. I agree with him, but don't feel they will actually listen or even care.

    I've been speaking to my friends who graduated with me, and discovered that the few who applied and interviewed with St. Luke's were treated in a very similar manner. They also had their interviews cut short or didn't even get to interview. Keep in mind they were interviewing during what would have been that "window of opportunity" she kept telling me that I missed. Instead of being told that they missed their opportuntiy, they were told that they didn't have enough experience to even apply for the GN Residency. I'm still trying to figure that one out since a new grad residency program is specificlly designed for the recent RN grad that has NO experience. So, my nursing school friends and I are wondering if they are intentionally turning away applicants from my BSN program. I sure hope that's not the case, because that would mean that they are not an equal opportunity employer, and I do belive that is illegal.

    Like I said, St. Luke's will not be the hospital for me. I will never apply for another position at their facility. I was shocked at the level of unprofessionalism their hospital has shown me and other graduates from my university. Sad too, because I believe St. Luke's missed out on a great opportunity to hire some exceptionally talented, passionate, caring, and goal oriented nurses.
    Last edit by applejacks36 on Jul 16, '12
    scrubb14 and ferrerjen like this.
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    Hey I had the exact mindset as you. I hadn't been able to find anything until very recently, so I applied to the Fall Residency Program. Well within maybe an hour I got an email back saying I was rejected. I thought that sucked! But I think it's just wrong for them to put you through the interview process if they aren't even going to consider you. smh.
    elprup and applejacks36 like this.
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    I went through that as well, but on the phone and not in person. It is ridiculous. I graduated with a BSN in May 2011 and still am without a nursing job. It is VERY hard to get in most places. I have had interviews (7 or 8), but with 35+ interviewees and 3-5 spots......the odds are never good. I have an interview tomorrow with MD Anderson tomorrow......thank goodness! Good luck to you.

    Check out the HCA hospitals.....you might have better luck.

    Best wishes.
    citylights89 and applejacks36 like this.
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    well, she has a job so your problem was not real to her. You are right. Very insensitive.
    applejacks36 likes this.
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    I agree with classicdame, it is insensitive. Especially becuase the lady who interviewed me was not only a recruiter, but an RN as well who used to work as a staff nurse, meaning she was once a new grad BSN with no experience once upon a time. I vow to never forget what I went through to get here, and to not treat people like dirt who are in the same position I was once in, but instead to help them.
    Genu9ine and applejacks36 like this.
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    Well, it sucks but you could always do home health and get experience there then transfer out. Sorry the lady in HR was an idiot.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 18, '12 : Reason: TOS/profanity
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    Actually this is very common. You are becoming what is referred to as an "old new grad" and many places, not just St. Lukes, will not consider someone who is that far out from graduation. It is a pretty harsh way for them to look at it, but people who have been graduated for a long time without working are losing skills and knowledge (at least to their minds). However, you aren't even a year out yet, so it seems pretty extreme. Most places will consider those who are still within a year of graduation.

    But do know this is not at all unusual and St. Lukes is not the only hospital doing this. There are many posts about it on this board from others who have fallen into that gap and it has made the news a time or two. It is turning into a lost generation of nurses - people who earned the degree but were unable to find work and are blacklisted due to an extreme lack of experience combined with too much distance from their clinical rotations timewise. Heck, it is happening in non-nursing professions as well. Many places that are hiring put on their ads that people who are currently unemployed need not apply. It is bizarre.

    One thing stands out to me in your post. You mentioned to the recruiter that there is a nursing shortage. There isn't. Not even close and the recruiter knows that, hence their hiring practices. It is an employers market right now. Even experienced nurses are having trouble finding positions in many parts of the country. There is no nursing shortage. The shortage is a myth perpetuated by the media for so long they no longer bother to check the facts of whether it is true.
    _nursemarjorie, TheCommuter, elprup, and 1 other like this.
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    Wow! That sounds like a horrible ordeal! I'm very sorry to hear what you went through, but I am glad you shared your experience with us. It was very insightful. It must have meant it wasn't meant to be and there is something out there for you way better. Keep your head up
    applejacks36 likes this.

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