New Grad RN position - Success! How I did it and with who (if anyone cares lol)

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    Hi everyone!
    First, let me apologize if there is a thread this should be attached to, and moderators feel free to move it as needed of course.

    I'm a new grad RN from Ohio and I just moved to Madison with my fiance who accepted a position with Epic. I had been searching for a job for a month after my license came through and was fearful of the dismal state of things in Madison for new grads. It seems to be a brick wall for new grads unless you get into the UWH Nurse Residency.

    I expanded my search for jobs and I have found quite a few openings that do not specify a need for prior experience with Mercy Health Systems in Janesville. They are expanding their Walworth and Janesville locations and seem to have enough of a need for nurses to include new RN's. As of tomorrow, I will have interviewed with four different departments and I received an offer from my first unit today for a full time position.

    I do not discuss wages normally, but HR at Mercy was very upfront with their salary calculator, so I thought I would share that they start at 24.75/hr and it scales with experience. When I started my job search, I wanted to know my competition's qualifications and what wage I should ask for - I've been candid with the wage and I will also share my qualifications. 1.5 years experience as a cardiovascular stepdown nurse tech with the Cleveland Clinic, 3.15 GPA, I was a class officer, and my clinical experience was widely varied.

    I won't call these "tips" as I feel very fortunate to have found a position and don't have a leg to stand on for telling other people what they should do to prepare, but I will share what I did. I took several hours to make a resume that stressed my tech experience and clinical experience. At the bottom was the fluff (honors/references upon request). My resume does not give career objectives, it is 1 page, and very concise. I gave cover letters to every single position I have applied for. I spent at least 12 hours preparing for the first couple interviews and I sent thank you letters to every single person I interviewed with (usually I interviewed with at least 2 people). In my interviews, I was asked very normal questions in any interview, not even an oddball question - I was hit with probably 1/20 of what I was prepared to answer and nobody asked *anything* about nursing skills, pathophysiology, medications, etc.

    I took the time to write this because I felt a sincere need to give back to this community - I used many of the forums on this website to prepare for my interviews. I also didn't see anybody posting about the opportunities with Mercy. Also, I really want to mention that for one of the positions I interviewed for, the RN Lead shared that 70 people had applied and she chose only 4-5 to interview. So if you don't get a bite, don't sweat it too much!

    I sincerely hope this helps someone and that nothing I said came across in a condescending way - I am someone who feels starved for raw information when I need an answer, so I am simply trying to put as much information as I can.
    jtmarcy12, jaclibra, and mcmgal like this.
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Congratulations. Aurora also seems to be one in the area who has been hiring new grads.
    Isn't that a bit of a commute for you though? I also am surprised that they start at that rate. I interviewed there and could have swore it was in the $22 range.
  5. 0
    Thank you! It is a 1 hour commute and I can only share what I was told regarding the wage. I am new to Wisconsin, but I believe Aurora is in Milwaukee which is 1hr45min commute from where I live in Madison.
  6. 0
    What other Depts did you interview with? DId you get the dept you wanted?
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    I am somewhat fearful of sharing which departments I have interviewed with because I would like to retain some degree of anonymity until I have made a decision on which offer to accept. I also somewhat regret sharing the wage because I'm concerned that my future employer would find my action unprofessional, but apparently I can't edit posts without paying $30 for membership...
  8. 0
    I wouldn't worry too much about it. I don't think that it's unprofessional to post wage. I am just surprised at the amt. I have interviewed there also and i don't remember it being more than 22/hr. Btw, there is Aurora in Waukesha, Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha Counties as well.
  9. 0
    Okay, I made my decision! I interviewed for PACU, Endoscopy, Medical-surgical, and OR - I had not yet heard back from PACU or Endo, but Medical and OR were my top 2 and both extended full-time day shift positions. I decided on the OR position because both sounded equally valuable to my professional goals, but I love excitement and fast-paced work and the OR seems to be notoriously difficult to get into. I am honestly flattered to receive good offers right out of school in the current economy and I would just like to thank this community again for all of the information you have provided!
  10. 0
    OR does sound exciting! Sounds like you made a good choice!
  11. 0
    Good luck! mercy has a good repuation for hiring new grads i think that has been consistant and with smh of janesville opening i think the madison market has opened up a bit. ( at least temporairly) Congrats!
  12. 0
    Let us know how many weeks of orientation they give you!


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