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.