Advice please! New grad RN with no work exp and 1 year gap!

Updated:   Published

Hey everyone! I would love and appreciate some insight. I just want to know if it's even possible for me to find an RN job in California. Will employers hire me when I have no RN working experience besides the experience I had in clinicals? I passed the NCLEX and received my RN license in 2021 right after nursing school.  Due to family health issues I had to be the sole caretaker and was unable to work during this whole time. I have an active nursing license and now that I do not have to be a caretaker anymore I am able to freely find work. 

My issue is that I am basically a new grad with no work experience and more than 1 year gap of not working. I also do not want to be a floor hospital nurse as I have badly injured my back (from being a caretaker but now I am healed) and want a position where I would not compromise my back again.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. 


79 Posts

What part of California are  you in? I think in southern California it's harder to find a job if you don't have a BSN or work experience.  


1 Post

Specializes in WCC, OMS. Has 7 years experience.

I moved to California about 4 years ago with 2.5 years of LTC/Skilled rehab under my belt. While I found it impossible to break into the hospital environment out here I have had no trouble finding other types of RN jobs. I have worked in Summer camps, home health, worked for an agency supporting homeless individuals, consulted for an adult day care program and also worked in an LTAC. Try to be flexible and imagine diverse roles for yourself, especially if you don't want bedside. Case Management by nurses is exploding in popularity, you can get certified in this as well to boost your hirability. Clinic nursing might also be a good fit for you. 

Specializes in BSN, RN, CVRN-BC. Has 27 years experience.

Someone will hire you.  Nurses are in high demand.  I don't think that anyone will hold it against you that you took a gap year to take care of a sick family member.