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CA New grad job market- seeking honest feedback

Job Hunt   (571 Views | 10 Replies)

248 Profile Views; 15 Posts

Hi everyone! I am a new grad BSN/MSN nurse and I wanted to post here to get some honest feedback, since I have been hearing mixed things from a lot of different people (family, classmates, etc.). What is the job market right now for new grads in California? What percentage of new grads, specifically in the bay area or Sacaramento area, getting jobs? Some people say it's near impossible to land a job in these regions, others say wait half a year or more, which seems financially difficult.

I'm just wondering if the best choice is to head to the Central Valley or out of state, or if it's better to stick it out and stay put. I know someone who graduated in June said that only 3-5 of his classmates had jobs (4 months post grad) so that's scaring me quite a bit.

Thanks so much!

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69 Posts; 501 Profile Views

It is very difficult to get a job within at least 30 miles of a Nursing School. It gets even more challenging right after graduation and NCLEX. So if you do not want to move or have a long commute waiting for a position might work if you can afford it. 

If you look in less desirable and underserved areas it will be easier to get a job otherwise paying for specialty training that your employer would provide might give you an edge. 

What kind of job, place of employment are you after? 

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15 Posts; 248 Profile Views

Thanks for your response! My top choice would be a critical care new grad program, but I know those are extremely competitive. So right now I'm looking for any new grad programs within 1-2 hours of Sacramento. Medsurge would be great.

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2 Posts; 11 Profile Views

Hi, I wanted to reach out! I am also a new graduate who has been looking for an RN position in critical care since July! California is known to be the most competitive state for new graduate nurses to secure a job (especially in critical care/ED etc.) I spoke with several managers @ different facilities who mentioned that they receive thousands of applications and interview over one hundred applicants for just a handful of positions. While this was extremely intimidating to hear, it motivated me to search for jobs in other cities and units that I had not been exploring before! I have received many interview offers by broadening my search slightly. You might find that helpful. After all, even if you do not end up loving the environment- interviews are still great practice! I urge you to remain patient confident! This is not an uncommon situation to be in & you are definitely not alone. I wish you the best of luck & hope you will land your dream job (or close to it) in 2020!!

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15 Posts; 248 Profile Views

Thank you NurseDP! I appreciate you reaching out. It is definitely a very frustrating process. I have since expanded my search to include step down units and other units similar to critical care, but I have also heard that critical care new grad programs are a double edged sword; highly competitive but also a smaller pool of qualified applicants?

Anyway, thanks again and best of luck to you as well!

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23 Posts; 568 Profile Views

Hi There. 

I graduated in 2018 and received a job about a week after I passed NCLEX at my local county hospital that hires new grads. For your reference, I live on the central coast. The only thing that was still available was a position in float pool so I took it because I was thrilled to get a hospital job. Fast forward to now and I work at a different more more prestigious hospital also in float pool. Its totally possible but you need to be aggressive and bring something to the table that will set you apart from the competition. The school I graduated from gave us a lot of mock interview training and taught us how to dress and build a solid resume. They also encouraged us to get as many certifications as possible. I went into my first job with ACLS and PALS and had taken time to also get telemetry training. I believe those things set me apart from competition. I know the job market is a bit better in the central valley and more rural places, but it's just hard in CA generally. Many classmates of mine are still working in SNFs and have been unable to get an acute care job. The one thing I can say is to look for hospitals that have a new grad training program and/or a nurse residency program. That's how I got into the second hospital I currently work at. It's not impossible to land a hospital job, but you have to have solid interview skills. If you're trying to start in a specialty, you might want to consider working out of state for a year or two to get the job and experience. Once you have at least 1 year in, you have a much higher chance of getting hired here. The other thing I would tell you is to take whatever job you can. Experience is experience. I never wanted to work in float pool but it taught me how to be a highly adaptive RN with a broad variety of skills. I am currently trying to get into the ER nursing, which is highly competitive in our area without prior ER experience, but at least I am still learning from what I do now and I probably never would have found what actually interests me if I wasn't in the current position I am in. We all start somewhere and every beginning is valuable, no matter where you start 🙂 Just don't give up and keep trying! If you have to take a SNF job for a few months first, do it and keep applying to new grad programs. The last thing I was going to tell you is sometimes you get hired and into these programs and realize that it's just not for you. I have several friends who did this, one even landing a job in ICU and realized after a few months it actually wasn't for her. What you experience in school isn't much like the real deal and some people come in, see the full picture, and decide to do something else. So keep an open mind as well because you never know if you might find an unexpected niche. Congratulations to you and I wish you the best on your job hunt. 🙂

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15 Posts; 248 Profile Views

Thank you for your insights! At first I definitely did not want to go into anything besides ICU or ED but considering the feedback I'm getting, I may just take what I can get at this point. My entire class just graduated and only one person has a job that I know of, so that's not great news.

I also appreciate your thoughts that new grad programs aren't perfect. There is so much pressure to jump in and love it right away, but I will try to take it with a grain of salt. So hard to maintain self worth and self care throughout all of this!!

Anyway, congrats on getting into a bigger hospital and best of luck for your pursuits towards ED nursing! Thanks again 🙂

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23 Posts; 568 Profile Views

I totally understand your anxiety and frustration because I felt the same way after I graduated. I started panicking, thinking that I wasn't going to get hired. If you have any ability to relocate, that is going to help you be successful at snagging your first hospital job. I wasn't able to travel far outside where I live to look for work, but I did see a lot of new grad programs at central valley hospitals. I have a feeling you are going to be surprised and land something awesome. I was going to add that several people I got hired with worked other jobs first. You can always try a surgery center too. That will give you some tele and PACU experience that will be valuable when you get to the hospital setting. I wish you all the best. Think positive and find joy in the journey 🙂

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171 Posts; 2,178 Profile Views

Many of my classmates have found jobs (we graduated last May in the Bay Area), BUT a few left California, a few went to the Central Valley, a few moved back to SoCal. Of those who got jobs here in the bay, most were bilingual, or had previous paid healthcare experience, or were very active in our student nursing board (shows leadership!). I received two offers in the Central Valley and am taking the one where I can stay in the bay area and have a long commute, as opposed to moving to the Central Valley. Virtually our entire class had ACLS and PALS because we all took it together and I don't think it made us stand out because it's pretty common for new grads to have those certs now.  Yes, it's rough here. I graduated eight months ago and will finally start my first RN job next week.

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5 Posts; 67 Profile Views

On 1/10/2020 at 4:50 PM, MyAimIsTrue said:

Many of my classmates have found jobs (we graduated last May in the Bay Area), BUT a few left California, a few went to the Central Valley, a few moved back to SoCal. Of those who got jobs here in the bay, most were bilingual, or had previous paid healthcare experience, or were very active in our student nursing board (shows leadership!). I received two offers in the Central Valley and am taking the one where I can stay in the bay area and have a long commute, as opposed to moving to the Central Valley. Virtually our entire class had ACLS and PALS because we all took it together and I don't think it made us stand out because it's pretty common for new grads to have those certs now.  Yes, it's rough here. I graduated eight months ago and will finally start my first RN job next week.

8 months later? Definitely makes me feel better about myself. Lol thanks! I'm not alone.

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15 Posts; 248 Profile Views

On 1/10/2020 at 4:50 PM, MyAimIsTrue said:

Many of my classmates have found jobs (we graduated last May in the Bay Area), BUT a few left California, a few went to the Central Valley, a few moved back to SoCal. Of those who got jobs here in the bay, most were bilingual, or had previous paid healthcare experience, or were very active in our student nursing board (shows leadership!). I received two offers in the Central Valley and am taking the one where I can stay in the bay area and have a long commute, as opposed to moving to the Central Valley. Virtually our entire class had ACLS and PALS because we all took it together and I don't think it made us stand out because it's pretty common for new grads to have those certs now.  Yes, it's rough here. I graduated eight months ago and will finally start my first RN job next week.

Thank you for the info and congrats/good luck on your first RN job! As for what you said about your graduating class, that sounds like what happened to people in my program here. My question is how long did people wait/look for jobs in the bay before going to the central valley or socal? I've heard of people who wait almost a year before getting an RN job, and I don't think I can manage that financially. 

 

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