For all those ER/Trauma nurses, how do you manage to get a Trauma RN position immediately after nursing school?
I didn't... so perhaps my journey is irrelevant to you. However, I did end up in the regional pediatric and adult Level 1 trauma center, so maybe my journey is relevant.
In my case, I wasn't in a position to be picky about jobs after graduating so I took the very first offer that came along... at a tiny critical access facility in a deep, rural community... as a med-surg nurse... with mostly low-acuity patients... and no trauma at all. Further, the job paid terribly and was more than 200 miles from home... but, I figured that I just needed to start somewhere and go from there.
Rather than looking for a specific path, I followed the universal path to success: I arrived to work a bit early every day; I worked as hard as I could... doing not just those things which were my responsibility but anything that I could see needed doing; when I had the time, I freed aids to do other things by doing the dirty work myself; I was friendly and upbeat as much as I could be; I was flexible and accommodating; I refrained from complaining as much as I could; I learned as much as I could as fast as I could; I read medical books voraciously and I paid for my own training classes: TNCC, ENPC, NRP.
After a while, I gently let it slip that I was interested in more opportunities and finally was offered the chance to orient to the ED... but only if I changed my schedule around to help with some personnel issues. I agreed and got to orient for a few shifts before the personnel issue solved itself and I was left where I was and got no further ED orientation. Still, I didn't complain but simply did the job to the best of my ability.
Several months later, there was a resignation and the ED job was offered to me. I wasn't really qualified and recognized that I might flame out badly but figured that it might be my only shot so I took it and continued my active, adult learning and sought to take criticism as well as I could... and boy did I take some from the docs who were teaching me the job (did I mention that I was the *only* nurse?) I went out of my way to connect with other people... the CRNA, the surgeon, and the OR staff... just for exposure and learning.
Eventually, the nurse whose vacancy I had filled in the ED contacted me about a per-diem job at her new employer (remember that part about working hard, being helpful, and getting to know people?) and I was ultimately offered a job there. Now I had Level None and Level 4 experience. I just kept at it and kept learning as much as I could.
After a while longer, I finally secured a job at a Level 3 trauma facility followed shortly thereafter by a job at a Level 1 facility. It took me 3 years and 100,000 commute miles but I did ultimately make it.
I have no idea what kinds of short-cuts you might find. There are not many new-grad positions in the busy Level 1 EDs... there are a few but not many.