Published Apr 19, 2014
My best friend graduated at the top of her class (with a 4.0) in a BSN program. She also passed her NCLEX-RN on the first attempt. She was offered a residency position on an orthopedic unit right out of school, which she declined for personal reasons. She wants to work in peds, but she's been out of school, not worked for 6+ months.
I've tried to convince her to get a job in LTC, corrections or HH/PDN. I don't normally suggest HH/PDN for new grads but I know she could get a job fast. I told her that if she wants to get a job, since she's been out of school for so long, it's best she get something nursing related. Especially since she's up against new grads where everything is fresh in their minds.
She thinks it's better to have no experience, that hiring managers look down on HH/PDN. I've never come up against that. She also stated RNs aren't being hired as floor nurses in nursing home, which I know isn't true.
Would she have better luck getting a job with or without experience?
Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN
I'm not a hiring manager, but IMO, I'd hire the candidate with any nursing experience over one without any nursing experience. The only exception is if the no-experience candidate had some extraordinary talent to bring to the table...and if she had had such a talent, she'd have been picked up by now. It's a competitive market, and 4.0s no longer secure the job on their own. Ask me how I know.
Your friend runs the risk of becoming an old new grad, and that's a very bad spot to be in. Most new grad programs won't accept applicants that have been out of school for more than 12 months, so after a year old new grads are out of that race. Meanwhile, they also have to compete against recent new grads whose skills are fresher and whose faces are more familiar to hospital staff d/t recent clinicals. Whereas they will look at her and wonder what she's done--if anything--to keep her skills and knowledge up. I hope for her sake that she has been doing something.
But it's her career, her decision. You've done all you could, but the only career you can control is your own. Perhaps she needs to figure it out on her own.
And IMO, her turning down that orthopedic job was a foolish decision. Most nurses do NOT start out in the dream specialty, but eventually make their way there. She should have taken it, put in her year or two, and used that time to gain experience, make networking connections, and work her way over to peds...plus she would have been an internal candidate, which while doesn't guarantee the job, does help a lot.
Best of luck to her.
Thank you for your opinion. I even told her to get certifications (ACLS, PALS, etc). She said it was too expensive and a waste. I would've JUMPED at the ortho residency. I plan on getting rectified in ACLS & getting certified in PALS after I get my RN. I hope she comes to her senses & gets a job in nursing doing SOMETHING!
Well, the jury is out on whether ACLS/PALS is a help or a waste. It does show motivation and can help you get noticed, but like the 4.0, ACLS/PALS isn't going to get you the job all on its own. Also know this from experience as well :)
And considering that most employers will pay for you to achieve/maintain these certifications, you would be shelling out money that you (probably) didn't have to.
The way I see it, if you have the extra funds to take one or both classes, taking them can't hurt you. Otherwise, don't stress over it.
ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP
I agree with Meriwhen 100%.
Any experience is better than no experience. As much as I want to work NICU straight out of nursing school, I know that the job market is tough for new grads and people need to start picking up whatever they can. Six months of nursing experience at nursing pay is far better than six months of unemployment and a dwindling bank account.
She should have taken the orthopedic residency. What is that saying? You can lead a horse to water...
NicuGal, MSN, RN
I am in our hiring and retention committee and I can tell that the longer she goes without a job, the harder it will be. I would ask her why she hadn't worked since graduation. Turning down the residency was not a good move, as someone else pointed out, she is going to be considered an old new grad. But sometimes people need to learn the hard way
She turned down the residency because A) she didn't want to work in ortho & B) she planned on having surgery. The surgery wasn't life saving & could've been delayed.
I thought she would be smart enough to know that job market is tough, and most people don't get to start in their dream unit. She could take the ortho job offer, make experience and connections there, and later switch to her desired specialty.
It looks like she is a pretty inactive person who thinks she is entitled to have the dream job offer because she was a good student, and taking some classes and certifications are waste. Good grades has no value compared to experience. Sitting at home won't get her anything, and she is becoming less and less marketable as the days go by. Any nursing experience is better than no experience. Old new grad situation is the worst situation to be in, and your friend is surely getting there. She will learn it the hard way.
I predict that your friend is going to be sorry she turned down the internship. In today's market you just can't hold out for that dream job or you will find yourself unemployed. Employers will not look down on any kind of nursing experience.
This is all exactly how I feel. I just want to shake her & scream at her! I feel like sometimes she thinks I don't know what I'm talking about. She is getting fed up & thinking about just getting a job - outside of nursing. Like all of you have stated, she will just have to learn the hard way. She is determined to get a job in a hospital. But the longer she goes without experience, the less likely she is to get her job. She just needs to suck it up & get a job wherever she can!
It looks like she is a pretty inactive person who thinks she is entitled to have the dream job offer because she was a good student, and taking some classes and certifications are waste. Good grades has no value compared to experience.
I WAS that foolish new grad who once thought that because I had the academic pedigree that job offers would fall at my feet the minute I applied...though keep in mind I graduated just as the job market tanked, so many of us were still living in denial. And I didn't get a single thing, not even at what was considered the lousiest hospital in town that I thought would jump at me. I was lucky to get a phone interview, which never panned out into anything more.
However, I learned my lesson very fast. Within a month, I had revamped my attitude and job hunting strategy. Within three months, I had a job.
And I wasn't foolish enough to turn down a job offer just because it wasn't in my desired specialty. I did decline one thing, but that was because with the hours offered, the fact that people there rarely left on time, and commuting, my child would have been in childcare 16 hours a day. And I didn't have any help at home at the time.
Yes, the saying about horses and water definitely comes to mind with her.
Hopefully YOU have found something for yourself :)
I have always took pretty much any job & since I know how terrible the economy is I would never turn down a job offer. I'm sure she will learn, eventually. Or just give up & get a non-nursing job.
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