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Feels like a slap in the face...

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Specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Hi All

I am a new graduate nurse who has worked for a hospital as a float CNA for a year as part of an educational program designed for nursing students to gain hospital experience and eventually work as RNs in the hospital. During this time I have received a lot of positive feedback from nurses and was told by staffing that a lot of floors request me. From the beginning there was an implication that I would be hired on as an RN when I graduated.

Well, I'm sure you know where this is going. Thirty-some RN residencies were posted. I applied, made it through the phone interview, and was scheduled to interview on my first-choice unit. I had an interview with the manager that felt like I was being shown the door before I even sat down and needless to say, I didn't get the job. Two of my dear friends and classmates who are external hires without medical experience outside of nursing school were hired for residencies on other units in the same hospital. (I am happy for them but dealing with my own disappointment)

I wasn't even called; I had to call HR to find out I wasn't hired. I have had nothing but good reviews and feedback at this hospital, I get along with all my co-workers so I just don't get it. I always thought that preference was given to internal hires. Anyone else have an experience like this before?

Please be kind in your replies. Constructive criticism is fine but I'm feeling like s*** right now and facing the very real prospect of unemployment since I'm pretty sure I can't work as a CNA once I become an RN, which will be this month providing I don't fail the NCLEX. :crying2:

KY RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/home health/pacu/cardiac icu.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. Did the external applicants,perhaps, know the hiring manager?

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Have you asked for feedback? If not, I would ask for some constructive feedback to see what you can improve on for future interviews and hopefully that will give you an idea of what happened. Very sorry. That seems like a pretty crummy situation if you have a good rep there.

MECO28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Nope. But I did, and had even had exchanged a few emails with her during which time she shared that a nurse on the unit had given her good feedback about me. It's all so weird. I was nervous in my interview and had just worked 8 hours so maybe my interview was just that bad. I don't know. Anyway, thanks for your reply.

That's horrible. Usually people with references and in good standing especially interning or whatever for the employer will most likely help you get in. That's how I got a position at Dept. of Corrections. You have to know people and the supervisors especially show them that you are a hard worker. I don't know what the deal is. Just think of it as it probably wasn't for you. It's faith that led you to not landing a job there. You will probably get something more amazing just think of it like that. You will see:)

JRP1120, RN

Has 1 years experience.

I know what you're feeling too. Pretty much this is what happened to me. I had two interviews and both went very well but I didn't get either. Turns out, both units had already chosen who they were going to hire, the interviews for the rest of us were uh, I don't know, just to waste everyone's time, I guess! One candidate wasn't even there for the interviews-she was on vacation!! Yeah, I did all the things I was told to do to help me stand out as a CNA for the last year and I got nothing but good reviews as well...didn't get me anywhere except left me feeling horrible, disappointed and sad! My hospital will let us continue on as a CNA for more money once we're RN's, which I am now, and so I'll work there as often as I can while applying for other nursing jobs (there aren't many for new grads in my area), and will apply to the next residency in Nov, if I don't find something else before that. And, I'm going to start my RN to BSN this fall as well. Chin up, I know it sucks and I feel your pain. Just remember, when one door closes, another one opens...that thought keeps me going and it can for you too. Don't lose hope! :redpinkhe

MECO28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Thanks everyone...I appreciate the replies.

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Nope. But I did, and had even had exchanged a few emails with her during which time she shared that a nurse on the unit had given her good feedback about me. It's all so weird. I was nervous in my interview and had just worked 8 hours so maybe my interview was just that bad. I don't know. Anyway, thanks for your reply.

I would ask the person that actually interviewed you and decided not to hire you, for the constructive feedback. Just tell them you would like to know what things you might work on for the future. That way you can get some answers. If people that didn't already have a foot in and had no experience previously got hired over you when you say you have a glowing reputation there and experience; then I would find out where the ball was dropped because it doesn't make sense. The only way you can fix it is to find out what turned them off. It won't hurt to ask.

craziechiq, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg.

WOW! Are you me?

I worked at a hospital for over a year and I thought the least I would get is an interview. They did not even give me the pre-screen phone interview. I was completely disheartened and disappointed. I worked there for the experience and I love the hospital I work for, but I feel betrayed that they did not even give me a chance to speak for myself. It also made me angry that the new hire in my department who had only worked there for two weeks received an interview and I did not. Can you sense my bitterness?

Anyway, clarify with your hospital to see if you can continue to work as a CNA while looking for other RN jobs. I know I am able to and no pay raise for me.

Keep your head up and look forward. I was pretty down for a little while, but now I believe that I will get through this and I was meant to be somewhere else.

Kiwidanni

Specializes in NICU, Peds. Has 6 years experience.

Can you email or call the interviewer and ask her for some feedback on your interviewing technique or why you didn't get the job? If you can phrase it right, it can be a "professional development" opportunity.

MECO28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

@Mi Vida Loca: Well, I don't know about a "glowing reputation" but I do know that my evaluations have been good and I've received good feedback on the floors. I hope it doesn't sound like I have a giant ego...I'm just trying to give the back story as to why I'm so disappointed. Certainly I'm not superwoman but I am dependable and have served this hospital well.

You are right; I do need to talk to the manager but this is all really fresh and I need to give it a couple days so I can be professional and handle the criticism. That probably won't happen for a couple days. Thanks for your reply.

@ craziechiq: sorry to hear about your experience...maybe we will both land the job of our dreams. Here's hoping.

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

No I don't think you sounded like you had a big Ego, I didn't mean the remark of glowing reputation as rude. From what you described it sounds as if you had a really good reputation there. I would definitely ask for the feedback. When I had my pre-screening phone interview I asked the lady at the end if she had any advice for me based off her interview for my in person interview. She was really impressed that I asked for that. I also told the person that interviewed me that if for whatever reason they chose to go with another candidate, if they would give me constructive feedback on my interview so I know what areas I can improve on. They were very receptive to it.

Also did you mail a thank you card after your interview?

MECO28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

@Mi Vida Loca: Oh, I figured you weren't being rude...I just always feel funny about tooting my own horn. I did ask the HR person I talked to about it and explained the situation a little bit to her. She was really nice and encouraged me to speak with the manager which I definately will do.

And I did send a thank you but it was by email which may have been tacky. It was very short and just said "Thanks for taking the time to interview me, etc, etc". Honestly I think my shyness was probably a turn-off. I'm not shy with patients but interviews have always been tough for me.

Mary Olson

Specializes in N/A.

My heart goes out to you. Instinct tells me you did nothing wrong. It sounds as if the new hires had some personal connections. You sound conscientious and superb. There is a better place for you. I have read and heard many people suggesting working as a CNA before being a nurse. I have a theory. I think that it can work against you because people start seeing you and knowing you as an unskilled CNA doing the 'scut work' and can't see you as a skilled nurse. That has absolutely nothing to do with you, it's just their perception. My life observations have inclined me to believe that people believe in a hierarchy and everyone has a place in that hierarchy. When someone changes, i.e. moves up the ladder or down the ladder, people find it disturbing. I once bought a junky fixer upper in a nice neighborhood. Everyone in the neighborhood was angry at this property. When I started to work on it and it kept looking nicer and nicer, you would think that the neighbors would be happy - their property values would improve. They were angry and sarcastic instead. When it was finished, it was every bit as nice as the nicest properties. In time, the neighbors were glad and I was accepted into the inner circle. But their reactions to the improvements along the way were surprising, as if they were somehow threatened. Maybe the same principle is at work here. The best of luck to you and you will be rewarded for your work and your capabilities.

Annaiya, NP

Specializes in PICU. Has 5 years experience.

@Mi Vida Loca: Oh, I figured you weren't being rude...I just always feel funny about tooting my own horn. I did ask the HR person I talked to about it and explained the situation a little bit to her. She was really nice and encouraged me to speak with the manager which I definately will do.

And I did send a thank you but it was by email which may have been tacky. It was very short and just said "Thanks for taking the time to interview me, etc, etc". Honestly I think my shyness was probably a turn-off. I'm not shy with patients but interviews have always been tough for me.

Two things you said here caught my attention. First, if you don't feel totally comfortable talking about your accomplishments, did you maybe not talk yourself up enough in the interview? I know it seems weird, but you do need to make yourself sound like superwoman in an interview. It is also a good idea to sound very confident, decisive and say only very positive focused things. For example, if they ask you your biggest weakness, you never actually say anything very bad. I'm not saying you did any of this in the interview, but trying to provide some perspective. I have been part of interviewing new grads for residency positions and if they seemed at all unsure of themselves they lost a lot of points. Things we looked for were clear, concise answers that directly answered the question asked, and looking poised and confident despite being really nervous. We also took points off if they did not wear a suit. When you only have 30 or so minutes to make an impression it is tough.

The other thing you mentioned was being shy. I tend to be fairly quiet until I get to know people and have been told many times that once people got to know me, that I was totally different that what they thought when they first met me. For me, I think this lead to me not getting the job I wanted to start with. The people making the decision didn't think I had the right personality for it, or at least would not be as good as other candidates that they had. I really have no idea how to go about changing this, but at least I'm aware of it now.

Obviously if you can get direct feedback from the manager that would be best, but if not, at least you've had some more interview practice. Interviewing is definitely something where practice makes perfect!

chicookie, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

It could also be that the manager already had someone for that position. It happens. Don't feel bad. Keep trying! I'm sure you will find something and maybe that will be a better fit for you than that floor.

nursemike, ASN, RN

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro). Has 12 years experience.

It might not hurt to look for positions on other units, too. Going from aide to RN can present some challenges, along with the advantages. If you tend to be shy or reserved, it could be uncomfortable delegating to those who were recently your peers. It's far from insurmountable, but I wonder if your prospective manager may have thought it might be more than you needed to take on as a new nurse. Maybe a somewhat less familiar floor would give you a better chance.

Or maybe she/he liked everything but your hair color. It happens.

I feel some times in life I have rose colored glasses on, In my dream world I graduate, Pass the boards and start work. Well I passed my boards and I'm still looking for a job. I called and scored an interview, the person in charge of interviews called the day before and canceled stating the hospital was full and asked me to call back Monday. Well I've called Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and now I feel I'm just being pushed off and rejected. I live in a very small area and would have to travel an hour to get another job. I've applied at hospitals farther away and get the same rejection e-mail. I'm loosing steam. I've prayed about it and what is meant to be will be!