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Finding jobs as an experienced RN vs. Nurse Practitioner; looking at my future

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Hi everyone!

I'm going to become a nursing student at Charleston Southern University in 2015. I'm incredibly excited to become a nurse and have volunteered at hospitals in the past. It's always been an ambition of mine to move out to California. However, after reading through numerous threads on this forum, I've learned it's very difficult to find a job as a new graduate, especially out of state.

I've been considering becoming a Nurse Practitioner (MSN) to avert the unemployment epidemic and move out to California sooner. However, I don't know if it would be better to graduate and get a job as an RN and gain two years of experience, or spend the extra money to get the MSN. I don't have those funds and would have to take a loan.

What is your advice? Even though two years of experience isn't much, would I still be able to find a job? Would I be more likely to score a job as an RN with experience, or a new Nurse Practitioner?

Side note- I'm looking to relocate to the San Luis Obispo/Santa Maria area. I'm also minoring in Spanish and will graduate with a BSN.

Thanks in advance!

Oh my, where to start! Becoming an NP (direct-entry program) with no RN experience does not make you any more hireable than a shiny new grad RN. Might even be harder, because an NP is expected to have experience to draw on and you will not.

An experienced RN will find work before an NP with zero experience....and neither can expect to find much work in California, period. BSNs are a dime a dozen, with unemployment rates for new grads being nearly 50%!

Give this a bit more consideration....?

Thanks for the response!

I've done some research already, and there's two hospitals in the area I'm looking to relocate to. They both have around 4-5 positions open for Staff RN's with one to two years of experience. By the time I will have enough money to make the move from SC to CA, I'll have 3 semesters of clinicals on my hands, as well as two years of Staff Nurse experience. In addition, I speak Spanish fluently. Surely, wouldn't this make me a good candidate for a staff nurse position (given the job market is similar in 7 years)?

May I ask what you mean by "BSNs are a dime a dozen?"

Thank you so much!

Forgot to add- I'm not moving to SoCal, as so many people try to do. I'm looking at Northern and Central California. The college I'm attending has a 100% job placement rate after 3 months in my home state (SC). I'm also going on a full scholarship.

Thanks again!

VivaLaVespaGirl, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ED, Medicine, Case Management. Has 4 years experience.

A dime a dozen means there is no shortage of BSN nurses in CA. The market in California is extremely saturated with nurses and new grads and being a new grad with a BSN is no guarantee of finding a job. I would highly suggest you research the California market because, as RNsRWe stated, the unemployment rate for new grads is really high. Also, you cannot compare the placement rate of your university in SC with another state. That 100% placement rate means absolutely nothing somewhere else. Placement rates have a lot to do with the relationships universities have with hospitals, the contacts you make at clinical sites, and the local reputation of your university. None of that will help you if you move.

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Most jobs in CA are obtained through connections, and the new grad unemployment rate is about 45-50%. There are plenty of job postings for nurses with 1-2 years' experience. That's still different than doing a direct-entry MSN. All new grads have a few semesters of clinicals. That means nothing. There are a ton of BSN grads in CA that cannot find RN work.

If you choose to make the move out here, make sure you have a job lined up before you make the move.

Also, it's not just southern CA that's having market saturation. The San Francisco Bay Area is at least as bad. SLO isn't any better. You have to remember that CSUCI and CSUSB both have BSN programs that graduate nurses that move right to SLO/Santa Maria, and they have a better chance of having connections.

Speaking Spanish will help, but get your medical interpreter certification so it can count.

Having 100% job placement in SC means absolutely nothing when it comes to moving to CA. Not a single person in my class (graduated last month) had a job offer, except for me, and now that has fallen through because of situations outside the manager's hands. I graduated from a very reputable program, but the market is THAT tough right now.

Be REALLY sure about your move out here before you take that big leap.

VivaLaVespaGirl, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ED, Medicine, Case Management. Has 4 years experience.

Oh, RBR. I am sorry to hear about your job falling through. Good luck to you in your continued search!!

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Oh, RBR. I am sorry to hear about your job falling through. Good luck to you in your continued search!!

Thanks, VLVG. It was really heartbreaking, and I hope to be kept in mind if something works out later. :) I have an interview next week elsewhere (I am glad I kept searching anyway!), so here's hoping!

My point is, when I make the move, I will NOT be a new grad anymore. I will have experience on my hands. I plan to get the Medical Interpeter certificate.

I suppose my question now is will it be difficult for me to find a job in CA as an experienced RN? I will not be a new graduate; I will have acute care experience. I stated that my university has a 100% job placement rate to show that I will be guaranteed a job here in SC when I graduate, so that I can get experience before I begin applying for jobs in California.

Edited by swellchaser

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

I think you might find a better answer to your question by posting it in the California forum. In my experience on here it seems to be hard for anyone (experienced OR new grad) to find a job in CA.

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

My point is, when I make the move, I will NOT be a new grad anymore. I will have experience on my hands. I plan to get the Medical Interpeter certificate.

I suppose my question now is will it be difficult for me to find a job in CA as an experienced RN? I will not be a new graduate; I will have acute care experience. I stated that my university has a 100% job placement rate to show that I will be guaranteed a job here in SC when I graduate, so that I can get experience before I begin applying for jobs in California.

Even experienced nurses are having difficulty finding work, when there are over 100 applicants for every position. Nurses have to cast a very wide net here. Even though I had an offer, I was still putting in several apps almost every day, and I've been receiving several rejection emails (if anything). That's life around here. Regardless of your experience prior, if you choose to make the move, make sure you have a job lined up and in writing before you pack up and move. Be prepared to search for awhile, too.

Thank you for the advice. What about in-home care or nursing homes? Is the tough market just in hospitals? Sorry if that's a stupid question. :bored: