I'm an RN! I can't find a job!

  1. I'm a new RN, and although my grades are outstanding and my attitude great, I cannot find a hospital to take on a new grad. I've competed in 'new grad' programs where I walk into a room of 500 new RN's with only 20 positions available. I've asked nurse recruiters to keep me in mind.

    My family put themselves on the line financially and emotionally to get me through nursing school, and I'm spending my days wandering around unfamiliar hospitals searching for the HR department's head "NO" person.

    I REALLY don't know what to do. My program director just says "keep looking."

    I'm beginning to despise nursing before I even get to the floor!
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    About StudentMidwife

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 5

    11 Comments

  3. by   shodobe
    What state do you live in? Your story is like so many around the country with so many looking for jobs. Is there a certain job you want or will you take anything? Is moving an option? These are questions you have to ask yourself because keeping an open mind will open more doors for you. It is tough and hospitals don't make it any easier for you. All of a sudden they only want experienced nurses and those with at least one year of it. Unless you can get into an acute hospital it is very hard to get the experience you need. Don't despair and don't blame nursing entirely because you put a lot of sweat and tears into this. I am looking at this being a problem for at least another year then things might get a bit better. This doesn't mean you have to give up looking though. Hang in there and keep pressing forward. If your handle indicates anything it seems you want to work in L&D and this is a much sought after area. Think beyond that until you can get that experience then haed in that direction. Good luck and don't give up so easily.
  4. by   StudentMidwife
    Hi! Background: I finished my RN in an EL-MSN program in Orange County, CA, and have been accepted into a CNM program in the Fall, givent that I get 6 months of experience by the beginnning of my second year.

    I'm willing to take ANYthing that comes along. Medsurg, ortho, L&D (would be a DREAM and a half), postpartum (same thing), ...anything in a hospital that allows me to be a nurse. I can't wait to get onto the floor and care for patients and learn about what we do.

    I'm heartbroken that there's no residency program like there is for medical students. Nurses eat their young and hang them out to dry and I do NOT get why. Do the older nurses want a new generation of unqualified, uncaring, angry, and abused nurses? I have run into a few kind "no's" over the past two months of searching. I have to take care of my Alzheimer's father and so can't really move out of the area.

    I love nursing and I love my family. I now have the RN to go out and support my father as he deserves to be...eating more than lentil soup and a roll for dinner.

    Please. Do you have any ideas of ANYTHING I can do to get a foot in the door? I have a good resume, a good cover letter, Great grades, great clinical recommendations...

    The only thing I can really take responsibility for at this point is being so very scared and intimidated by that next
    "NO." Walking into a hospital HR dept makes me panic (internally, only, of course)...I smile, shake hands, hand them my portfolio of A quality work...nothing.

    In the end, I'm sad that I did my best to become all that they said I should be to become a nurse (reliable, caring, capable, educated, willing to learn how to be a great teamplayer,) and I'm not a nurse.

    Boo hoo. I'm feeling sorry for myself tonight.

    Thanks, dear fellow nurse :heartbeat, for your kindness. I need a little bit to keep going. Somewhere, somehow, a generous nurse will say, "I'll give you a chance. Here, come serve our patients with us." And I'll be off to the races!

    ~Annie
  5. by   NeoNurseTX
    Some hospitals do have 'residency' programs and even call them that! Are you in a large city? The teaching hospitals usually have the biggest internships for new grads. But with the economy like it is, I'd take whatever gave me experience, even if it were LTC if you don't want to wait a while before starting your nursing career.
  6. by   StudentMidwife
    You are all so kind with your replies.

    Question for you: I would eventually like to teach at the University level. If I start out in LTC, does that affect my chances of making my way up the employment ladder?

    I want to make the best step possible right off the bat. The 'residency programs' are highly, highly impacted, and while I have a strong appliation into one of them, the rest are going to be along the lines of "please let me serve p/t as a floor nurse on any floor. Also can I have the night shift???"

    As a romantic, I want to at least own one really good "nursing whites" dress full-on with white tights and...if I could ever find one... a real nursing cap. I LOVE them.

    ANNNNyway, I pray every night that god, the universe, and one wonderful saint of a hiring nurse sees the good in my heart to serve women's health, nursing, and our profession for the rest of my days.

    Sounds cheezy (If there were a 'cheese' icon, I would have used it here!) but its true. I finally got out from behind the administrative desk and the cubicle to actually do something that makes a real difference.

    So close. Sooooo close!!!!lsebeg:
  7. by   changeofpaceRN
    Have you looked into agencies? Some of them provide training and at this point, something is better than nothing. If you do go that route, tell them you refuse to work for X,X or X hospital because once you work for them through the agency, you usually can't sign on directly with that facility since you have a "contract" with the agency. If not, have you looked into doc offices? The pay won't be great but it might get you an "in". And, you never know who knows someone in a higher place so ask around. It isn't ideal but you can continue to apply for programs while doing this other stuff and continue to set up interviews. Good luck, it IS very hard out there right now.
  8. by   NurseMarla
    I just finished my 1st week (well, started on Thurs) at my 1st nursing job. I applied at about a zillion places, got 2 interviews, and hired at the first of the 2. Neither were hospitals; hospitals seem to have absolutely no interest in me as a new grad. So I guess my advice is to apply to every hospital position you can find, maybe talk to some of the nurses you did clinicals with, then start thinking about your other options. Look through the "Specialty" section here to get ideas if you need to. I, for instance, am now a Home Hospice nurse. That's where I planned on going after I "paid my dues" at the hospital; it turns out it's not absolutely necessary. Get on MapQuest and search facilities near you; send a resume to each and every one.

    I hope I've helped a little
  9. by   lovethepeople
    I don't have any real advice (but we can commiserate!), given that I am in the same exact position as you (graduated in March, licensed in April); I live in Northern California. It is bone dry out here! I haven't even been looking that long and still I am disappointed. It just feels so unfair after all the hard work we have done, huh?

    I completely feel the same way and,hard as it is, I keep telling myself to stay positive. A big part of why it is getting so tiring for me is that I keep having to explain to everyone that, no, I am not just going to have job offers thrown at me. I know people just don't know but wow does it get exhausting. . .

    And of course the question of, how long can the money I have last? It is so stressful! But we must think positive, keep being creative, open and persistent. It IS scary and weird to go find HR and discouraging to be told 'no new grads'. But you are doing your best

    How long have you been looking again?

    Good luck and give yourself time to enjoy yourself too!
  10. by   ac123
    I know exactly how you feel. I graduated in May 2008 from a great school and just recently was offered a position in DC. I am relocating from Boston. If possible, relocate. I wish I had known that prior to graduation. I would have applied out of state, but did not do so until this past winter. Finally, it has paid off and I will be starting a year later than my friends who graduated with me, but at least I have something. Prior to this, I had focused my attention on hospitals that were not hiring and are still not hiring. What a waste of time! I did find work at a per diem corporate wellness company so I was at least doing something with my degree.
    My advice--- take whatever you can get. Search out LTC, assisted living, group homes, corporate wellness, outpatient clinics, doctors offices, even some insurance agencies need nurses to carry out wellness fairs. I think the reason I was offered my position is because I was doing something with my degree all the while looking for a full time position. It will happen to you. Be patient and don't be picky. Everyone needs to start somewhere. This is the advice I should have taken a year ago. I wish you the best of luck!
  11. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I was in your position last year. I graduated in May 2008, and I couldn't move too far because of family issues. I applied to at least 100 positions in 6 states, though I couldn't apply in my home state until I passed my boards (no GN status). After 10 interviews and a job that got cancelled, I finally found a job 250 miles away, at an ALF. It meant leaving my cat and husband, who I miss terribly, but they're moving up here in 2 weeks!

    I really can't offer any advice beyond being persistent and looking everywhere. I found my job through Craigslist, and I applied at prisons and nursing homes.
  12. by   swirlything
    I'm a new grad and I'll tell you what I see going on here where I'm at. A few of us are getting jobs. Basically it's those of us who either already work on the unit as a tech and know people there, OR those of us who show a strong passion for a particular position.

    Those of us who go in with the attititude that we will take any job because we need a job, are not getting any job (and often not even getting the interview to begin with). Those who go in and give ANY indication that they want to use the position as a stepping stone to something else (grad school, another unit, etc) are not getting the job either; I'm assuming that the department doesn't want to spend the money to train someone they're going to lose down the road.

    The ones I know in my class who have gotten jobs are the ones who go into interviews with the attitude that this is their dream job... that taking any other position would be settling for less... that they were born to do this particular position.
  13. by   franncy
    Ht my name is fran I need a job as soon as possible last time I worked was 2008 and the hospital . the last sime iw orked in the hospital was 2008. I did work home health but im willing to work anyway. Please help. fran

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