Here's my story. I'm a second-degree (first one in Elem. Education), "older" student who graduated in May 2008 (from a school in VA); passed NCLEX in July in NH (where I'm from originally) and went to "conquer the West" in Aug. It was a community hospital -- I thought I'd be good to start out with a small hospital and get my feet wet with less complicated cases. The hospital that hired me offered a relocation bonus; 6 weeks of training and a preceptor that preferred to play Suduku than to help me out. I quit before I was fired about 65 days -- my license was at stake!
I soon learned that perhaps a teaching hospital would be the way to go after all. I applied and was accepted as a "Graduate Extern" at one in AZ and I'd join the ranks of the new grads this Feb. 2009. I worked there for 3 1/2 mos and that was a terrible experience, too -- travelers were 3/4 of the staff; Nurse Manager was a tyrant; NO support, etc etc. I was VERY unsatisfied there and saw the writing on the wall before I signed my life away to them (I had to repay the $6k relocation bonus from the 1st hospital and I didn't wanna have to do the same, but $2k more with THIS one).
SO, I'm back home in NH and thought it would be easy to go back to work at the hospital that spawned me -- I was an outpatient scheduling secretary there for 5 years! I had a phone interview and I suggested that I wanted the hem/onc dept not that I wouldn't take med surg; just my preference... dunno if that and 2 RN-related jobs in 7 mos turned her off, but I never got a response. Yep, I sent a thank-you letter and follwed up after that with a voice mail to ask for feedback... didn't get any. Now I am looking at ANY job... part-time, temp, non-nursing...
It's discouraging that I "made good" -- spread my wings and all that only to not be able to find a job back home in NH... I know a lot of ya'll are out there in the same boat. Here's my question -- asking for advice, too. Is it "beneath me" to apply for Tech positions at the hospital I want a job at? How about working at a LTC? Geez, I never thought I'd have to be stuck in a place like that, but times are tough! It's even more difficult for me cuz I know I don't want to be a floor nurse in the first place as a final step in a career path. I LOVE education / community health / psych... can't seem to find any of those type of jobs that don't ask for that 2 years of med surg / acute care. Also, my resume must look pretty rugged to anyone who looks at it... anyone know how to present yourself in a better light without lying about all of my "experiences?"
Sorry about the rant and THANKS!!
Apr 19, '09
I think you should try another area outside of a hospital. Nursing is such a broad area and everyone is not cut out to work in the Hospital. Sounds like that is the case in your situation. I think that if you can get a job in LTC,clinic or Dr. office, and stay for an extended period of time then you can establish a work history. LTC would be a great opportunity to show others what type of nurse you are. You will have your own hall and and CNA's. You will set the tone on how well your unit is run. You don't have alot of people breathing down your back either, unless your not doing your paper work or family and residents are complaining about you.
Right now your work history says buyer beware. Not trying to be negative, but maybe it was you personality or the way you performed that made the first two nursing positions bad for you.You have to be honest with yourself and reflect on all the events vs pointing fingers at others for making your expereince bad. I had a terrible orientation when I worked in LTC but I did not let that reflect my work ethic. I overcame the experience and became a great caring nurse.
The manager at your hosital may not want to risk wasting money on training you if your not gonna stay. You have to prove yourself in the nursing field in an area and get some expereince. Not every nurse gets the perfect job when they first start out. It takes time to reach the mountain top.
To answer your question about being a tech, I am not sure you can go down in ranks in your profession and I don't recommend it. You will definitely sends red flags doing that.
My last question is, do you feel that nursing is in your heart? Its not an easy job and you have to be in it for the love of it.Once you can answer that question, then you can move on.
Good Luck to you in whatever you decide to do. I do hope that you find an area of care that you finally like and can get some experience. Don't give up if nursing is your dream.
Apr 19, '09
Hey, I just graduated LPN school in January, got licensed in February and I JUST got a job this past week in April...
I think you should even give the LTC facilities a chance, even if they only at first offer you PRN work. A lot of the LTC facilities have rehabilitation areas that are really nice to work in, in my opinion. The place that just hired me started me as a PRN nurse, but apparently I did really well my first two days of work and they've graduated me to part time, and I'm getting full time starting next month... and I work in their "rehab" unit, I get to deal with lots of ventilators and feeding tubes and it's great, GREAT experience.
So, give it a shot =) I was TOTALLY bent on not even going into LTC facilities, but I got desperate and applied and I got my dream job! They pay me so well and I love, love, LOVE the job, I'm learning SO much! I finally got the job that I felt like I've deserved my whole life =)
Don't lose hope, you will find something hun!
Apr 20, '09
I knew from the start (or before school ended) that I didn't want to be a floor nurse -- most of my friends were in the same situation. The fact is, you've gotta "do your time." The professors were right as far as I can tell -- any non-floor job requires experience as far as the ads go. I have looked at clinic jobs and they are asking for LPNs and/or experience. I would LOVE a clinic job and have applied (and been rejected d/t lack of exper.). The other thing I wonder about is if I go directly into a clinic job will I loose my skills? Same thing with psych -- applied there and rejected. I think you are right -- try LTC! I have inquired about a local RN position advertised on the web. You're right -- FLOOR nursing isn't in my heart. If I *did* get another floor nursing job, I'd just have to suck it up for 2 years... until I can get my Master's and/or a position as a Patient Educator (or Navigator). I LOVE educating the public.
Apr 20, '09
I'm not positive, but I imagine some of this depends on where you live. When I graduated college ten years ago, I returned to my hometown where there were (and still are) plenty of nursing jobs to be had for new grads. Several of my friends however, stayed behind and it wasn't at all unusual to work in the hospital setting as an aide prior to moving into a nursing position. Even when we were in school, a lot of the aides working in the hospitals where we had clinicals were actually RNs waiting on a nursing position to open up.
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