Frustrated Registered Nurse with very little experience

Nurses Job Hunt


I graduated from a nursing school 2 years ago. I am a registered nurse . Every ad seeking registered nurses require and emphasises that they seek experienced nurses. This is quite frustrating. I am willing to work anywhere but there does not seem to be any place willing to hire. Has anybody been or is in this same dilema. I would welcome any comments or advice from anybody regarding this situation.

I've been reading that there is a nursing shortage for experienced nurses only. Where does this leave the hundreds of newly registered nurses that just want to get into the healthcare industry. I've heard that nursing homes are a great place to start - but what about working in a hospital. Does that possibility even exist? At this point, I question if I will ever find work.

Specializes in Emergency Room.

I was in your shoes 1 1/2 years ago, and fortunately I now have a great job. I completely understand your frustrations, I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out sometimes, and then to deal with well-meaning family/friends saying "oh, but isn't there a nursing shortage??" I would want to answer them "Uh huh, sure, I am just a terribly inadequate nurse, so no one will hire me, shortage and all..." I cannot count the amount of times I have said to people "Yes, but only for experienced nurses, hospitals don't want to spend $ training blah blah blah"

Please don't get discouraged, however. Keep applying to all sorts of jobs, even if they say they want 1-2 years experience. You never know who will come across your resume. You can also walk into hospitals or LTC facilities and ask to speak to whoever hires, you can make an impression that way. That is how I got several interviews. Just keep being persistent, and professional. A friend of mine just got an interview at a great hospital through sheer determination, she called the recruiter almost every day until she couldn't say no anymore! Also try to find connections through any doctors, nurses, or any employee of a facility who can put in a good word for you. Please don't give up!!! Good luck!!

I think the job market for new grad RNs are different from state to state. I say this because in Chicago, hospitals offer new grad RN programs where they partner you up with a preceptor.

Specializes in Respiratory Step Down, telemetry, hospice.

I agree that it depends on the state you are in. I graduated 2 years ago, as well, and all the grads were able to find employment upon graduation. Good luck to you.

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

Back in 1995 in a huge nursing shortage, yeah right... in Buffalo, I had to take a geriatric psyc position at $10/hr. I was dang pleased to get it, sick I know. That launched my career. I litterally applied to every single facility in an hours drive. Nursing homes wouldn't even take me. (no disrespect for my nursing home peers).

Point is I had to take anything, anything no matter what the hours and it was 3-11 with three school aged kids, was hell on my marriage. After a year, and months of looking and begging recruiters (I think I wore down one who gave up and hired me into a long term vent dependent floor). From there I wanted ICU. I had to move my family 600 miles out of state to do this.

I never would have though we were able to just up and leave, it was inconceivable, but we did. Now 17 years later, I've done everything from managed two ICU's, done EP/cath lab, precepted almost all of it and now my kids are grown and I'm a travel nurse.

Things are not that different now, only if you are in a tight market like I was, know that I put in applications to every single facility every 30 days, called each HR person weekly and got on a first name basis with them. It WAS my full time job to get a job. Heck, I even brought in donuts to severat HR people that I had gotten close with from so many calls, just to thank them. I worked my hind end off, for the crappiest job and celebrated it. It really, really took that much work.

Reconsider your efforts and compare them to mine and see if anything I did to succeed can assist you in your search. Constant pleasant follow up calls is what I firmly believe made the difference. I wasn't pushy, but friendly, asked for advice and stayed in contact with EVERY recruiter. I either wore them down, or they respected my drive to be hired, I'll never know.

Yes it depends on the state. I passeed my nclex 3-29-12 and was hired @ a job fair the next day and have been working since 4-23-12. Maybe you might want to look into moving. Best of luck my friend.:hug:

Hello adenia,

I am in the same boat as you are.

Try your state health website for job postings, they will show you Level-1 RN positions (no experience required)

you can apply to those positions and might have a need to relocate.

I am saying this out of my experience, cities usually don't have any shortage of experienced nurses,

so, you might have to move to a more "rural" setting where they actually need nurses to fill up positions

and they usually hire you and want you to start ASAP.

And the plus with state jobs is that they after you get some experience you can become eligible for a transfer.

You might not get a specialty of your choice initially but anything is worth a start.

There is always a place you will find to fit in !!!

You got yourself so far, DO NOT LOSE HOPE !!

P.S: they are hiring RNs and LPNs for flu shots/ immunizations they usually hire nurses with less experience, you might wanna


P.P.S: try craigslist for job listings

I began applying for RN positions in April, before I graduated in May. I only applied for the positions that I wanted. I told myself that I would give myself until July to get a job that I wanted. That didn't last long, by mid-May I was applying for every position that didn't say they wanted experience. I bookmarked the 3 major hospitals in the area and looked at their job board daily. I went to the newspaper website at least twice a week. I went to the state website that also has a Job Search. I put in no less than 50 applications since April. I had 4 interviews out of all that.

My #1 job, I did everything right. Saw the ad, applied. Emailed the hiring manager and set up an interview the next week. It was where I did my management rotation, my preceptor was giving me a great recommendation and my kids' pediatrician even called to put in a good word. That job went to an in house transfer. I was devastated.

2 days after getting the news...I went back to searching the job boards and state website. Found an ad that looked good and applied. I also applied for a few positions at my 3rd choice hospital. The next day I got calls and set up interviews for the following week. Monday's interview went well, she was going to hire me but before she could the hospital implemented a hiring freeze. Tuesday's interview was a phone interview, it didn't go so well. The job wasn't for me.

I hadn't been as diligent about emailing the nurse recruiter because she stopped responding to my emails. I decided to go back through job postings from before April and just see what happened. I emailed the nurse recruiter and asked what else I could do. I put in 6 applications that day. She called me and said that I am doing all that I can, not to give up. She said that the market is unlike anything she has seen in 20 years. We hung up, I had renewed spirit. The phone rang and it was from a position that was posted in March. I scheduled an interview for the next day and was hired on the spot. I went through the HR process and start orientation next week.

I know this has been long but I hope it helps. Don't give up. Make finding a job your job. One classmate posted that she put in 6 applications over a month ago and hadn't heard anything back. That just isn't going to cut it. In sales there is a saying "for every 10 no's you get a yes". Well that is pretty much how it worked out for me. The day after I took the job, I had my 5th call for an interview. So out of 50 applications, 5 call backs. You have to put yourself out there. So my suggestion to you is to call HR at the hospitals and ask to speak with the nurse recruiters. Go in and meet with them, take your resume and see if they can help you tweak it.

Good luck!

After 6 months I moved half way across the country to enter a new grad position at a state that pays less than half of my home state.. but I got into a great training program, have learned a lot and continue to learn with a great group of people. IT was hard and $$ no doubt about it but I am glad that I was able to move. Just a thought if you are able to move. Some states are easier to get a job in than others.... yes it is very hard... I wish the media would represent what it is really like... Best of Luck to you.....

move to the phillipines, get your experience and then come back. sorry, but its true.

or you have to know someone who can get you in. or if you find a really awful unit that has a lot of turnover because experienced nurses can find better jobs, you can probably get in there. But its not worth the stress, danger to yourself and patients and risk to your license.

trust me! Once you are injured, its tough to recover and harming a patient would be something on your conscience for the rest of your life....even if it was due to poor mgmt/staffing/lack of training. you would still bear the burden.

I would look for work at a hospice or doctors office or something related, but not at a hospital. Hospitals are the worst places to work.

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