Help!

  1. I am an RN with a bachelor's degree and 2 years experience on a renal telemetry floor. We are moving to Dallas, and I've been applying at several different hospitals in the region. The problem I'm having is that almost every position I'm interested in is more of a specialized area (OR, PACU, Nursery, NICU), and if the employers follow up on my application at all, it is only to tell me that candidates must have 1-2 years of experience already in that field.

    How is it possible to get, say, surgery experience if nobody is willing to train perfectly capable nurses from other areas of expertise? They told us in nursing school, "If you don't like what you do, you can always try another area that you like better." Well, I'm finding out that this is definitely NOT the case. It seems that the only people who are interested in hiring me are dialysis, renal floors, and med-surg units, which I am not especially interested in. I worked my two years at a job I was unhappy with because I knew that after my contract was up I'd be able to find a job I was happier with.

    Since I've already become frustrated with nursing for a multitude of reasons, not being able to find a job that fits me is making me seriously consider leaving nursing and pursuing another career.

    Does anyone have any suggestions how to get past this?
    Last edit by ckben on Sep 7, '06
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    About ckben

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 38

    11 Comments

  3. by   catlady
    Being that you're moving from another area, perhaps the recruiters are somewhat leery of bringing you in with no experience in those patient care areas. Would you be willing to offer them six months to a year in the areas in which you have experience, if they'd then be willing to let you transfer?

    I ran into a similar situation years ago, when I had surgical floor experience, and wanted to go to one of the ICUs at another hospital. The recruiter insisted I wasn't qualified and wanted to put me on med-surg. I held my ground and insisted on interviewing with the units or not at all. I ended up getting an offer in CCU and went to work there.

    But see if you can't get past the recruiter and go directly to the hiring manager. After all, most specialty areas hire new grads and you and I were more experienced than that.
  4. by   MelRN13
    I totally understand your problem, I am going through a similar situation myself(see my thread "What nursing shortage???).

    I got a few words of wisdom from an old timer today. She said, why would they want to hire someone with "x"amount of years experience when they can hire a new grad for starting pay? No offense to newbies, because we've ALL been one, but it makes sense...
  5. by   Jolie
    I strongly suspect that you are running into recruiters who are simply trying to fill their "hardest to fill" positions.

    Most NICUs in large teaching hospitals hire new grads, so the argument that you must have experience goes right out the window.

    Try to find the names of the nurse managers of the units to which you wish to appply and contact them directly. You will probably get farther that way than by going thru the nurse recruiter.

    In my experience, HR departments and nurse recruiters are necessary evils in the hiring process, but rarely work in the best interests of the nurse managers or candidates.
  6. by   ckben
    The funny thing is, I would absolutely take a cut in pay if it meant I would be happy with my job. Oh well, just have to believe something will open up for me. Either that, or come January when my husband is graduated and working I'll be looking for a different career.

    It's very sad, I don't want to give up nursing since I worked so hard for my degree. But if using my degree and work experience means that I'll have to stick with jobs I'm unhappy with, no thanks. Like I said, I'd much rather make less money at a job I'm happy with than make more money and dread going to work each day...
  7. by   babynurselsa
    I have had more luck over the years going straight to the unit and speaking directly to the manager. You can call the unit and ask the name of the manger. You can then call them or just go to the floor.
  8. by   gshe
    Dont lose hope! your still young ,there are lot of opportunities..get a experience in the field you want..
  9. by   EricJRN
    In a large area like Dallas, there should be several hospitals that offer nurse internships for new grads or experienced nurses who want to change specialties. Look into them. They still pay you, give you a great orientation, and then they'll most likely keep you on as a staff nurse.
  10. by   landnurse
    Hi, I am from Louisiana and interested in moving to Dallas too. This move won't be for at least 1 year. I am a new grad (5/06) and knew I wanted Labor and Delivery. The HR dept. flat out told me no way no how because they don't hire new grads. Well, I went to the supervisor of the floor and I have been an RN there now for 3 months. So, my advice, definitely talk to the head of the unit you are interested in first and let them decide if you are qualified. Best of luck to you.
  11. by   elcue
    always try to do an end run around the recruiter :spin: and connect with the nurse manager of the unit where you're interested! call the hospitals and ask for perioperative services or surgical services, not the or. this will get you a secretary who you can ask for the names of the nurse manager and nurse educator. then you can write each a nice cover letter to send with your resume, which you can follow up with a phone call a week later, when your name will ring a bell with them.

    many ors, by the way, now offer a training class for rns who have general experience. look up the dallas chapter of aorn (assn of or nurses- http://www.aorn.org) to find someone you can call to ask which local hospitals offer the course.
    we realy need interested nurses to join our ranks in the or! good luck. linda
  12. by   Antikigirl
    I faced a probelm with gaining a new job in nursing too...but I didn't leave my area! What the probelm was is that I worked in an ALF for a few years and no one thought I was capable of taking on other areas of nursing! Yeah right!

    What I did was took a risk...I worked agency! Now working agency in a large city like Dallas would certainly pay off! Pleanty of work there I would assume (we have a large need for agency in our larger cities like Portland, Salem, and such!!!).

    Agency was great! I got to choose my hours and facilities and really got a feel for different facilities! I also got to choose what floors/types of nursing I would do!!! For you..this would be great...get into the job with specialized skill...and that is worth more!!!!! That way you can get your foot in the door and prove you can do it! I did..and wound up having two hospitals battle it out for me, my choice in schedule and pay, and many more perks! I was almost scared because the hospitals were going to give me so much!!!!!

    I picked my favoritate place to work in, with a very wonderful supportive staff! AND the irony...I had applied to them 5 times, and was totally overlooked! I got my choice in schedule/benifits starting early/pay scale and more!!!!!! Whoooooooo hoooooooo!

    Good luck, and if you can do your job on the fly and have great personal and work management skills...you can do agency no probelm!
  13. by   TiffyRN
    I don't know if they are still doing it but Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas used to have a "fair" every Oct. for their internship positions; things like different ICU's (including NICU), ER, cardiac. These internships are designed for nurses new to these fields be they GN's or RN's that have been in other fields. I'm sorry I've never been to one or worked there; but I was looking to change fields a few years ago and found out about this "fair". It didn't work out with my desired schedule so I didn't wind up there.

    And I agree with the other posters; do an end run around those darn recruiters; you will do much better speaking directly with the nurse managers. The RN job market is wide open in the North Texas area.

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