New RN grad looking for ANY experience....please help!

  1. Hello all,

    So here is my dilemma: New grad RN and looking for a job!!!!!! Sound like a broken record, I'm sure. I just received my license in the mail (woo hoo!). I live in Chicago and would like to relocate to either Memphis, Atlanta or Miami to work. I am interested in Trauma or ICU, and lately have gotten an interest in Dialysis. I took an IV Placement Certification through Nursing Spectrum (last year), and have my ACLS (received in October). I would like to say that taking my ACLS before NCLEX was TRULY helpful. Now, I do not have a BSN only ADN, and I realize my certificate is not the same as having a certification. So I guess what I am asking is, what else can I do to beef up my certs/skills as being a suitable for the acute care environment? The home health/ and nursing homes that I have applied to are looking for experience. The hospitals are on the same page as well, even those who have a residency program require BSN holders strictly. I read about new grads who pass up the flu clinics and I'm like, "well how can I get in on that." At least they're offering something. I keep coming to dead ends and I refuse to get discouraged. But I don't want it to carry on so long that it looks that I've been out of school too long without any experience. I've even applied for jobs as a Patient Care Tech or CNA/Nurse helper, ya know, just to get my foot in the door. But I get denied because I'm an RN already. What is a girl to do?
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    About ChicagoRN-BSN

    Joined: Dec '10; Posts: 48; Likes: 186
    Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Trauma ICU, Informatics


  3. by   GHGoonette
    Have you thought of doing volunteer work in one of the 3rd world countries?

    New grad volunteer in South Africa - Nursing for Nurses

    Plenty of options out there, if you're prepared to give up the time and travel a bit....
  4. by   lilypad2424
    In Texas, where it appears from other posts that the job market is pretty good. I don't know ANYTHING about other cities, however, I am going to tell you what I did, as I just graduated in May and had a somewhat difficult time finding a job.

    First of all, understand that you will eventually get what you want, but don't close your mind to other options. I started with all the people that I went to school with. I spoke to them, and gave them copies of my resume to give to their supervisors. I also applied to every internship program within a certain distance from my house (which by the way, I did not get one single call from.) I live in Houston, which has a HUGE medical community, so I read the paper for job fairs (I got my job through a job fair.) I looked online ( is a helpful site,) and talked to whoever would listen. I also do home health and flu clinics on the side. You just have to ask around and call to find agencies in your area.

    All that being said, I feel your pain. It was very frustrating for me b/c I had this idea that as soon as I got out of school there would be a job waiting for me. I was also a LVN for 3 years, so I did already have some experience which probably helped, however, I STILL had a hard time finding something, and I pretty much took what I got offered. I've only been at my job for three months, and while it was frustrating, I now understand why they want experienced nurses. Needless to say, it's a whole new world.

    You seem to have a really great attitude, which is 90%. Something wonderful is waiting for you :0) Good luck!
  5. by   ChicagoRN-BSN
    GHGoonette- I have thought about that for possibly after completing my BSN...or MSN. For the obvious reasons, finances. However, I will look down that road again. Maybe if I don't go so far, like Mexico/South America, as opposed to Africa. And then when I can truly afford it, I could expand the horizons a bit more.

    Lilypad2424- I totally agree. I keep talking and asking. I've used too but no avail. But you're advice about getting local...gave me some ideas I hadn't thought about. Definitely will look further. I am glad you were able to find something. Thanks for the kind words.
  6. by   Emergency RN
    Join the military; experience and benefits that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I live in downstate IL and work in nephrology. Fresenius is the dialysis company in this area and I know they are hiring in the area. You might contact them.
  8. by   VikRN
    Fresenius Medical Care: "Minimum of one-year medical-surgical nursing experience preferred. Hemodialysis experience preferred but not required. ICU experience preferred."
  9. by   HarStarr
    Quote from Emergency RN
    Join the military; experience and benefits that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
    The military requires BSN. I looked into that too.
  10. by   mswhitern
    Try applying for VA...they are hiring new nurses
  11. by   ChicagoRN-BSN
    EmergencyRN- As HarStarr stated, they require BSN holders as well.

    TraumaRUs and VikiRN- I have applied with Fresenius numerous times, as well as DaVita. So far no response. However, I had applied during nursing school to be a tech. They actually called me numerous times for the same position in various locations. Each time they decided it best I wait until I finish nursing school. Now that I have, I find it funny how I can't even get a response email that I wasn't picked. Lol!

    Mswhitern- Thanks...definitely looking into that.
  12. by   2126
    I was told to apply everywhere, even if it's BSN preferred/1 year preferred. As long as it's not required you are in the clear. I don't graduate for another 10 weeks, but I'm dreading this whole process. I'm also only going for a Diploma for now. It's really frustrating because I need a job...yesterday. What about doc's offices? I saw a post once where someone just started faxing her resume to every doctor in the area and ended up landing a job that way. You never know! Good luck!!!!!
  13. by   Emergency RN
    Quote from chicagostudentnurse
    EmergencyRN- As HarStarr stated, they require BSN holders as well.
    Sorry, I mistakenly misread your OP as having a BSN; in that case, I can now appreciate the depth of your dilemma. However, all is not lost. There is such a thing known as the STRAP program, which the military uses to help train civilian doctors and nurses, but in return, the graduates are obligated service for a few years. I recall having read of others in this forum using it to get their BSNs while getting paid for it as they do it; upon completion, they get their BSNs and are then commissioned as officers. I don't know the specifics and if it would help you. But here's the link and you can find out for yourself:


    At any rate, good luck to you!