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Graduated in March, Cannot Find a Job

cfelt23 cfelt23 (New) New Student

I know this is a tough time for everyone looking for work, but I can't seem to find a job anywhere in my city. Some of my classmates in other areas were able to find work but I've applied to many jobs and can't seem to even get an interview. Are there better places to look for postings? Is there anywhere on the East Coast hiring? I don't want to move but student loans are going to be kicking in come the fall and I'm starting to worry I'll have to. Does anyone have any good tips or resources for finding work?

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

Eastern NC is in need of nurses. Raleigh-Durham, Wake Forest, Greenville, I would assume Charlotte, too.

A friend of mine just graduated and has had 6 offers. One could not start her until August because of training and another stepped up and offered her a job starting immediately.

Edited by mmc51264
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Oh WOW!! I've applied to over 10 jobs and haven't heard anything. All of the new grad programs are either downsized are canceled all together with the possibility of returning in the fall.

4 hours ago, cfelt23 said:

Oh WOW! I've applied to over 10 jobs and haven't heard anything. All of the new grad programs are either downsized are canceled all together with the possibility of returning in the fall.

10 jobs is nothing in this job market. You need to look at anything and everything that might be hiring. Yes, that includes nursing homes.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

Ten jobs in THREE MONTHS? There's 99% of the problem.

Finding a job (not your dream job BTW) needs to be your full-time job.

  • Less-than-desirable job = RN pay and RN experience
  • Holding out for dream job/ residency = NO $$ and NO experience

I've applied to anything in the city that is hiring new graduates: nursing homes, rehab facilities, public health organizations, big hospitals...I've even tried just volunteering places. I've set up job notifications on various sites, I look every day. I know a lot of my classmates in my city are having similar issues. I think where I am has been very strict with the lock down and hospitals are doing the same. I am willing to take anything and even before the pandemic wasn't expecting a dream job. I also had hard time taking the NCLEX because my state closed most of the facilities so I had to cross state lines so I've only really been on the job hunt since mid May when I was able to take the test. The 10+ number only referred to the hospital jobs I've applied to, not the others.


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

Have you applied to positions outside of "new grad programs"? Hiring managers will be more than aware that you are a new grad once they review your application and if they are in need of nurses and select you for an interview, they will be willing to train you. It would be the same thing without the "new grad program" title.

Also, look into the VA via usajobs.com. There are always openings for RNs on the CLCs (aka nursing home) within the VA system. They are trying to shorten the onboarding process so that it won't take months on end from application to entry on duty.

I have applied to anything that doesn't specify having more than one year of experience, both part time and full time. I will try to apply to more jobs even if I don't feel I exactly match the qualifications. I have put in an application for the VA but I don't think I looked into anything for the CLCs specifically, but I will thank you!


Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

Here's some areas where I think you could improve

-Apply to 3-4x the amount of jobs you're applying to right now, literally any RN posting that becomes available, apply to it (doing so may even make your resume and cover letter stronger), search every hospital within your range and use multiple websites (indeed, Glassdoor, hospital pages, etc.) If a job says "we prefer x,y,z" dont exclude yourself. Apply, contact the manager, and go from there. Certain places may be more flexible than you may think.

-Reach out to other people, especially if you work in healthcare already. I landed my interview because I reached out to a coworker who's sister happened to work on the floor I was very interested in. Just because you don't know the person doesn't mean they can't be a great resource for you. They can give you insight into floors/units and can give you manager information (just be sure your connection is reliable reference/employee)

-Contact the manager directly. If you have a reliable connection/resource on a unit you're interested in, get in touch with the manger. Express your interest and why you want to work on that unit, and attach a cover letter/resume. Even if that unit does not currently have a position listed, they may tell you they will be hiring soon (in which case, they now have your name and your application has a better chance of being passed along & looked at)

-If you work in a hospital, go to the unit and introduce yourself in person to the manager, express your interest in the floor & inquire about any openings! In some instances, it may be better to email the manager first, introduce yourself, and ask for a brief meeting for you to come in and say hi.

-Have multiple people review your cover letter and resume (which should both be tailored for each job you are applying to)

Long story short: be aggressive in your search, dont be afraid of putting yourself out there, and use your resources!

Edited by KarlieRN


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

Remember, “preferred” and “required” holds two different meanings. Anything ‘preferred’ is fair game and negotiable, depending on your ability to sell yourself. Having never been employed as a nurse is an opportunity for employers to mold you into their ideal nurse. (hint, hint)😉

marienm, RN, CCRN

Specializes in Burn, ICU. Has 8 years experience.

Central NY is hiring new grads into hospital positions. One heads-up: the way my employer words the ad, it asks for 1 year of experience but stipulates that RNs with less than one year may be hired for a lower-salaried (still an RN) position. It does this for all RN positions but we are definitely hiring new grads. PM me and I can send you more info if you like.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Western and North Central PA is hiring. Look at UPMC Health System and Geisinger Health websites.

Southwest Wyoming is 2000 miles from parts of the East Coast. I know because I drove two round trips when we moved from New Jersey. However, we are in an under-served area which can give student loan forgiveness. You won’t have to stay forever, but you will get marketable experience for when/if you return home.