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Help! No one taking New Grads what to do for 6 months?


Has 2 years experience.

Hi all,

I graduated a couple weeks ago but have been applying to jobs for a month. I have applied to nearly 100 jobs in Massachusetts and Connecticut but no one seems to be taking new graduate nurses. Not even a tiny bit of interested from anywhere!

I have applied to several Covid+ skilled nursing facilities (which I have nearly a decade of CNA experience in) and they are too overwhelmed to take me, which I totally understand (but it sucks!).

I have applied to all the New Grad Programs I can find but they're far and few between now (don't want to bank on em). I have bills to pay, but I can't file for unemployment "preemptively" because Covid is severely limiting my opportunities for a new job 🤦‍♀️

I have yet to get an attestation to test from the BON, and Pearson Vue says NCLEX test dates are pushed back until OCTOBER at least! That's half a year away before I even take the NCLEX and get a license 😞

My parents are saying I'm crazy- that I should wait for someone with the staff and patience to train a NGN and not just take a CNA job but I'm already very antsy (if you couldn't tell..)

Thanks so much to anyone who has time to respond!

I know everyone is trying to get out and be safe but please let me in!

aspiringcnm3, RN

Specializes in Labor & Delivery.

If I were you, if I needed to pay bills, I’d try to get some kind of CNA position, especially at a hospital I was interested in working at. That would be a great way to get your foot in the door. Crisis positions are paying really well right now although you also have to accept a working environment that will be, frankly, downright awful. Whether the compensation feels right for that exchange is up to each person.

If I had some wiggle room financially (if you’re still living at your parents for example, since loan payments are deferred for everyone, etc), I’d take a step back and take a big breath in and take a little break from applying. This is an insane time and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. Be proud of yourself for finishing nursing school! You will find something eventually, you will take your NCLEX eventually. Hopefully things will have settled down by the time you are officially licensed.

Whatever you do, don’t just take the first nursing position you can get. Your first year as a nurse shapes you in a lot of ways, and it is a very difficult transition when the ship is sailing smoothly. Right now, the ship is not sailing smoothly. I would not want to be a new grad right now and I commend everyone who is training during this time - I can’t imagine the stress.

I am not trying to discourage you, but I would make sure whatever opportunity you do accept, that you really believe it is a good fit for you.

best of luck!

Lost NewGrad

Has 2 years experience.

Thank you so much for your post. I starting a temp job that will take me as an nurse, but I am still worried about where I’ll go after NCLEX. Nursing homes/ ECFs seem to be in great need but hospitals aren’t taking new grads. So I’ll try not to pick the first option but it will be very tempting. I have a fairly competitive CV but yea... no one has it easy right now.

once again- thank you!! Stay safe!!

Make sure you are putting maximum effort into NCLEX study. You have been provided with a forced period of extra study time, don't allow it to slip away from you. Good luck with the temp job. Do well and establish good references for when you start your new job search.

Red Shirt 6, CNA

Has 2 years experience.

You can include 3RNET,org and USAJOBS.gov if you have not already done that. Look at state, county, and maybe city for employment. It is mainly Public health but it is something to think about.

To help you feel more productive and less anxiety try taking some free or low cost certifications courses.

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

Some of our hospitals around here will not even pay attention to you until you have passed the NCLEX. I think you are panicking too early. Study. Pass the NCLEX and then reapply to each of those jobs with your license. I received emails from residency programs here and in March they told me they would get back to me and I'm still waiting. It certainly is a tough time to become a nurse.

I understand you have to do what you have to do until you can get that RN job, but take this time and study. Once you pass the NCLEX, you can then focus on getting an RN job.

If your parents are being supportive - accept their help.

While I was perusing AllNurses about 2 weeks ago, I saw on one of the threads where recent graduates were taking their NCLEX. Some had appointments in July, but they would check daily for open spots in case people cancelled.

There were certain states which had testing centers open. From what they were saying, if you are willing to travel away from your area, you might find an open testing center where you can take the NCLEX earlier.