Hopeless New Grad

Nurses General Nursing


Fellow New Grads

I am having the worst time landing a new grad position here in San Diego, CA and am getting near restless and frustrated. I graduated from an accelerated BSN program in NJ in November 2009 and took my NCLEX in March 2010 and successfully passed the first time. I moved to to CA in June with my fiance not knowing that the job market for new grads was terrible here. I've applied to a few New Grad positions before I moved at Rady's, UCSD and SHARP but didnt get into either of their summer programs. Since then, I have been on the computer every waking moment applying to anything, even positions that require 1 year experience, But I have gotten hundreds of rejection emails, and not one interview since I've been here. I have applied to every hospital within a 100 mile radius!!!

I even went as far as getting ACLS certified, I have previous caregiving and volunteer experience, although they werent for a year, but I figured at least the nurse recruiters could see that I've got some sort of experience outside of clinicals done in school. My fiance has not landed a job yet either and we are on the verge of becoming broke if we dont get jobs in the next month. Student loans are due, rent is high, bills keep coming left and right, and I am freaking out. I never thought I would have a problem getting a nursing job. We have no family here or friends, we took a risk moving here to start our lives and everything has been great except the fact that we dont have jobs YET.

I dont know what else to do. I can't afford to move again or wait to get endorsed in another state especially if its the same problem elsewhere. every job posting not only in san diego, but other cities keep saying, "new grads not accepted" "sorry no new grads" "new grads not accepted at this time" "this is not a new grad position" I MEAN WHATS the deal? Someone has to start hiring us sooner or later. There should be more new grad programs offered several times a year. I've even tried non-RN positions and no response to those either. I almost regret pursuing this career because of this issue.

Does anyone have any advice or going through a similar problem?

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

You need to spend some time reading others' threads. You are certainly not alone. And it's certainly not just your area.

There are many, many new grads without jobs. Worse than that, there are just as many (or seemingly so from allnurses.com) who are no longer considered "new grads" because they graduated in '09 but have yet to find positions.

All any of us can say is....keep on keepin on. The tide will no doubt turn in time - it always does. I'm sorry that you're stuck in the low tide. Just don't take it personally.

Specializes in PICU, OB/GYN.

I wish I had advice, but I don't. I am in San Diego too, about to graduate, and unless you know someone in a hospital (who is influential), you are going to have a hard time. San Diego is a very expensive place, especially if you are struggling to find a job.

I am finishing up my BSN, and will graduate with honors (3.8). I have ACLS, NRP, BLS, Fetal Heart Monitoring, and I am going to be getting PALS soon. I am also eligible for my Public Health Nurse cert. Furthermore, I had an externship in the ICU and volunteer as a doula. Sorry to say, this hardly sets me apart from 1,000+ applicants!

Is it possible for you to move? (I know you just moved) but I see ads quite often for Central California new grad positions. I would suggest trying to get volunteer experience, and perhaps taking a job in another field in the meantime. I know a classmate who just became a personal trainer so he could gain some form of income.

It will pick up, I don't know when. I am not sure it will ever get back to how it was before...

I wish you luck!

I moved to San Diego from another state but I had secured a job prior to moving. That was in April 2008. The job market was tough then, but it has only gotten worse. The best advice I can give you is keep on trucking! You need to find out when hospitals are hiring new grads to their new grad orientation programs. Hospitals in this area DO NOT just randomly hire new grads. You have to get in on a program. If you moved in June you probably missed most of them. There will probably be another batch of programs for those who graduate in the Winter. Call recruiters and ask when they will be looking to hire new grads.

also, it is worth checking out new hospitals or hospitals that are expanding. My unit just expanded last year and we hired like crazy. Based on some of our hires - you'd think they just hired anyone that walked through the door! I think the new Palomar hospital is opening soon?

Try Alvarado? The top tier Sharp, UCSD, and Scripps are really tough...you have to know someone, or be insanely experienced. There is a lot of military nurses too in SD, and their experience is solid.

Specializes in ER, ICU.

Almost every job I have gotten has been through personal contact. Take CE if you can afford it and make friends with your classmates, volunteer with any organization where you can rub elbows with other nurses (such as the Medical Reserve Corps), or even volunteer at the local hospital (?). Since your fiancee doesn't have a job yet either, cruise this site and find out where there are jobs and go there. Good luck!

Specializes in Pediatric Cardiology.

I am in a similar situation but across the country in Boston. It is a tough market and I too am having a hard time dealing. I have to pay rent and student loans will be starting to come in December. Good luck in finding something, I truly know how much it SUCKS to be unemployed!

Specializes in Trauma, Burn, Crticial Care.


Have you thought about a position as a civilian in a military medical center ( such as the naval hospital). There may be other positions in the area at other federal facilities. Check out USA JOBS - it is the federal website listing all jobs throughout US. Search for profession and by location and see what appears.

Or - would you consider joining either the Army Nurse Corps or Naval Nurse Corps. With you BSN you could be comissioned as an officer. You can check out opportunities by googling those terms and you will be directed to the appropriate sites.

I worked as a civilian RN (CNS - TBI unit) at a medical facility here in DC and it was a good experience. I would have joined the Army Nurse Corps but I was already too old :( by the time I saw what it had to offer.

I am not recruiting for anyone.....just offering some suggestions.

I, too, went through the same thing graduating in NY in 2007. I found it easier to accept a position in a nursing home and later when I gained the "experience" I was hired in a hospital. Just keep on sending those applications and resumes. I know it's frustrating but you will be successful! Good luck!

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor.

I was going to suggest long term as well or a doctor's office or home health or something else non hospital related. Something to get "RN experience" and to pay the bills with.

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