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I can't seem to get hired at all; time is running out and I'm losing hope

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in Med-Surg/Telemetry.

I'm a 23 y.o nursing student, about to go to the last year of the 2 year ADN program. I decided to apply for several externship positions in several hospitals. I applied for 3 jobs recently, to increase my chances. I also applied for 3 other externship position 6 months prior, and the manager or whoever is in charge of hiring never called me back, I did not even get any interviews at all.

I call Human Resources (HR) to find out if if there is a way I can get a hold of the manager, a phone number to contact. Both times when I called HR in two hospitals, I talked to the receptionist , they told me that the way it works is that if they are interested, they will set up and interview and see if you will get hired. They would not give out the contact number so I can reach the manager.

Maybe I should not call the receptionist at HR, maybe I should contact someone else, like a recruitment representative and see if I can get a contact number for the hiring manager. What do you guys think?

The 3 jobs I applied for recently, I'm certain that for one of them I'm not hired, because I checked the status of that application online, although I am not certain.

I have a clean record, I've never been to prison or charged with a felony or any other crime. I guess the reason that I don't even get an interview or the fact that I am still not hired maybe due to the fact that I don't have any paid work experience, such as working at a fast-food restaurant or a supermarket. I did 50 hours of volunteer service, that's about it. Well I'm just frustrated. Getting a job at a hospital is much harder than I thought. I know I meet the minimum qualification, I am a student nurse who has completed the first semester of nursing school for ADN. In my area, we are eligible to start externship. I even provided 3 refererences from my instructors to supplement my non-existent work history.

I have 2 more applications that I am waiting to see the status of. I am going to go by what HR told me. THey told me if they are interested and I meet the minimum qualification, they will contact me for an interview and possibly get hired.

How should I go about it? Should I play the waiting game and wait for them to contact me, or should I be aggressive and find a way to get a hold of the hiring manager? I must be doing something wrong.

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

These things usually take time and effort (which you have greatly put into it), but I am sure that sooner or later you will land a great one at that. Best wishes to you and don't dispair.


Has 9 years experience. Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic).

Hang on....

Many hospitals are swamped with new grads beginning or currently in orientation. Budgets start to look bad, so they are reluctant to hire. If you wait, they may decide to hire once things calm down, and the budget returns to normal. Best of Luck!


Since you are in your last year, 2 semesters right? Then I would focus on finishing those out. If you rotate to a certain hospital that you enjoy, pop into the staffing office and see what they can do for you. You will have your student uniform on and a smile and you can let them know how much you enjoy the facility and see if they can offer you a position part time, possibly to sign on with them after you graduate.

You can work as an Interim Permit here in California and I know the San diego area, Scripps has a great reputation. 8 years ago when I graduated, hospitals in the OC were so hungry for fresh meat they were offering outrageous sign on bonuses, cars, heck they would polish your feet if you joined up!

You will have a lot of options. That is a route I would suggest. Good luck.

I got my job as a tech where I did my clinical last semester. I talked w/ the nurses, found out the names of contacts within the hospital etc. Do some networking at your clinical site and maybe you'll find a job that way!

live4today, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Stay encouraged! You still have plenty of time left in your schooling as you continue to hunt for the right job for you. Don't view the situation in a negative light. A lot of what is going on today in the workforce is difficult for potential employees to comprehend...it's not all about those of us who need a job, but more to do with their budget and way to keep themselves financially protected. So, keep looking and don't stress over the challenge. I'm in the same boat, only I'm an experienced nurse. If the jobs I applied for so far were jobs with my name on them, I would have a job by now. The job that is especially for me and me only will come along....I have faith in that, so keep the faith yourself. :balloons:

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections.

OMGosh Animaniacs you are in San Diego and can't get hired? oh no that looks bad for all of us who live here. :uhoh21: I was really planning on working as a CNA next summer before I start LVN school. What college do you go to? I live in East County.

I have checked on the web and many hospitals appear to have positions available. I was especially scouting out Sharp Grossmont in La Mesa. I went to hot jobs at Yahoo and under healthcare all the hospitals around have numerous jobs listed as well as on their own websites. Wow what a difference between reality and what you percieve tho huh. I thought they were all hiring.

Good luck in your job hunt. You've gotten some great advice here already! :)


Specializes in PACU.

i agree with the other posters, a lot of externs at my job got the positions by investigating and networking during clinical. also another way to get the managers number is sort of sneaky but it works.... call that you are interested in working on and ask to be connceted to the nurse manger/supervisor ,they will connect you because they have to. if you cant get the number to the floor call the main switchboard and get connected to the floor first and then take it from there. i wish you the best of luck, some facility will be really pleased and to have someone as persistent as you, dont give up i know how hard it is to get that first foot in the door. keep trying and good luck to you! keep us posted:)

Happy-ER-RN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

I had the same problems. I tried to get hired as an ED tech for a year before I graduated nursing school, never even got a call. My classmates had similar problems. However as soon as I applied for a nursing position I was pretty much hired on the spot. All my classmates got nursing jobs within weeks of applying. So even if you don't get in now that's not an indication of how it will be when you graduate. Hospitals are more concerned with their staffing shortages, training someone who might not even stay is just a lower priority.

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience.

You are only halfway through a nursing program. It is still early, and lot can happen to people halfway through.

If you wait until you are within a couple of months graduating to talk to HR I am certain they will look at your application much more seriously. I am within a couple of months of graduating and I've decided I'm going to wait until I have my RN license completed before I go looking for a job. A year is too far ahead for the HR people to be thinking about right now. Many times they are lucky to look as far ahead as a week at a time.

You will do fine.


Has 20 years experience.

I agree w/the others. Keep the faith. And keep trying. They are SWAMPED this time of year in HR depts w/new grads and summer hires.

How about seeing if you can shadow a CNA in the hospital? I know that my hospital does this. It can give you the opportunity to see how the floor operates and you can meet more people on the floor. If you are positive and seem really enthusiastic, it may stick in peoples mind. Give them a copy of your resume, outline your educational experience and volunteer experience.

Also, keep applying to HR. Be a pest. Don't rest...I did this and I'm now working at the hospital I wanted to.


I got my job at the hospital I did a rotation at. my clinical instructor was on staff as a contingent. She helped me. Also consider the time of year you apply. most hospitals hire externs at specific intervals, interviews in march mean work in april or interviews in november mean work in december. good luck and don't give up.


volunteer and get to know the managers on your own and express an interest

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