New Grad RN Advice Please

  1. I have been searching all over the place....Canada wide, recruiter magazines, websites, personal contacts, etc....You name it, I am trying it. Quite clearly, the market is poor right across Canada. No surprise. I'm wo9ndering if anyone has any advice? I am willing to relocate, and I'm considering all of my options.

    It seems as though it's almost easier to get hired in the US these days, which is sad. Because the majority of the postings I am seeing is NP, Clinical Nurse Specialist, 2-5 years experience, etc.....Doesn't ANYONE care to invest in new grads? After December (I'm taking a course in Crisis Prevention), if I don't have a job here, I think I will either move to the US, or go overseas to teach English. Because the loans have to be paid.

    Does anyone have any ideas or advice? Thanks! Much appreciated. (And volunteering is out....I thought about that too, but if I know that I may be relocating, I can't commit to 6 months to a year somewhere. I also need to get paid )
  2. Visit joanna73 profile page

    About joanna73

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 5,489; Likes: 11,527
    from US
    Specialty: geriatrics


  3. by   m_aidez
    Have you tried LTC? Home health? How about the new grad initiative? I know there's no job guarantee after you finish but at least it's something if you pick one of those options for now.

    Looking at the US forum, it doesn't seem like they're in any better position than us.
  4. by   RGN1
    They are recruiting again in Calgary & rural Alberta, have you checked out the website there???
  5. by   Fiona59
    Quote from RGN1
    They are recruiting again in Calgary & rural Alberta, have you checked out the website there???

    But it's worth noting that AB's new grads are still looking for work.
  6. by   UofCRN
    Hi there ... I graduated from the University of Calgary in '05 -- the job market in AB was absolutely horrible then (and still is), so I wrote the NCLEX and was offered a job by the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California. They offer a preceptorship program for new grads, and you can request a particular speciality (I did med-surg, but one of the gals who was in my intake class specialize in NICU). If you're not afraid to travel, you may want to think about writing the NCLEX, and if you do, license through Minnesota, as they're superfast to get you a licence (I did the NCLEX in Helena, Montana, and the next morning, back in Alberta, I found out on the Minnesota BON site that I'd passed). I'd be willing to share more of my story if you're interested.
  7. by   joanna73
    Hi Everyone:

    While I have only been looking for 2 weeks, I have sent out probably 15 resumes and cover letters, with no response except for people that I managed to get on the phone myself. A recruiter in Nova Scotia told me he has nurses coming from as far as Washington DC, and nothing at the moment. A lady in Alberta said they've ended their new grad initiative for now. The new grad thing in Ontario is a response from any of those applications I put in, and not much to choose from their either. Most of the postings are either for experienced nurses, NP's or RPN's. I am seeing this ALL OVER the place too.

    I also have job alerts set up with various sites, and I have contacted all of my nurse contacts to let them know I am looking for work. Not to mention that the majority of the postings are for part time or casual only...if you can even get that, and most are not for new grads. Like you can't even apply...because it will say "2-4 years experience, plus Trauma cert, plus venipuncture, plus plus plus.

    After my exam, I will start the cold calling LTC places using the phone book. However...this is the thing: While it IS still early in the game, if I don't have a job by January, I will be completely screwed. I am 37, I live on my own, and I am 30,000 in debt because of school. I can't afford to sit around and wait for calls for months on end.

    So I am hoping something happens, and staying positive. But it's either move to the US, which is a possibility, or go overseas to teach English next year. Because as much as I want nursing, I can't wait forever and hope the calls come. From what I have heard from experienced nurses, other people in this forum, and my own friends in general, it is very tough right now.

    Also, what happens if you haven't worked as a nurse for a year and a half?? They might have to consider some kind of bridging course for all of these nurses who are in this situation. It's just a shame all over. I've spent 5 years to win awards, excel in clinical, and all for this? I know I am not alone....

    I will keep going, and I'm not giving up by any means. However, I am trying to think of anything I can do to stay afloat. Declaring bankruptcy is also not an option either. I refuse to ruin my good credit over this.

    I wish all of you well, too. I hope this soon changes. Too many nurses are not being utilized all over the place. It's also kind of embarrassing when people say, "You did well in school, and you are a nurse. No problem to find a job". Yeah, right!
  8. by   joanna73
    Hi Uof CRN:

    I read your post again, about taking the NCLEX. This is something that I have considered as well, and I am open to travelling somewhere to work. After I write the CRNE, I plan to do this. Would you mind emailing me when you have an opportunity please? I am interested to hear your story.

    One of the questions I have is this: Is it better to go through a recruiter, or contact the hospital directly? I see postings all over the place for "new grads".

    Anyway, you can email me at

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate it.

    Also, it's pretty damn sad when your own country won't invest in their nurses, and you have to search elsewhere for work. This same scenario happened in the '90's. From what I can tell, although the US is also in a slump, there are still more opportunities there for new grads than in Canada.
  9. by   joanna73
    Silly me...I must be tired I read my post..."their" should be "there". Yes, I can spell. Too many hours looking at a screen....!
  10. by   m_aidez
    Apply to those "plus plus plus" jobs anyway, you never know. The worst they can say is "No, you're not qualified," but hey at least you tried--sort of like your last HORAH! You've only sent 15 resumes in 2 weeks, it takes HR forever to go through resumes so there's still a chance. You don't have to "sit around and wait," make your job hunt your full time job for now. Those part-time, casual jobs can be your life saver and if they hire you that doesn't mean you should stop your job hunt. It's too early to be worried. Also, stop looking at threads that are about "new grads not getting jobs," It'll just drive you nuts. lol

    Teaching English overseas can be a great opportunity and adventure but there's two other things you need to consider: 1) There's some schools that would terminate your contract without notice so that they do not have to pay you the completion bonus and your return flight, and 2) The salary is similar to how much you will be making if you worked part-time. You have to do your research.
  11. by   joanna73
    You are right, and I am intending to do as you say. But based on this economy, it isn't too early to be worried. Because the reality is....I'm broke. maxed out already, and....trying to be proactive before I get to the desperation point, which has not happened yet. I won't let it. I never have.

    Based on what I do know, it is challenging even to get one part time job, let alone two. And if I was 25, I might even be less concerned. But nearing 40 soon is a different matter. At the moment, my focus is preparing for the CRNE. After that, I will look into taking the NCLEX if nothing on the Canadian side seems promising.

    To be honest, what I am seeing for employment in Canada as a whole is not impressive. I would much rather either go to the US for full time, or go overseas to teach. Part time work or temp work isn't enough. I spoke to a nurse friend yesterday who just got permanent part time after a year.

    So while it is early, I'm realistic about what lies ahead, and looking at all the options. Loan payments are due soon, which, actually, I've already started making.

    In any case, we will see what happens. At least there ARE some options. I've also been through recession before, so I am aware of the ramifications, which, I suppose, makes me more cautious, and wanting to act versus waiting.
  12. by   RGN1
    If there is a lesson for up and coming nursing students it is to get a position somewhere when they are training, many of our newly hired grads worked here first as N/A's then UNE's during their summer vacation and then they got casual lines as grad nurses and now they are filling RN postings as they come up.

    They are perfect as they know the unit, don't need orienting and kind of have the requisite experience in a way.

    Too late for many but worth noting for those still to come.
  13. by   joanna73
    I would agree with that. However, I know of people during the last 2 summers who tried to secure positions as students and could not, because of low vacancies and the recession. There was an article in our local paper today discussing the fact that 20 percent of students over the last 2 years have been unable to find summer work in even the most basic jobs.

    And while I might have secured a position, I decided not to, simply for financial reasons. My contracting job is very flexible and pays more than I would get say as a ward clerk. Considering the state of things, I'm glad that I don't owe more than I do, or else I would be in even deeper trouble right now.

    When I was in second year, there was no problem for nurses to find jobs. Furthermore, I would have been hired at the end of my last placement, but, due to funding cuts, no one was hired, and nurses were being laid off at this facility.

    So unfortunately right now, it comes down to crappy timing. This also does not mean that I am giving up either. I worked too hard for this, for the last 5 years now.
  14. by   pisceanbabe74 come i don't hear from you about Manitoba? Some of my friends got a job offer from Manitoba & Nova Scotia. And have learned that they also have good benefits.....just wondering.

    >>>Just passed CRNE & my children just got here in Alberta. I'm also looking for RN position, trying to get one here in Alberta because I wish us to be stable here for a while before moving somewhere.