Why can't I find an LPN job?

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I am having a dilema. I graduated as an LPN in Aug 2009 from one of the most reputable nursing schools in Central Florida. My first choice job was a government hospital job, which takes a long time to process, so I applied there as soon as I passed my boards in September. They lost my application and I had to start all over again, then they said it was a waiting game. It is now December and they said it could be 3-4 wks to hear from them. I need a job NOW!!!!!!!! I have been applying to all the local hospitals that still hire LPNs. Many are going to PCT/RN only. No luck there either, they all want 1-2 yrs experience and no one seems to count my year of clinical rotations as experience. Now, I have started applying at all the local ALFs and anywhere else I can think of, even if it is not a "dream" job. I just need work.

    My question is...does it take a long time to get a job these days? Am I doing something wrong? My resume is up-to-date and lists all my school and clinical accomplishments. I also am out there on Career Builder, Monster and several other sites and to a couple of recruiting agencies.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I am getting very discouraged about this.
  2. Visit Ladybuggers profile page

    About Ladybuggers

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 10
    Mom/Student; from US


  3. by   MedSurgeMess
    It's just a rough market for anyone without experience. And sorry, clinicals do not count as experience.
  4. by   nursebrandie28
    because hospitals do not want to pay LPNs so they hire less qualified techs who get a two week training course!!

    its a shame...bring back the LPN!!
  5. by   Ladybuggers
    I understand now that clincals don't count, but may I ask why? That is awesome experience. I rotated at the same hospital for 8 months, besides ALF, L&D, and ped's. Ugh, it is so frustrating. I also went and got IV certified
  6. by   DogWmn
    check LTC, sub-acutes/rehabs, doc in the boxes (urgent care centers) and also this website


    it will let you really customize your search and will pull jobs from all the job sites.

    I wish you luck.

    I'm a returning nurse licensed in Ohio, but can't get licensed in GA where I live. Keep on truckin'
  7. by   Ladybuggers
    Thank you Dog Wmn. I have looked through www.ineed.com before and continue to use it. I have applied for so many on there, I forgot which ones, hahaha. I am praying to find something soon. Christmas in on the doorstep and I have two boys.

    Good luck to you in GA
  8. by   EmmyBee
    Lady Buggers,

    I'm here in South Florida. I've been lucky so far, because I have experience as an LPN. But I'm definitely worried about what will happen, once I graduate the RN program I'm in.

    Have you tried any of the nursing agencies for flu shots? I know the season is almost over, but you might be able to get a few weeks out of it. What about Craig's list, The Flyer, or the local paper? Sometimes there are job listings in those that may ask for 6 months experience, or won't specify how much, saying at least 1 year experience "a plus" or "is desired". But that doesn't mean they wouldn't consider someone with less time. Some of the places advertising on these sites, are not always as adamant about how much experience you have (depending on the job, of course).

    I have found over the years, that even though a place might specify a certain amount of experience is required, they will still call you for an interview if you apply. This is not to give you false hope, but there are people out there who WILL give you a chance. You just have to be persistent and go for things, even though you might think you don't stand a chance.

    I know you said you have your resume out on various sites. But also check out indeed.com if you haven't. It has jobs from more than just one site listed. Also, maybe you can look for temporary work as a care giver, sitter, or companion. These are also advertised on the above places I mentioned. It is less money, but it might be better than no money, for now.

    Lastly, from my experience, nursing homes and nursing agencies were the two that gave me my break when I first started out. So take a few days and go around leaving an application at some of them, even if they are not hiring. You might even consider applying for hospice care. I am doing that now while in school. I had no experience with it, but they did offer an orientation course. If you make a good impression at these places, sometimes they will think of you when a spot does become available.

    Good luck to you! Hang in there. You will find work. It might just take a while longer, but someone will give you a chance!

    Edited to add~ I didn't see the above post with indeed.com. But see, someone else agrees with me!
  9. by   military spouse
    Just keep trying. Apply for everything. They won't count your clinicals because every nurse did clinicals to graduate and every nurse feels that their clinical rotations were the best. I second what the others said about trying all the SNFs and AL places. In many parts of the country it is tough even for experienced nurses. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    I believe that clinical experience is not used because most students do not deal with a full load of patients. And, with this economy, they do not have the funds or the available staff to mentor new grads. This is not saying that I agree with the situation, but this is what I am hearing across the board. They seem to want experienced people who won't have so far of a learning curve and can be cut loose faster.

    Also, depending on where you live, hospitals may not be using LPNs as frequently (if at all). I live in New York. City hospitals still have them, but it doesn't seem to be as many as before...they are replacing the ones that leave with RNs-BSN preferred.

    As suggested, I would try a nursing home as well (nights, preferably, in order to have a slower pace). It may be slower paced, may have loads of patients, but at least you would be able to master the basic nursing skills of picking up orders, passing meds, tube feedings, dressings, etc...and I am hearing that some nursing homes now have vents and more advanced care.

    I got hired at the same hospital I worked as an aide because they sponsored my education. I was working in a clinic before, and am again. We had two months of training on med-surg, where I didn't see as much. A year or two later, I signed up for an agency that my hospital uses to gain med-surg experience and went once a week. I didn't get a chance to do a tube feeding until I worked in ICU once, and I was scared to death. But, finally, I heard the 'swish' of adding a bit of air in the tube to check for placement. Still only did one dressing and placed 3 catheters. Good luck!
  11. by   MedSurgeMess
    Quote from Ladybuggers
    I understand now that clincals don't count, but may I ask why? That is awesome experience. I rotated at the same hospital for 8 months, besides ALF, L&D, and ped's. Ugh, it is so frustrating. I also went and got IV certified
    Experience is the amount of time working under your own license, with the similar amount and type of patients assigned to you that the job desired requires. I got this directly from an HR person at my hospital, and an HR person at the hospital where I teach clinicals. In clinicals, you practice under your instructor's direction and license, and usually only have 1 patient. It is very controlled so that you can learn critical thinking skills in steps to be able to pass the boards. With experience, you should have that critical thinking down.
    My hospital has very few LPNs, only a couple of CNAs, but the rest is all RN staff.....we are a Magnet facility.
    Last edit by MedSurgeMess on Dec 2, '09 : Reason: additional info
  12. by   Sandcastles
    I am an LPN in Central FL and when I left agency to find a staff job 8 months ago the picking were slim.Mind you I have 7 yrs experience,some of it hospital.
    keep your head up and keep looking.A nursing home will be your best bet.Agency is ok but it wont give you steady hrs,hence why I left the agency scene.I couldnt survive that way. I will say a prayer for you.I can surely relate....best wishes on your search
  13. by   determine2brn
    If needed you can always relocate to Southeast Missouri. Where I stay at they are always hiring LPNs especially @ the nursing home I work at. For new grads the pay is $15hourly the cost of living is cheap.
  14. by   NewTexasRN
    Just keep applying. Don't give up.