NEED HELP-Licensed RN (ASN) NJ, no experience and out of school going on 3 years...

Nurses Career Support


Registered User information.gif page_edit.gif add.png search.gif

Join Date: May 2005

Posts: 27

My question is for people who do the hiring......I graduated my nursing program (ASN) almost 3 years ago, I'm a licensed RN and have no nursing experience except for the clinicals at school. Due to a multitude of reasons (including spouse having surgery and being on disability, my own shoulder injury which took months of physical therapy (it's perfect now), etc..), I stayed at my current, non-nursing job since it paid about the same rate as a new nurse.

This has been very disappointing since I had been, and still am, jumping at the bit to begin my nursing career. Anyway, I went to a job fair and it was very discouraging. I understand the competition is now tough, I can deal with that, but they all looked at me like I was nuts and really didn't want to even talk to me because I have no experience AND I've been out of school for almost 3 years (so I'm not considered a "New Grad"). Any advice, ideas, would be greatly appreciated.

Specializes in Flu clinics, Med/Surg, Acute Care.

I can understand where they would be coming from. How would they be able to know that you still have your skills since you have been out of practice for over 3 years. I actually think that puts you in a worse positon then the new grads are in right now that are struggling to find employment. Here are some of my suggestions: volunteer at a hospital in your free time, take a nursing refresher course if you can afford it, sign up for some seasonal Nursing Jobs(flu clinics or anything as an RN). The main thing is getting out there and showing them that it would not be a risk hiring you. Also I would apply everywhere that you were willing to work and use your job that you have now as a great reference, especially if you have been there a while. Goodluck!

Thank you for your reply. Do you think it would be a good idea to try for a nursing assistant job just to get my feet in the door or would that not be a good idea?

Because you are a licensed RN, in most states you will be held to the highest license you possess when you are in a healthcare setting.

For example, if you are assigned to a patient who experiences an adverse event, such as a blood transfusion reaction, and you know that the pump was set too fast, or that the patient's vitals changed, it won't matter that your scope in your facility was as an NA. The state, and the subsequent lawyers, should there be a lawsuit, will hold you as liable as the nurse, because you had the knowledge and expertise to solve the situation. Your hands were simply tied because you were practicing beneath your professional license.

Specializes in Flu clinics, Med/Surg, Acute Care.

Honestly I do not think employers look to highly at RNs or LPNs working as aides. There first thoughts are "Why has this person not worked or is not working as an RN". I still say apply everywhere that you can and try any position with the title RN. Working as a seasonal flu clinic RN for two different companies really started getting my resume noticed for positions in hospitals and such. Good luck!!

Sorry I haven't responded yet, I was having a problem with my computer.

Thank you so much for your responses. Yes, I was doubtful about the aide thing, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't bypassing something. I'm glad I asked.

Your ideas are great, I'll certainly start doing some research on those.

Any other ideas out there would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you :redbeathe

Another question.........if I were to take a Nurse Refresher Course, would I then be considered the same as a "New Grad"?

There are jobs for nurses, you just have to know where to look. Have you tried the temp agencies like Kelly services, etc? It's doubtful someone will hire you FT with benefits w/o experience. For instance, I have a friend that is looking to hire new grads in the Berwyn, PA area and needs people open to learning new things, not just hospital duties. If you want an office environment, email me, stmusic at hotmail.

There are some online nursing refresher courses too. Sigma Theta Tau has a totally online one for only $350. You can set up your own clinical refresher if you want, I think they stated they can help you with that (don't quite remember that part).

good luck. I graduated May 2008, had a couple of short jobs as an RN....still seeking that coveted position! I hear your frustration!!!!! I am hoping this job comes through in a few days or I will be studying up and taking the sigma theta tau refresher program as well, to add to my resume. Take Care.

+ Add a Comment