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New grad. How to land my first job? Please help


I graduated from a BScN in June 2012. I wrote the first exam in ontario but did not pass. I rewrote the Ontario Exam in October and passed. Now looking for jobs but the new grad incentive is gone. I really want to get a pediatric position but I do not have any clinical experience in it. Is there anything I can do that may help me land a career as a Pediatric RN. Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you

During your pediatric clinical rotation, did you establish a relationship with the nurse managers on your floor? I am a recent graduate in the US and was able to obtain a position in the field I wanted within 2 months. I think the key to my success was actually going to hospitals armed with my resume and recommendation letters and introduced myself to nurse managers in person. They appreciated the extra effort that I was taking above and beyond just sitting at the computer and applying online. I ended up getting hired on a floor that didnt even have an open position. Going to hospitals in person, dressed professionally, may help you get your ideal position.

Our program was a little different. We were not guaranteed a pediatric position. During the final year, it was a hit or miss on getting what we really wanted. We were assigned our locations. We did not get a choice in it. As a result, i did not get any pediatric rotation :(

In school, you didnt rotate to different areas in the hospital like med/surg, labor and delivery, psych, etc? If you didnt have at least a pediatric rotation, it may be difficult to reason to a nurse manager why you want to work in pediatrics and why you would be a good fit. Have you worked with pediatric patients at all in the past? Its extremely challenging and taxing, it takes a special nurse with a very special skill set. Did you have any clinical rotations at a hospital? If you developed a good relationship with the facility, perhaps you can shadow a pediatric nurse for a shift? When it came to finding a positiin after graduation, my clinical instructors were very supportive in assisting me. Have you reached out to them for help? Have you done any networking to meet people in pediatrics? Meeting nurse managers, visiting them on the floor, making yourself known will be a big help. When they are thinking about hiring for a position in which a fresh grad would be accepted, you will the first person that comes into their mind. Good luck!

My placement consisted of med/surg, mental health, LTC and we also did public health nursing at non- hospital facilities. None of the locations had any relation to pediatrics, and I know that a Pediactric position would be challenging. None of my instructors and preceptors had any affiliations with the pediatric field. I have always liked caring for the sick and caring for the younger population. Is there anything that I could do that could help me get a position with that specific population. I was looking to volunteer for the SickKids Hospital but there are currently none available. Is there any tips that you could give me?

I believe I already mentioned in my above posts multiple times that I found success in obtaining an RN position by actually going to hospitals, dressed professionally and with multiple copies of my resume, and introducing myself to nurse managers on floors I wanted to work on. Sometimes I was met with skepticism but all it takes is confidence and being able to think on your feet in order to make a good first impression. And, as nurses, these should be some of our most finely honed skills. If there is only one hospital that you have to pursue a pediatrics position, you may want to consider expanding your search. You graduated in June, you dont want to be out of the game too long.

Is your childrens hospital really named "Sick Kids Hospital"??? That's, well, kind of weird!

It is officially termed The Hospital for Sick Children but it has been shortened as SickKids.


Specializes in LTC, Rehab, CCU, Alzheimers, Med-Surg. Has 3 years experience.

Isn't that the hospital where multiple infants died of suspicious digoxin overdoses?

This was back in 1980, and you cannot base the hospital's reputation on the acts of one nurse. That was definitely tragic and hopefully will never occur anywhere ever again. But, overall, this hospital is well renowned and gives excellent care to the pediatric population.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Is your childrens hospital really named "Sick Kids Hospital"??? That's, well, kind of weird!
It's not weird at all. Sick Kids is a world renowned pediatric hospital in Canada. Toronto, to be exact. Officially, the facility is called The Hospital For Sick Children aka Sick Kids, to many Canadians.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

Is your childrens hospital really named "Sick Kids Hospital"??? That's, well, kind of weird!

I don't find it weird perhaps because I've been familiar with this hospital for a while. I had a patient who was treated there once while on vacation in Canada and received excellent care per his family. I certainly don't think it's any more weird than naming a Children's Hospital after a toy company, bank or former first lady (Hasbro Children's Hospital in RI, Mattel Children's Hospital in LA, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in NY, Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Maine). The weirdest name of all for a children's hospital to me, though, is Cleveland's "Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital." It's certainly more accurate to call a hospital what it is- a hospital for sick kids.

To the OP- I agree that not having a pediatric rotation will make it more difficult to secure a job in pediatrics. Do you have any experience working with kids at all... like in other areas? I think I definitely had an advantage when I was applying for jobs because every job I'd ever had since I was 14 years old was with children... I started as a teacher's aide in a preschool summer school program, then became a substitute teacher when I was in college and also volunteered at 3 separate camps for children with various illnesses (epilepsy, HIV and cancer) and did a year as a 1:1 bus monitor for a child with severe autism. If you have any experience like this, capitalize on it! Otherwise, I'm not sure I have much advice for you... a lot of people go into nursing thinking they want peds and then run in the other direction after their peds rotation so a manager might be skeptical to take on a new hire who has no experience with children.

Thank you for your input. The only experience I have is babysitting babies and toddlers throughout high school up to now. Also one of my placements involved assisting with play time for toddlers. I know what you mean about people thinking they want to do peds and switch to another field. But, I am positive it will not apply in my case. My goals have always been to work with kids and has yet to change. Thank you for your input.

Do you know if there any certifications or anything that I could do to help me get started. I was thinking of doing a NRP and PALS certification while I wait for an interview. Do you think this will help me and is there anything other suggestions?

OP, did you go to Ryerson? I did and I feel your pain about not having mandatory rotations in the "usual" areas ie MH, peds, etc...

I had LTC,med/surg,whole year of community and then a year long specialized rotation. I moved out of province and you might have to...Ive heard Toronto and alot of Ontario is crummy for jobs right now. I graduated in June 2009 and have had a full time regular nursing job since then...the only option at the time was to move half way across Canada!

Inbox me if you wanna chat about job options

And Sick Kids is a fabulous hospital ! I guess the name must sound a bit weird to USA nurses...but its one of the best pediatric hospitals in Canada

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Same. Toronto is still terrible for new grads. I moved out of Province at the end of 2010, and I have no intention of returning at the moment. Many of our contract nurses come from the GTA, and the job situation is still dismal. OP you could try Sick Kids, but you may need to relocate if peds is your goal.

I did go to Ryerson. I liked my placements but would have really liked if I had the opportunity to the Peds rotation. Since I am a new user, I cannot inbox you, but I would definitely like the opportunity to discuss what you did. Let me know if there is another way to keep in touch.

Thank you

What would be a good place to relocate to? I honestly want to start with Pediatrics and stick to it. I know What I want and any suggestions would be good.