New grad, no job, what should I do?


I just graduated in May. I took NCLEX in June, passed, and got my license the first week of July. I am having a very hard time finding a job. I have applied to every single hospital within a 50 mile radius of where I live. I haven't even had one interview. All I keep hearing is "we aren't hiring new grads at this time". I am beyond frustrated. I never thought I would have such a hard time finding a job. Now I have a new problem, I have been offered a job waiting tables at a very popular restaurant. Question is, do I take the job as a waitress until I find an RN position, or do I just wait it out until someone hires me as a nurse? I am really tired of sitting around the house, not to mention my husband barely makes enough money to support us. All of our bills are behind. I am very depressed at not being able to work as a nurse. It doesn't make it any easier when I see my nursing school friend's posts on facebook talking about how they love their new jobs and new cars (the few who were fortunate enough to find jobs). I never thought I would have to go back to waiting tables. I guess maybe I am being a diva. I just need some advice.

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Not being a diva, it's valid concerns and frustrations. You have to just keep up your determination and motivation. Relook at your resume and stuff and see if there is anything you can do to fix it or improve it. Maybe get feedback from others. Look at things you can do to get noticed. If you NEED money now than do the waitressing while you are looking. Usually it can take some times, then you have interviewing, pre-employment stuff and so on. So it could be 1-2 months to start from when you even first interview. So you can do that in the mean time to get an income and just keep at it with the search. You're not alone. Many people are struggling with same thing so it's not just you. "Just keep swimming"


235 Posts

Thanks. I guess maybe I felt like it came across that I think I am too good to wait tables, but that's not what I meant at all. I just never thought I'd have such a hard time. Everyone talks about a nursing shortage, but it doesn't look like a shortage to me.

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

I didn't take it at all like you thought you were to good to wait tables. You just worked hard to get into nursing school, pass, and get your license. It's understandable you would not want to wait tables but start a career as a nurse instead.

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.
thanks. i guess maybe i felt like it came across that i think i am too good to wait tables, but that's not what i meant at all. i just never thought i'd have such a hard time. everyone talks about a nursing shortage, but it doesn't look like a shortage to me.

well, there is no nursing shortage and there never will be given that there are people getting into nursing thinking that there is a shortage (i do not think that lie will ever die out). by the way, your feelings are understandable. you went to school and passed the nclex to work as a nurse, but are not able to do so right now. however, i know of at least two people who graduated with me that went back to waitressing tables for a few years because they could not find Nursing Jobs. i am sure that there are those getting into nursing with no prior skills or education who will just be jobless after passing the nclex. keep applying possibly all over the country while you wait tables to pay your bills. save up to possibly move to another area, if you can. good luck.:up:


235 Posts

Another thing that's very frustrating is, I have years of medical experience. I worked as a CNA, phlebotomist, and medical assistant for years before going to nursing school. I have been in the medical field most of my life (I am 33). I know it's not RN experience, but it is medical experience. But it doesn't mean a hill of beans.


22 Posts

I know how you feel because I'm also in the same situation. Have you looked at doing flu clinics? Looks like a lot of postings are showing up depending on where you're located. That's always something to do in the meantime.


235 Posts

I haven't seen any listings for flu clinics in my area, but I am willing to do anything at this point.

Specializes in LTC, Float Pool, Ortho, Telemetry. Has 27 years experience.

You may also look at clinics, Nursing Homes, Home Health, Hospice, Psych Hospitals, etc. Try to get some experience anywhere even if it's part time or per diem. Don't give up and look at everything out there as an opportunity!;)

Specializes in ER. Has 12 years experience.

Sweetie, take the waitress gig and continue to apply your a*& off! I got my license just over a year ago and have put in hundreds of applications. The strange thing is that there seems to be some magic in applying so much. I truly hope for you that you don't have to wait as long as I have, but the more you apply the better you get at it and you start to see what might grab someone's attention. And while there are days of feeling worthless and hopeless, you just gotta' pick yourself up and keep going. I still have no job, but I've had a few interviews and did well and I've got 2 open houses to go to this month! I figure there are managers who really need me, but they just haven't met me yet so they don't know it! Go easy on yourself and take the job, you'll feel better and the stress of having overdue bills will ease as you get caught up. You will also be less desperate and less likely to accept a bad job. Best wishes to you!


92 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

Take the waitress job in the meantime to relieve some of your financial stress and perhaps look into volunteering in a hospital so you can get your foot in the door. This worked for a few of my classmates. Also, contact your clinical instructors in nursing addition to teaching clinicals, they probably also work in a hospital and may be able to recommend you. Another couple of my classmates got a job this way.

Don't let yourself get so frustrated, it sounds like you've only been licensed less than a month? It may take a while for all of the places you've applied to to go through their applications and contact you.

Good luck!!!


235 Posts

Yes, I have only been licensed about a month. I have applied to every single open position I have seen, everywhere. I really didn't care for most of my instructors, they were not very nice to us, so I doubt they would be willing to help me now. But that's a good idea about volunteering. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks!