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New Grad needs a Job - discouraged


I know this may be premature...I graduated less than a week (I know what you're thinking), but I have yet to land an interview anywhere. I have applied for several positions:

  • Inova Fair Oaks - Med/surg and new grad critical care fellowship ***not under consideration*** for either
  • Inova Fairfax - Med/surg application is ***in process***
  • Sentara Northern Virginia Hospital - Med/surg Oncology ***not hiring new grads***, General Med/surg ***under consideration***

A little about me...I graduated from South University in Richmond, VA with a BSN, I am due to take the NCLEX in July, and I have 12 years experience as a CNA and Unit Secretary. My resume highlights both of these.

I am a bit discouraged because most of my cohort has already had an interview or has one lined up (granted this is in the Richmond area).

I have a strong work ethic and believe that I would be an asset to any floor I work on (yes, I am selling myself right now :bored:)

Just wondering if anyone has any words of advice or similar experiences. I could really use the encouragement.



Specializes in LTC.

A week is nothing. I graduated 4 years ago with a BSN, 3.5 GPA, department and peer nominated awards and none of it did me a bit of good. Comically, in 2012 I was hired part time by a hospital where I had applied twice as a new grad and never received a response - but was immediately contacted when I applied for a medical transcription job there and was hired - why? Because I had 25 years experience as a transcriber. I had bills to pay and I finally gave up on nursing. Just to show you how it goes - my hospital last year hired 3 new grads out of all the hundreds who applied because it was all they could afford. Interestingly, 1 if those new grads was the wife of one of the doctors I work for. She only had an associates. She was fast tracked and hired on the spot, I guess because they believed she would stay, unlike most new grads. Right from the beginning, she was being mandated to stay frequently after the end of her shift as they were always short staffed. She worked nights and wasn't getting out of there til 10 or 11 in the morning. I don't believe she is working there now. It appears that she quit and now stays at home. Meanwhile, the hospital has now turned to forcing new grads to sign legally binding contracts to force them to stay and keep them from walking out, a more and more common practice these days. I wish you good luck. I hope you find what you seek.

I too understand your frustration but the hiring process is quite different in DC/NOVA/MD. Most of the hospitals in the area only fire new grads for residencies or fellowships.I (a new grad) live in northern Virginia about 1 mile from Sentara Hospital, and was somewhat disappointed when the Sentara recruiter informed me they do not hire new grads. I didn't land an interview/job until i applied for jobs in DC and Maryland. The commute might suck but Suburban hospital, Washington HC, Holy Cross, Sibley, Providence, and Adventist hire new grads.


Specializes in Pediatrics.

Inova doesn't consider applicants until they are licensed. So you should apply again in July after you pass NCLEX! I had about 6 "no longer under consideration" statuses before I figured that out. Good luck to you!

I know many places will interview and hire current staff that are new grads (CNAs, Nurse Techs, etc.) before even considering outside applicants.

I would seek volunteer opportunities with the hospitals you want to work with to get your name out there. After you pass your NCLEX don't be surprised if you don't get any calls. Remember, you are competing with everyone in the area that has graduated in the past year for the same limited number of new nurse positions.

From my personal experience it took 8 months for me to find a job.

In EIGHT months I did not receive a single interview!

During month 5 I started to change a few things...

    [*=1]I started volunteering at a hospital (oddly, not the one I chose to work for).
    [*=1]I earned my ACLS, PALS, and started a RN to MSN program.

Month 7, still nothing did some research and found that it was probably my resume not standing out.

    [*=1]I rewrote my resume and highlighted unique clinical experiences (like assisting a MD in bone marrow aspiration) and changed it from a boring standard cover letter to a more personal letter saying why I wanted to be a nurse and how I am passionate about nursing and my additional education showed my commitment to the field.

I think the more personal cover letter was the missing piece because as soon as I did, I applied for 22 open jobs (even if they required experience), and received 4 interviews the next week (crazy, right?).

I went to each interview and when they asked me if I had any questions for them, I asked what was their Hospital's 10-year/strategic plan for nursing.

That question sealed the deal because it conveyed the message that I want to invest my time in a hospital that will invest in me and my profession.
I was offered all 4 jobs and took the position with the hospital I felt had the best answer to my question.

Make yourself shine.


Specializes in Neuro, Ortho, Med/Sur. Has 2 years experience.

Have you considered George Washington University Hospital in DC? They hired me last year with just a ASN and I am currently working on my BSN at GWU online. This is a real urban hospital - fast paced, 12 hour shifts but fantastic learning opportunities. Look at their online job postings - especially those labeled intern. You will need your DC license but having that opens doors in DC.

As for INOVA, I heard they really only look for BSN and experience. With any of these hospitals, it really pays to know someone who can vouch for you in HR. Good luck!