New Grad or Old Grad?? HELLP!


So, long story short, I have had personal/family/finance issues that has kept me from taking my boards and beginning my career as an RN. I graduated in 2006 with a BSN. Through struggle, strife and basically a life epiphany, I have finally passed my boards (YAY!) and felt like the worst was over. I feel like was sadly mistaken. I got my license in June and still have yet to receive an interview. I am only 25 years old, but I feel like my life is racing past me without the money I need to step into the 'real world' with my career. Can anyone offer any advice? My mom is an ICU manager and she insists that I don't need to take an RN refresher course because they hospital that will hire me, will train me for that unit. I'm holding off on doing that also because I don't have $400 dollars to burn. Almost every nurse recruiter I have spoken with has said that I've missed the boat for the new grads that they hired for June and the next one either won't be until September or even until NEXT YEAR! I can't wait that long. I am struggling with paying rent and I want to start working as a nurse already! On a lighter note, today I did receive a call for the corrections facility in Fairfield, Ca as a Nurse. Is this a wrong move?? should I take this opportunity in the mean time or will I lose my skills as a nurse??

I know that was worth starting 4 or more threads, but I have a lot on my mind! Please someone, help me!! :banghead:


470 Posts

Specializes in behavioral health.

I would not think that a refresher course would be necessary. You just passed your boards not long ago, so your knowledge should be pretty fresh. Just be patient! I don't know about the corrections job. Check out the speciality correctional nursing site. They should be able to answer any questions that you may have.

Oh, and congratulations. June was only two months ago, so don't fret.


417 Posts

Specializes in ccu cardiovascular. Has 12 years experience.

Hang in there, something will come up soon. First of all the refresher course you do not need. That is for Rn's that have been away from the job for a while, you are fresh out of school. The corrections job, I just don't know about that one as your first job. Start hitting the pavement and apply at every facility in your area, don't wait til they place an ad in the classifieds. It's not that I am for neputism but can mom help get your foot in the door on another unit, or do you prefer to not work at the same hospital?


110 Posts

Specializes in Medical/Surgical, L&D, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

Wow!! Congratulations on passing your boards!! That is a great accomplishment!! It sounds like you are in the bay i right?? I recently graduated in May and have yet to find a job. I'm in in the same boat as you because all the new grad programs already did their hiring and most hospitals only have new grad programs once or twice a year. If you have a shot in corrections nursing I would say go for it...however do your research to make sure it is somthing that you want to do!! I just want to tell you not to give up ok!!! Just try to stay positive and keep applying. Make sure your resume and cover letter are outstanding. There are many nursing jobs out there...(however many jobs require experience) just need to really look hard and find them. I wish you the best of luck and you can PM if you want to talk some more...

Nurse This!

12 Posts

Thanks everyone for your kind words, i'm already in LOVE with this site! :redpinkhe

as for asking my mom, i've thought about it...and that's just a whole lot of pressure that i already have and too many people i know growing up as a child and coming to see her at work and at parties, thanks. its really a relief that others think i don't need the refresher course, but it has been almost 3 years...

well, thanks again everyone and if anyone has any word on being a corrections nurse and starting out in a correctional facility as a new grad, let me know!

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

That's the thing....the whole new grad times have generally passed. Any major healthcare facility will want you to go through orientation with other new grads...because why train 1 when you can train 12?

Perhaps a short-term job in LTC/corrections/clinic/ in order? After all, interest is fine, but you gotta pay the bills. It's silly to hold out for months or year when you gotta start making some green.

as long as you're honest when leaving, you should be fine. just have faith.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

As the others have said, you don't need a refresher course. You do, howeve, have to be persistant in the application process, and perhaps accept that you might not find immediate employment now (June new grad orientations, January new grad orientations are comonplace training times).

Our facility would consider you a new grad, and place you at those times, but not likely in between.

As for the corrections job, I guess I'd be surprised at one that would hire you! What I mean is, there's corrections facilities in my area, and every time an ad is posted in the paper, it stresses the need for someone with strong clinical assessment skills, someone who is familiar with large med passes, someone with experience. I'm always hearing that they need to be very autonomous, as there's not much help to call on (nursing-wise, that is). I never heard of them taking a shiny new RN with no experience....and honestly, I'd be kinda worried about them if they did!


310 Posts

Can't Mom pull a few strings and get you hired on her unit?

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.
I am only 25 years old, but I feel like my life is racing past me without the money I need to step into the 'real world' with my career. ... Almost every nurse recruiter I have spoken with has said that I've missed the boat for the new grads that they hired for June and the next one either won't be until September or even until NEXT YEAR! I can't wait that long. I am struggling with paying rent and I want to start working as a nurse already!

Life is stressful when you're worried about paying the rent every single waking minute. I've been there.

But take a step back and realize that *September* is now just 15 days away. If the next crop of new grads in your area graduates in December ... NOW is the time that those people are applying for jobs, and your application should be in there with them.

Getting a professional job takes time. Hospitals are large organizations and the people you need to have contact with (HR, nurse managers) are busy and their responsibilities on any given day are not soley dedicated to filling a particular position.

Be persistent. Keep applying, and keep in weekly contact with nurse recruiters. Use this time to keep learning about the hospitals you're interested in so that you have meaningful questions to ask once you get an interview. Your mom & her network of coworkers can be a valuable resource for you in that area.

And get a part or full-time job doing something, anything, to pay the bills in the meantime.

Good luck to you. :)


1,078 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 5 years experience.

Can you volunteer? I bet the Red Cross would love some help!

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

To clear up a few things:

Just because someone has just recently passed their licensing exam, does not mean that they are a brand new grad. When one has been out of school for two years, that is most definitely taken into consideration. Most of the new grad positions are expecting someone that has just completed classwork and has just gotten their degree and then tested.

Fairfield is considered the Bay Area and there are many more recent new grads than there are new grad postitions that open each orientation time, and most of the facilities only offer them two to three times per year. They are not offered all of the time as they are in other areas.

With your mother as the manager of the ICU, more than likely you would be unable to get hired for her unit; most hospitals have specific clauses about this in their contracts, suggest that you check with HR before doing a thing and see what their take is on it or get a hold of the employee handbook for the facility. I have never seen it permitted to be done in my long career.

A few facilities will have a new grad orientation start before the end of the year, but the majority will not be until February starts. Would suggest that you look out of your area to have the best chance of getting hired. It may require a longer commute or actually moving to get the experience.

If one has two years of experience, it is fairly easy to get hired. As a new grad, and one without experience is still a new grad even if they graduated ten years ago; it is much more difficult. The Bay Area has a very large number of nursing programs and most of the grads wish to stay in the area.

Trying to go for a new grad program when you have been out of school for two years and for ICU is going to be exceptionally difficult for you. And I most definitely would not advise it. Start with something that does not have all of the added in stress to it to get your feet wet again.

Best of luck to you.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Thread moved to the CA forum since it is specific to working in CA.

And we have new grads or experienced nurses, there is nothing else in between.

I would also recommend that you take the time to do some reading on the CA forum about what is actually happening in the Bay Area at this time.

Best of luck to you.

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