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new grad residencies or start working

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Hi,

New grad RN in SoCal trying to find a job in a hospital. During school I focused on my studies and volunteer work. Obviously I am getting beat out by applicants to new grad residency programs because others have CNA, tech, or student nurse experience etc etc.

I have heard mixed reviews of working at snf or sub acute/rehab as experience for a hospital job. What are your thoughts on this? I am currently unemployed and debating if I should get a snf job while continuing to apply to new grad programs and get my ACLS. Do you think this will help?

I have a Kaiser recruiter contact who told me that they won't consider it as experience so what do I do? Continue to wait and apply? Or get a job that may or may not help even though I will hate it. Haha.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

It depends on if you can afford to be unemployed. I'll also let you in on a little secret: the hospital is not the end all to be all of jobs. I will never go back to a hospital setting unless it's the last paying job available, and I'm starving to death! Try dialysis, SNF, LTACH, or working in prison infirmary. Beyond that, you may need to be open to relocating, many in CA have had to.

Do not try home health, hospice, or school nursing without some kind of experience under your belt. You have to be able to make independent nursing decisions which require some experience. There are unscrupulous companies out there that will hire you and leave you high and dry. Good luck with your job search!

Edited by Hoosier_RN

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

If you can get a SNF/LTC position, take it. Lots of them administer IV antibiotics; so you will be gaining valuable experience. Plus, this will count towards ‘paid’ RN experience. You don’t know how long it will take to find a slot in a residency program (it could be longer than a year, and I believe that is the cut-off post licensure for these programs...I’m told).

Try not to sit idle if you can help it. It’s your career. Keep it moving forward. Good luck to you!

1 minute ago, BSNbeDONE said:

If you can get a SNF/LTC position, take it. Lots of them administer IV antibiotics; so you will be gaining valuable experience. Plus, this will count towards ‘paid’ RN experience. You don’t know how long it will take to find a slot in a residency program (it could be longer than a year, and I believe that is the cut-off post licensure for these programs...I’m told).

Try not to sit idle if you can help it. It’s your career. Keep it moving forward. Good luck to you!

Thank you so much!! 🙂

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Hmmmmm -

get SNF job = salary and work experience; or

stay home = no money and no experience.

First person I ever heard this from was another wise frequent member here, the Commuter. Giving her credit.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

2 hours ago, amoLucia said:

the Commuter

I miss her. I wish she'd come back, along with a few others (NOADLS, etc)

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I got a job at an ortho rehab that was attached to a SNF. I worked there 10 months, when I was offered a position as an ortho nurse. The best part is that I was considered a new grad for a year and got a position in a new grad residency. It was amazing!!

I’m not in SoCal but I’ve heard the job market for new grads wanting to go into acute care is extremely difficult. Add no tech/CNA experience and a pandemic, and I’m guessing your chances are next to zero. Not impossible, but certainly very unlikely. Where I am, we went from hiring new grads by the dozens to hiring a handful that were techs or had preceptorship. Some places here still have nurses furloughed

So, you can stay unemployed and hope something pops up or take a job out of acute care or move to some place that’s desperate for nurses.

4 hours ago, mmc51264 said:

I got a job at an ortho rehab that was attached to a SNF. I worked there 10 months, when I was offered a position as an ortho nurse. The best part is that I was considered a new grad for a year and got a position in a new grad residency. It was amazing!!

thats awesome!! I'm hoping that'll be the case for me

4 hours ago, beekee said:

I’m not in SoCal but I’ve heard the job market for new grads wanting to go into acute care is extremely difficult. Add no tech/CNA experience and a pandemic, and I’m guessing your chances are next to zero. Not impossible, but certainly very unlikely. Where I am, we went from hiring new grads by the dozens to hiring a handful that were techs or had preceptorship. Some places here still have nurses furloughed

So, you can stay unemployed and hope something pops up or take a job out of acute care or move to some place that’s desperate for nurses.

yes exactly. so then would you say that having snf experience applying for a new grad residency later on be beneficial? even though its not in an acute setting?

scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 14 years experience.

OP sounds like it would be an incredible long shot to get a new grad residency in SoCal. I would apply anyway, but never rely on a hail Mary. If you are willing to move you might get into a new grad residency in another state.

If your end goal is getting into a hospital period then your current goal is acquire skills/ experience. I would be cautious of long term care (LTC); it can pigeonhole you into just passing meds all day. Long term acute care (LTACH) you will see everything and gain excellent time management. You will also see a lot if you work in a prison infirmary. After you get 1-2 years of that under your belt you're loaded with highly transferrable acute care skills and experience.

As a previous poster said the hospital is not the be all/ end all. You may find since you liked volunteer work that you like working in the community better.

Good luck to you!

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

And though you'll be working long hours maybe you can do some volunteer work at a place where you will get more experience. I'm assuming free clinics do some IVs, caths etc. Keep track of your hours and what procedures you do. Wouldn't hurt to keep track of how many people you give patient education to also, as well as daily/monthly/yearly number of patients seen overall (if it's a busy clinic).

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

2 hours ago, Madeline Tran said:

thats awesome!! I'm hoping that'll be the case for me

yes exactly. so then would you say that having snf experience applying for a new grad residency later on be beneficial? even though its not in an acute setting?

ANY experience is better than no experience. Also, employers are suspicious of time-gaps in your resume. Having worked in any nursing job should not disqualify you for a different job later. Being willing to twiddle your thumbs while waiting for your dream job can be highly counter-productive.

There have been several posts lately by newbies worried that taking the "wrong" job will be a career killer. Don't put one bit of creedence in that.

18 hours ago, scribblz said:

OP sounds like it would be an incredible long shot to get a new grad residency in SoCal. I would apply anyway, but never rely on a hail Mary. If you are willing to move you might get into a new grad residency in another state.

If your end goal is getting into a hospital period then your current goal is acquire skills/ experience. I would be cautious of long term care (LTC); it can pigeonhole you into just passing meds all day. Long term acute care (LTACH) you will see everything and gain excellent time management. You will also see a lot if you work in a prison infirmary. After you get 1-2 years of that under your belt you're loaded with highly transferrable acute care skills and experience.

As a previous poster said the hospital is not the be all/ end all. You may find since you liked volunteer work that you like working in the community better.

Good luck to you!

thanks for the advice 🙂

On 6/28/2020 at 3:15 AM, scribblz said:

I would be cautious of long term care (LTC); it can pigeonhole you into just passing meds all day.

What's wrong with that? Learn the meds. Consistency is a great way for some people to learn.

It seems like a lot of experienced nurses get into jobs isolated from all of us who are just getting started and forget how little we actually know... until they work with us one day and then remember with anger. No experience is a waste of time right now. And as someone about to start in LTC as my first job, if there's skills I don't use there, after a year of working, my ability at those skills are exactly where it is now: I've done it on a dummy and 1 patient with a teacher directing me through everything. I eventually want to be in acute care, but I'm not going to look down on any experience that I get in a nursing home, because to me, it's something to market myself as a better choice over the new graduate next year who is exactly where I am now with experience (none). Whether I start in a hospital or start in a nursing home, whenever I eventually take a job in a hospital, it's going to come with the same orientation and then same having an experienced nurse teach me and work with me on doing those skills. It's just going to maybe take a short-term pay cut

Edited by TheDudeWithTheBigDog

scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 14 years experience.

6 hours ago, TheDudeWithTheBigDog said:

What's wrong with that? Learn the meds. Consistency is a great way for some people to learn.

It seems like a lot of experienced nurses get into jobs isolated from all of us who are just getting started and forget how little we actually know... until they work with us one day and then remember with anger. No experience is a waste of time right now. And as someone about to start in LTC as my first job, if there's skills I don't use there, after a year of working, my ability at those skills are exactly where it is now: I've done it on a dummy and 1 patient with a teacher directing me through everything. I eventually want to be in acute care, but I'm not going to look down on any experience that I get in a nursing home, because to me, it's something to market myself as a better choice over the new graduate next year who is exactly where I am now with experience (none). Whether I start in a hospital or start in a nursing home, whenever I eventually take a job in a hospital, it's going to come with the same orientation and then same having an experienced nurse teach me and work with me on doing those skills. It's just going to maybe take a short-term pay cut

Actually that's a very valid point. I did spend my first 10 years in LTC, and I learned a ton. What I was frustrated by was hard it was to get hired in a hospital as a not new nurse with non acute experience. IE. I'm more expensive than a new grad and required the same orientation.

Thanks everyone for the responses! I have decided to take the position with a snf/short term rehab center to gain experience. I will continue to apply for new grad residencies as they come up and hope this in addition to getting my acls will give me more of an edge. If not, I will probably try to transition to either LTACH or outpatient surgical center to get more "acute" experience.

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative. Has 9 years experience.

On 6/28/2020 at 12:44 PM, Hoosier_RN said:

I miss her. I wish she'd come back, along with a few others (NOADLS, etc)

Wasnt he a fan of candy crush?

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

6 hours ago, Tenebrae said:

Wasnt he a fan of candy crush?

Yes, I believe so