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New grad shares her experience looking for a job

by Lisa From Maui Lisa From Maui (Member)

I'm a new grad. Here's my story. Does anyone else care to share their story?

I went to one of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Got As & Bs in blocks 1 & 2. Did not sign up for block 3. Took my NCLEX-LPN exam. Passed first time.

July 2008: Got my LPN license. Started looking for a job.

Aug 2008: Sent out 30 resumes. Not one phone call back. :cry: I realized, after a month, that my fax machine was cutting my cell phone # off of the top of my resume. No one called me back because no one had my phone #. ( Lots of laughs!) :D Retyped my resume, moved the location of the phone #. Faxed out 30 resumes, again. Got 5-6 return phone calls.

September 2008: Got hired at facility # 1. :jester: Interviewed with DON on Monday. DON quit her job & walked out of the building on Wednesday. On Thursday, I asked the lady from HR, "Do I have anything to worry about?" HR's answer: "No. It's all okay." Showed up to work on following Monday. The Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON) looked at me and said, "Who are you?" ADON looked at HR lady and said, "No one told me we had a new grad." I had SUBSTANDARD training for 40 hours. The lady who was stuck with the job of training me was working double shifts Tues-Wed-Thurs-Friday. Needless to say, she could barely take care of her own job much less have energy left over to try to train me. No one, and I mean no one, really took time to train me. After 5 days, the ADON called me into her office & said, "I'm sorry, but we have to take you off the schedule. We don't have anyone to train you." Those are code words for "If the facility lays you off, we have to pay unemployment, and we don't want to do that. Please, make it easy on us. Go somewhere else and find a job."

:crying2: I was crushed. I was trying to figure out, "What's wrong with me? How did I screw up? Why does no one want me?"

September 2008: I sent out another 30 resumes. My interviews were all with long-term care, all EYE-OPENING!!! :eek:

(A) One DON at a Life Care Facility was both kind and honest. She said, "We don't like to hire new grads because they work for us for 3 months, get some work experience, then quite & go work somewhere else. We spend lots of $$$ training them, and we get hurt because they don't stay with us. If I had it my way, we would ask for a 1 year contract. We train you, and you promise to work for us for a year." :cool:

(B) Another DON told me, "If we hire you, we will give you 8 hours x 5 days training. If you can do the job after one week, you stay. If not, we fire you." She didn't say this clearly, straightforward. She was vague. I had to go home, and after 2 days of thinking about it, I finally figured out what she meant. There was no misunderstanding. Yes, that's really what she meant. :argue:

© I interviewed with the VA. Yes, they hire new grads. If I turned in the application September 1st, I could start working December 1st. It would take 90 days. The US gov't had a lot of red tape. I didn't want to wait 3 months, never called them back. :yawn:

October 2008: I was hired by a second LTC facility. The DON said, "Yes, we hire new grads all the time. We're gonna give you plenty of training. We're not gonna throw you to the wolves." I worked there for 10 days. In those 10 days, I got 1-1/2 days of really good training. The other 8-1/2 days I was trainined by: (a) a new grad who started a month before I did, was completely unorganized, and did not know what he was doing. (b) a lady who was so... horrible... she complained to the DON that she had to train me. Then she said only 20 words to me in a 4 hour shift. © a lady that made it crystal clear to me that she gave minimum effort at work. She had no desire to help make the facility a better place. She did not want to help anyone else. :angryfire

After 10 days of training, the DON called me into her office and said, "We didn't realize you were gonna need this much training. I'm gonna take you off the schedule." Again, I was crushed. :crying2: :crying2:

The next day, I talked to a friend. She knew me because I volunteered, with her, at our church. She said, "I can't believe them. You're nice. Got great people skills. You learn things quickly. You have a fantastic work ethic. You're always willing to jump in & do extra, to help. And they let you go??? They don't realize what they had !!! " :redbeathe :heartbeat :redbeathe

October 2008: A few days later, my fiance and I took a vacation, went to Lake Powell for a week. :coollook:

I did one more interview. I told the DON about my 2 bad experiences. The DON told me, "I don't know what those other places are thinking. We KNOW it takes a full month, 8 hrs x 5 days x 4 weeks, to train a new grad." DON asked me to call her in a week. I never called her back because my fiance was offerred a job working elsewhere. We got married and moved out of state.

To summarize... :twocents: new grads, even if you find a job, you might not get good training.

Anyway... thanks for listening. I realize that I REALLY needed to get this frustration out. After reading what everyone is writing, I realize the new grad job market is tough everywhere. (Read posts on allnurses.com from other states and you'll know what I mean.) I hope I've helped another human being by saying, "Don't take it personally. It's not like 100 people are getting jobs, and you're not. It's not just you. Everyone is hurting." :cry: :cry: :cry:

Mahalo! --Lisa;-)

:up: forgot to mention in first post... this might help you if you're sending out resumes. :up:

you can send your resume to facilities listed on craigslist, or azcentral.com, or arizona republic, or monster.com, or jobing.com, etc. however, there are many facilities that do not advertise on those websites. how do you find those facilities? well, i went to azdhs. if a company wants to operate a facility, they must have a license in order to stay in business. the company gets approval and a license from azdhs. since azdhs is the agency that issues the license, they have the most comprehensive list available. hence, you'll have more places to send your resume.

az dept of health services has a list of the following types of facilities:

  • az long term care facilities
  • az medical facilities (includes hospitals, surgery centers, and clinics)
  • az assisted living facilities
  • az behavioral health facilities
  • az child care facilities and group homes
  • az group homes for the developmentally disabled
  • click this link http://www.azdhs.gov/als/databases/index.htm

if this post has helped you, please send me a thank you. i thrive on thank yous. atta girls are nice too.

mahalo! -- lisa

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