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New grad struggling to land first job

First Year   (4,696 Views 45 Comments)
by Quota Quota, BSN, RN (Member)

Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

1 Follower; 3,369 Visitors; 266 Posts

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Seems you're still pretty fresh if you've been licensed last month. Extend your search, don't limit yourself to 4 hospitals.

Check out smaller community or critical access hospitals in the area. If you're unwilling to relocate, think about commuting. I commute nearly 2 hours one way just to go to school and people complain about 15-30min drive. Don't just apply to new grad residency programs unless their postings absolutely state new grads can ONLY apply to those. I'm not big on OB either, but I do know psych needs nurses - several new grads get their experience there and end up leaving 6mo to a year or more. Take up two part-time, per-diem if possible, anything really. Take your resume and personally meet up with the managers of the unit you've been applying to. Call HR for status, ask your classmates if they can help, if you need the money and some experience while you're actively applying to hospitals, check out SNF since some facilities actually have great skills opportunities and you can delegate/gain leadership skills there as well.

Again, you're still fresh from graduating so you have time. No stress, just be creative, persistent and don't give up. Keep us posted! :yes:

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If you could swing it financially, would you consider commuting a few hours and either renting a tiny studio or renting a room from a roommate a few days a week? I've known a handful of people who have lived about two to three hours away from their nursing jobs and have just blocked all of their shifts together while staying in an alternative location (usually parents with school-aged kids and a mortgage in one location but their dream job a few hours away in another). That would allow you to expand your search to more facilities and increase your odds of getting hired. Renting a studio or a room in addition to paying your mortgage will eat into your salary, but it's still better than no job at all. It isn't a long-term solution, but if you could stick it out for at least a year you'd be more likely to get a job closer to home.

I do agree with other posters that taking any job now is better than waiting around for the job you'd prefer, since you risk becoming an 'old new grad.' The longer you wait, the less competitive you become.

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It seems your commuting hours vis a vis length of time is upside down. Why would night shift commute take longer than day shift commute?

Anyway my first job, I thought, oh no, it's a long commute in traffic. Then I discovered working 11 pm to 7 am there was no traffic going to work, and coming home was against commute traffic.

It seems even if you work 7 pm to 7 am you'd miss most of the heavy traffic commute?

I don't mean to challenge or doubt you, I'm just curious.

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Aliens05 has <1 years experience.

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Not sure about OP, but where I am located in a mid sized city, the traffic is really bad from about 3pm-7pm. So leaving for work at 6pm the traffic would still be pretty bad. Leaving for work at 6 am for a 7 am shift there is hardly anyone on the road yet as it too early, the rush starts around 7 or 730am here.

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Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

1 Follower; 3,369 Visitors; 266 Posts

Not sure about OP, but where I am located in a mid sized city, the traffic is really bad from about 3pm-7pm. So leaving for work at 6pm the traffic would still be pretty bad. Leaving for work at 6 am for a 7 am shift there is hardly anyone on the road yet as it too early, the rush starts around 7 or 730am here.

Very much this. I'm in the DC metro area and we bounce between first and second place for nations worst traffic. Mornings would be fine, night shifts would really suck accounting for rush hour traffic which can vary drastically from day to day. On a good day it may take 30-40 minutes which is fine, with little to no warning that could be 1 hour or more. I don't really mind night shift itself but having to commute through certain areas during rush hour is problematic.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

2 Followers; 7,465 Visitors; 2,133 Posts

It's the height of flu season. You could get on with one of those entities that does workplace vaccines. You're working, using your critical thinking skills, you'll be busy 'til February...Good luck.

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9,269 Visitors; 1,388 Posts

It seems your commuting hours vis a vis length of time is upside down. Why would night shift commute take longer than day shift commute?

It can depend a lot on traffic direction. Living in an urban area traveling with rush hour traffic can add a huge burden to commute time. If I work day shift I travel opposite the bulk of traffic flow and my commute is about 30-40 minutes. Working night shift I travel with rush hour traffic and it can take me 1.5 hours to make it into work, and a similar time frame again in the morning trying to get home.

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Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

1 Follower; 3,369 Visitors; 266 Posts

Looking into some of the other hospital systems in the area that are further out but still somewhat reasonable they mostly seem to have new grad residencies that don't start until February. I'm not ruling them out but I really hope to have something before February. I'm going to a new grad career fair for one of these hospital systems tonight so I'll find out if they have other positions for new grads available prior to the February cohort start.

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Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

1 Follower; 3,369 Visitors; 266 Posts

Have a panel interview for the new grad residency program. Sounds like a nice program overall.

Cons:

Commute, not so bad for day shift but crappy for night shifts. Probably end up using toll road for night shifts if I took job.

Doesn't start until February, would need to find temporary work for income until then

Think I heard something about a 2 year commitment required, need to see details about this.

Pros:

Have heard good things about working at the hospital overall

Competitive pay and benefits

Positions available on units I'd really like working on

Guess I'll see how it goes with the interview and find out more about the residency itself.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

4 Followers; 43,041 Visitors; 5,244 Posts

Someone just posted that Virginia is very short on nurses. Not sure if that is true or not but worth looking into.

Are you a BSN or an ADN nurse? This may make all the difference in the world as to whether your resume gets any attention. I am in charge of all onboarding of clinical staff where I work now. In our last group of 50+ new grads, only four had less than a BSN degree and this is an employer formerly known to be ADN friendly. The trend is continuing to grow tighter. DC is also pretty known to be a tough market. Just keep hammering away at it. Consider LTC, corrections, clinics, SNF, home health and anywhere else you can get a foot in the door.

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Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

1 Follower; 3,369 Visitors; 266 Posts

Someone just posted that Virginia is very short on nurses. Not sure if that is true or not but worth looking into.

Are you a BSN or an ADN nurse? This may make all the difference in the world as to whether your resume gets any attention. I am in charge of all onboarding of clinical staff where I work now. In our last group of 50+ new grads, only four had less than a BSN degree and this is an employer formerly known to be ADN friendly. The trend is continuing to grow tighter. DC is also pretty known to be a tough market. Just keep hammering away at it. Consider LTC, corrections, clinics, SNF, home health and anywhere else you can get a foot in the door.

The Virginia shortage is only in the rural areas not the DC metro area. I am a BSN so it's not that.

Just applied for a few new grad positions at a DC hospital so I'll see if I hear anything back from them. The website lists a DC license as a requirement and I have a VA license so not sure what their policy is about that. It's $230 to apply for endorsement so I don't want to spend that money without a job offer in sight. The commute to the DC hospital is pretty similar to the hospital I'm interviewing for the residency program so that's equal but I'm sure I'd start earlier than February if hired there.

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