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New grad struggling to land first job

First Year   (4,697 Views 45 Comments)
by Quota Quota, BSN, RN (Member)

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

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NICUismylife is a ADN, BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

6,522 Visitors; 553 Posts

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).

This is what I do. My family and I sold our house in the city and bought some acreage in a gorgeous low-populated area. Only critical care access nearby, and I'm NICU, non-negotiable. The nearest NICU is 2 hours from my new home. So I rent a room from a sweet couple near the hospital, work 6 days in a row staying in my little room, then go home for my 8 days off. It works out really well.

You could easily do something like that, and you'd only have to do it for a year or two, then you could find a job closer to home.

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

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So why can't you commute to a rural area? If you are going to have to commute anyway?

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

So why can't you commute to a rural area? If you are going to have to commute anyway?

Getting to the rural areas with the shortages would be 2-3 hours, maybe even 4 hours during rush hour. The hospital I'm interviewing at for the new grad residency is in a more rural area than where I live but it's not the rural VA areas with nursing shortages. As far as I know that's some areas outside Richmond which I'm guessing would be 2-3 hours one way because I-95 between DC and Richmond is a disaster of traffic. Or down in southwestern VA and way more than a commute, that would be a move. No new grad job will pay enough (even more so a job in a more rural area) for the suggestion of renting a local place plus continuing to pay my half of the mortgage on my house.

While I am going to continue applying to the surrounding hospitals as they post new grad positions I'm actually getting excited about the residency program I'm interviewing for this week. I never take the toll road so I had no idea what it cost, now that I've looked it's pretty damned cheap so the commute isn't a big factor anymore. The toll road results in a faster and much more consistent commute time so day or night shifts aren't a big deal. The biggest hang up now is it won't start until 2/11 so I'd need to pick up a seasonal job to keep the bills paid. It'll be crap money but should be enough to prevent me from using up the last of my savings. Oh and I'll need to figure something out for health insurance, I don't feel good about having no insurance at all until May/June. So fingers crossed my interview goes well and even better the ICU, or PCU mangers specifically really like me.

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City-Girl has 20 years experience.

446 Visitors; 101 Posts

The biggest hang up now is it won't start until 2/11 so I'd need to pick up a seasonal job to keep the bills paid.

With flu season upon us you should check with some of the companies that do flu clinics in your area. I'm not sure who this would be in your area, but where I live a couple of the home care companies run many of the flu clinics in the area. It's mind numbing and the pay is not great, but at least a job with RN at the end of your name and some income while you are waiting for a permanent position.

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

With flu season upon us you should check with some of the companies that do flu clinics in your area. I'm not sure who this would be in your area, but where I live a couple of the home care companies run many of the flu clinics in the area. It's mind numbing and the pay is not great, but at least a job with RN at the end of your name and some income while you are waiting for a permanent position.

I saw some listing for a flu shot clinic a few weeks ago but haven't been able to find it or anything similar since. Definitely something I'll continue to look out for though.

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

And recruiter for the DC hospital just emailed tonight asking to schedule interview for an ortho medsurg position. I'm luke warm about ortho medsurg but certainly would consider the position if I was offered it. The residents is probably a better option overall, though I'm not guaranteed to be offered either position either.

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

4 Followers; 43,045 Visitors; 5,244 Posts

It sounds like you cannot afford to be picky. A word of advice - this is your dream job. Sell that in your interview.

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

It sounds like you cannot afford to be picky. A word of advice - this is your dream job. Sell that in your interview.

Oh yes I know. I responded with my interview availability not being until next week. Turns out the manager of the unit is out the day the recruiter set the interview so waiting to hear back on new date. This will hopefully allow time for me to know about the residency position before I hear about the medsurg (ortho) position. Whole new issue to stress about.

I'm going to need to talk to the recruiter for the residency about how they are handling job offers since the position doesn't start until 2/11. Will they offer positions as they go or wait and allow the candidate pool to grow? I don't know so I'll have to ask. While I'd prefer the residency I would not turn down the other offer just for a chance at the residency.

Been practicing my answers to interview questions off and on all day so I hope things go well tomorrow!

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

4 Followers; 43,045 Visitors; 5,244 Posts

Good luck!

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3,070 Visitors; 354 Posts

Sometimes we dont start in jobs we are thrilled about. My first job was in Peds and I NEVER saw myself doing it. It wasnt bad and it was a job until I could land what I really wanted to do. Maybe try some LTC just for experience, learning and to get a paycheck. LTC is ALWAYS looking for nurses. I happen to LOVE LTC. If I wasnt in school for my FNP, I'd stay LTC forever!

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

Got the "thanks but no thanks" for the residency program yesterday. I felt the interview had gone well overall so I don't know... all I can think is they stressed "customer satisfaction" a lot and my lack of a bubbly personality could have been beat out by another candidate who is bubbly. Just a guess, who knows when all you get is something along the lines of "while you are an impressive and qualified candidate we have decided not to proceed with this application".

Medsurg ortho interview later today and another Medsurg interview likely to be scheduled at another hospital as soon as I talk to the recruiter today or tomorrow. My friend was wishing me good luck last night and sadly I think that is a large part of what landing my first job is going to be, luck. Kinda frustrating but it is what it is.

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

1 Follower; 3,370 Visitors; 266 Posts

I think yesterday's ortho medsurg interview went really well. Definitely wouldn't turn down an offer if I get one at this point but it sounds like a pretty narrowed area of experience if I get in the position. Vast majority of the patients are post knee and hip replacements, so scheduled surgeries on stable patients, 24-48 hour stays. Lots of admission/discharge experience. Not likely to see many disease processes in general beyond stable geriatric stuff.

Hopefully when I talk to the recruiter about the more general medsurg position at the other hospital we can set up an interview quickly. Definitely more variety and acutely ill patients on that unit therefore more varied learning experience.

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