New grad does not want bedside work or shift work as it's not enjoyable Can't land job

Nurses Nurse Beth

Updated:   Published

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am 57 years old and considered a new RN. I graduated last year and I'm currently working as a school substitute nurse, which is not very often. The reason I got this substitute RN position it's because I was a educator for 12 years in middle school, and I think they were able to use that to hire me because otherwise I wouldn't think people would hire a new RN for these positions. I'm very thankful for that as I would like to be a full-time school nurse but I know those are few and far between.

My second choice would be to work full-time in an outpatient type facility as I thoroughly enjoyed the primary care setting that I was in as an LPN before going to school to obtain my RN. I have filled out many applications and sent in my professional resume for positions that was similar to this but I don't hear anything back or I get rejected.

I'm coming to think that perhaps one negative aspect of myself is that I am 57, an older nurse. I am getting discouraged because I know I need to work full-time, but part time is OK, but I do not want bedside care or shift work; I'm sorry but that is not enjoyable.

My skills that I've developed even being an LPN and a teacher transitioning into my RN role, is communicating with people and being an advocate in getting things done for people. I feel that this is a strong point for me as I have a lot of public relation skills being a teacher. I love teaching and educating patients about their health and their care and their treatment and finding solutions for them( I did some of this in primary care)

My basic question is what kind of role can I work with these skills and at my age? Because after all I'm hoping I have at least 10 years but that is just 10 years more to work as a nurse before retirement age.

Dear Considered New RN,

You are a new RN.

The thing is, many employers filling an RN position do not necessarily "count" years spent as an LPN or years spent in another career. With respect to being an RN, you are no more nor less qualified than other new grads who have no RN experience.

You may feel that you are more qualified, and you definitely have some soft skills. But having public relations skills is not necessarily going to land you an RN job.

You are restricting yourself a great deal by saying you do not want to do patient care or shift work. That is the starting point for most nurses to gain competency. From there you are qualified to apply for many non-bedside roles. As a new grad, you are limiting your opportunities but you are not in a position to limit your opportunities.

To be marketable, typically you need a minimum of 1 year RN experience.

Read the job postings on Indeed. com for non-bedside RNs. Most require clinical experience. Case managers need some clinical background. Nurse educators need clinical experience.

I'm just saying that finding a job as a new grad with your restrictions makes it more difficult. The longer you go as an under-employed RN, the harder it is to find employment. Ageism is a factor, although employers do not admit to it, so you have an extra challenge.

Look for jobs that specify no RN experience. There may be some outpatient opportunities in public health. Some doctors employ RNs, but most employ non-licensed assistants.

You will need to persist in your Job Search, but this is true for most new grads. Landing a job as a new grad can be competitive. That's why it's important to land something soon, before you become a non-new grad without experience.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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