New grad work history.

Posted
by artslob artslob (New) New

As an ADN student graduating in May, I cringe as I fill out my work history on applications because there is no healthcare experience on it. Do employers avoid hiring graduates with no previous experience? In the economy as it is are facilities still hiring graduate nurses? Almost all of the jobs I've looked at require 6 months-1 year experience.

My mom is a nurse and was telling me that when she graduated from nursing school in the early 70s she was hired to work under one of the top cardiologists in the world with no interview. I think times are a little different.

Yeswecan

Yeswecan

Specializes in elder care. 13 Posts

I am in the exact same boat, and am very interested to hear what anyone has to say. I made a decision while in school to focus only on school and family, and not work. It paid off, my family has survived, my grades were excellent, and I am ready to get started, but it seems no one wants to put in the time with a new grad. Any tips on gaining experience while job hunting?

vashtee

vashtee, RN

Specializes in DOU. 1,065 Posts

I graduated with no work experience in 17 years (I stayed home to raise my kids), and even before that, I had no healthcare experience. I was hired to my first choice hospital with no interview based on my GPA and clinical instructor recommendations. (One of my instructors was friends with the department head that hired me.)

Sometimes it is really a matter of knowing the right people.

beckyu04

beckyu04

Specializes in Invasive Cardiac/Cath Lab. 15 Posts

I graduate in May 09 and was hired for an ICU/Cath Lab fellowship. Years ago I worked as a CNA but for the past 10 years I worked in an office. I did a nurse partnership last summer and was hired as an extender in the e.r. The hospital I'm working at offers fellowships for new grads and hired a lot from my class.

chicookie, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience. 985 Posts

I got hired on a Med/Surg floor with no experience. What I did though was on the application stress the customer service parts of those jobs.

Plus I went straight to the manager and told her I know I am new and don't have any experience but I am ready and willing to work, within two weeks I was hired.

LvHaloRN

LvHaloRN

Specializes in Psych, Chemical Dependency, Rehab. Has 6 years experience. 32 Posts

I'm getting ready to graduate and we were talking about this in my professional topics class because I am scared to death of the same thing. I'm worried I won't be able to find a job but they say that the trick is to make yourself look better on paper than you may feel in reality.

Basically, the work history is just that - - work history. Its your skills that you need to sell yourself on. So if you don't have the medical work history (like I don't), then focus on the skills that qualify you for the area you're applying for and list those. Like I want to go for labor & delivery. So I'll probably list how many hours of experience I've had in L&D, the skills that I performed independently, the number of births I assisted in, the number of patients I cared for....etc.

I guess its worth a shot. That clinical time has to count for something right?

Good luck!! :up:

the sparrow

the sparrow

36 Posts

I'm in the exact same situation and it's all I can think about these days. I'll be graduating this May and I have no healthcare experience. I find myself getting really nervous during my "role transition" class because it seems like everyone else works as a CNA and everbody "knows" someone. I've come to a conclusion, though: I can't turn back time. I can't worry about what I don't have and I have to just focus on what I do have. I'm in my 30's and I have tons of customer service/administrative experience. On my resume, I tried to weave in applicable skills and show how they will translate to a healthcare setting. That's it. At this point, I think we all just have to tell ourselves "I'm enough".

Jolie

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 36 years experience. 6,375 Posts

While it is nice to have health care related work experience as a new grad, it is not unusual for a candidate to be lacking it.

A hiring manager considering a new grad realizes that the candidate, even if s/he worked as a CNA or HHA, has no experience as a professional nurse, so don't try to "pad" a resume to make it look more impressive. The manager will see right thru that.

What is critical in the work history of a new grad is some kind of positive employment experience. You need to show that you have reliably served a previous employer, whether it is in fast food, retail, babysitting or yard work. A potential employer wants to know that you will show up for work, work hard, get along with others, not quit without proper notice, etc.

Jolie

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 36 years experience. 6,375 Posts

I'm getting ready to graduate and we were talking about this in my professional topics class because I am scared to death of the same thing. I'm worried I won't be able to find a job but they say that the trick is to make yourself look better on paper than you may feel in reality.

Basically, the work history is just that - - work history. Its your skills that you need to sell yourself on. So if you don't have the medical work history (like I don't), then focus on the skills that qualify you for the area you're applying for and list those. Like I want to go for labor & delivery. So I'll probably list how many hours of experience I've had in L&D, the skills that I performed independently, the number of births I assisted in, the number of patients I cared for....etc.

I guess its worth a shot. That clinical time has to count for something right?

Good luck!! :up:

What you describe is clinical experience, not a work history. It is important and relevant, but it doesn't show a potential employer that you will be a reliable worker. Do you have any prior work experience in any field that will demonstrate your work habits, such as coming into work when scheduled, getting along well with co-workers, not abusing sick time, etc?

Edited by Jolie

HM2VikingRN, RN

4,700 Posts

IOW that you will play nice in the sandbox with other employees by getting your work done and actively helping other employees when they need help.

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