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New grade RN vs Experienced RN?


I am a foreign graduate nurse in San Francisco. I got my RN license in 2008 but I couldn't work due to my visa status. It took me almost 7 years to get a work permit. I worked as an ER nurse for 4 years from 2001 to 2005 and my last job as an Rn was 2008. I have work experience but it was long time ago and it was not in the USA so it is not credited here.

After long wait, I can finally work but job market is really tough now. There are some RN new grad programs but I am not sure if I am considered a new grade or an experienced nurse. I am sending out my resume everywhere but most places require minimum 6 month work experience. sigh..

Another problem is, I can't relocate because of my family.

I am RN, BSN, CEN (passed the test last month) with BLS, ACLS, PALS, EKG and TNCC certi.

Any input would be great thanks!


Specializes in Emergency Room.

Why is your work experience not considered just because it was not in the USA? Was the work you did in the other country essentially equivalent to the scope of RN practice here in the States?

Thank you for taking your time to read my post. My work was definitely equivalent to the scope of RN practice. However, some job recruiters I met at job fair treated me as a new grad nurse. They didn't even look at my experience and put me in a new grad booth. I thought this was probably because my experience was not recent and not in the USA.

Edited by orange2015


Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

Yjapple... I had same experience too. I'm an IEN and I put in tons and tons of applications, not less than 400.. and I'm not kidding you. I even travelled miles and miles for interviews. And I always got the news of how my experience back home wasn't considered. I even tried to volunteer at the hospital close to m campus as I did my BSN.

I know is difficult. But hang in there. Do you know anyone in a close hospital that can refer you... or consider working in a nursing home / hone health. I did that too and it really helped me.. now I work in ER and Med Surg at my hospital now. ..

Hang in there! :)


Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I know some good nurses in a close hospital but I am not sure if they can refer me. I should do more networking. So far, my resume couldn't even make it through the screening process but I will keep trying. I am also considering working part time and long term care. Thank you for sharing your experience :)


Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

Your welcome dear,

You may consider reviewing your resume... I'm sure you must have had some experience that measure up somehow at least to get your feet at the door.. I also volunteered with red cross. . I know that initially my resume didn't seem to measure up. Not until I realized that it was because of difference in vocabulary that I used while preparing mine. By this I mean, somethings that we refer to in another name was known as something else here in the US... so I did some research and used the exact words for those procedures or rotations that I did back home... so you ma also consider that too... Almost everything is different here, trust me I've seen some ... don't give up yet... there's always a way out. Then watch YouTube videos of nursing procedures and listen to their presentations.

As for your friends in those hospitals, you never know their response unless you ask them and just keep following up with them.

Let me know how it goes. .. :) :)


Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 6 years experience.

You have experience. That's doesn't expire and being a nurse is being a nurse, no matter what country (since you said the scope of practice was the same). However, I guess a gap in employment is something that will make employers take pause these days when there are so many applicants for positions. I wish I had some advice for you, but I just want to wish you good luck in finding a job.

Julius Seizure

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

Do you have a cover letter to go with your resume? If you don't, I would suggest writing one. Its a great way to preface your resume. You can explain the nature of your nursing experience, the reason for the employment gap, highlight any other relevant experiences or skills, and then finish by says that you are so eager to progress to a new stage in your professional life - working as an RN in whatever job it is that you are applying for.

Bam. Hired. ;)

You mentioned long-term-care, and that may be a way to get your foot in the door (again). Do LTC for a year and then you will magically have "fresh" RN experience. Good luck!

TLCfromSC, NGYSUN, JBMmommy, Janey496, Atomicwoman

I want to thank you so much for the comments and advice. I was feeling down and depressed when I wrote the post. I really wanted somebody to hear my story. I mean, I wanted to talk to experienced nurses like you.

I feel like I am already hired. This means a lot to me. I will check my resume again and write a cover letter. LTC is an another good way to start. Thank you everyone. I really appreciate all the kind words.