New graduate "again" after RN-BSN

Nurses General Nursing


I don't think I need to tell you the story, I'm a Southern California new graduate nurse. I didn't do everything right to secure a position after graduation and so here I sit. I'm running into walls and I feel as though as the clock ticks, I become exceedingly less marketable, but I'm also not one to moan and groan as it isn't going to change things.

So here's my question, if I go back to school now, toward my BSN. Upon graduation, if I only have the the type of jobs I've been doing such as private duty and immunization clinics, will I once again be eligible for new graduate programs? Most preclude students with a year of work experience - but in my mind - this doesn't count? Or I could omit it from my resume and place the volunteer experience I am gaining to "fill in the gap" since unpaid work experience is not a factor I've ever seen as exclusionary (just a beneficial "extra").

Any thoughts and input will be appreciated.

I think that depends. Are the private duty and clinic jobs you have, jobs that require you to work under your RN license? If they are, then you prob won't be eligible for a new grad program.

Since most RN's that are going back for their BSN, are working either full/part time, I have to wonder if having a lapse in "real" nursing experience will hurt you when you go look for a job.

Can you give more details about your job situation? Why haven't you been able to secure a job?

I would strongly encourage you not to leave any employment off your resumé. Nursing tends to be a fairly small, tight "club," and you never know whether a potential employer is going to find out, through the typical background checks or through some personal connection, that you were not honest about your history -- and most employers consider that grounds for dropping you from consideration for hiring, or termination if you've already been hired.

Honesty really is always the best policy in nursing. Anything else has a tendency to come back and bite you (often when you least expect it).

Southern Cal is well known for being a tough place to find a nursing position these days. Have you considered relocating? Best wishes!

I do not see why you feel you need to omit private duty and clinic jobs from your resume if they are the only RN experience that you have. Private duty can be verified by a written or oral statement from your client(s) and the flu shot clinic employment is also easily verified. Both put you ahead of the applicant who has no nursing experience at all.

Thanks, NICUNURSE, there is an array of reasons I haven't been able to secure employment. Many of which I am unable to correct at this point (not having work experience in the medical field). I am not alone in my struggle, so I hate to turn this into a thread about my new grad woes because I am sure that has been expounded upon.

Yes, I am working under my license in these positions, but none of it is "acute care" or even LTC experience. I am sure I will not be an ideal candidate because I have no "real" experience against others completing their BSN while gainfully employed. That certainly is the case now. I just hope it might open door to me that are not open now.

By no means is my intent to stop seeking employment and pursue my degree. I am only considering online programs to preclude any interference with employment offers. However, as the months pass, I have to take control of the situation in any way I can.

I can not force myself on employers, but I can guarantee myself a position in school. Just wondering if others have been successful using this strategy or are in managerial positions and would decline to hire someone who applied under these circumstances.

Edited after reading your replies, elkpark and caliotter. Thank you, I never considered this as "dishonest." Of course, I am grateful for the positions I have and include them on my resume as I am applying now. I just feel like they would put me in a tough place for New Grad Programs - they would "count" as work experience (so I'm not a New Grad), but still not qualify me for open positions in acute care that require a year experience.

I would definitely never want to do ANYTHING that would be considering a lack of honesty, in my mind's eye, excluding employment history not relevant to the position would be no different than the common advice of leaving unrelated work experience (like waiting tables or being a telemarketer) off of your resume when you enter nursing. I can see how this is different ...

I would love to relocate, but it simply isn't a possibility. I care for a family member at home that would otherwise need to be in a subacute facility. Since it's a family effort and I share care giving responsibilities, we would all have to uproot if I did. It's a shame, because I could be buying a home and working full time in even nearby states.

I'm pretty much on the same boat..I am now in a rn-bsn program full time. But all my classes are on campus. As matter of fact, I am currently dorming. I called a hospital regarding my situation. I was informed that yes, I'd still be eligible to apply to their new grad program after obtaining the bsn degree--provided that I have less than 6 month experience as an RN.

About the job in a clinic, I knew someone who worked at a doctor's office for a year. The hospital that hired her placed her in a new graduate orientation.

Thank you so much for taking the time to post LookForward, I know I am not alone and it helps to hear some information from a similar situation. I am certain each facility can define its own set of standards, but its nice to know, that some hospital are open to the idea

Here's to hoping it won't be an issue by the time we graduate!

Specializes in neuro/ortho med surge 4.

I think it depends on the hospital. I worked 5 months in LTC as a new nurse. Got hired in a hospital and got 3 weeks of floor training. Talk about insane!! I survived it though and am still at this same hospital.

You mentioned in your post that you should omit work experience that is not relevant to nursing. I would humbly like to disagree. You should include any and all work experience on your resume while tailoring your job duties and achievements to the position you are applying for. I was able to get a new grad position in an ER mainly based on my restaurant experience by highlighting the fast paced environment, ability to multitask, and need for teamwork. Any job that you have had has given you skills which are applicable to nursing, sell yourself and your experiences.

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

Don't leave your jobs off your resume. If a potential employer does a credit/background check, how will you explain yourself if you say you haven't been working? That would probably get you excluded from consideration right then and there, no matter how good of an employee you might be.

Have you tried calling and talking to the hiring personnel at local facilities and see what they have to say about who qualifies for "new grad" positions?

Even if you wouldn't be considered a new grad again, if you have the time and money for an RN-BSN program now and can't find work anyway, well, it stilll might be a good idea. Would the RN-BSN program include any acute care clinical experience that would give you a chance to practice in that environment more recently?

Thanks for your insight all. I will definitely NOT be leaving anything off my resume. I really had not thought about it from that perspective! I was not trying to be dishonest or sneaky - just had considered it a judgment call what one would include - clearly I was totally off base.

Most RN-BSN programs do not have a clinical component, aside from public health and community outreach settings. That is why they require an ADN and a current active license in most cases, essentially one is considered clinically competent. Further, programs are designed (in theory) for the working nurse. So there is an expectation that you are continuing to gain clinical experience while going through the program. (1 year of experience used to be the norm for these programs - that's changes in almost all of them at the BSN level).

I am definitely going back, it was always in the cards, and I may have done it sooner if I was employed full-time. It would not give me acute care experience, but it may connect me to a greater number of nurses ... Networking was one of those things I didn't quite "get" in nursing school.

Hiring personnel would have the best answers. Unfortunately, I have not found the HR departments of hospitals with new graduate programs receptive to inquiries of any kind. Most are so overwhelmed with applicants, a rejection email may even be a stretch. Many facilities have automated systems at their main office, so unless you know the name and number of someone with a direct line, you are unable to speak to anyone but an answering machine. That's why I wanted to throw it out there, just wondering if there was a consensus.

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