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New nurse - Unemployed for 8 months.

Nurses   (286 Views | 5 Replies)

149 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Hi everyone,

I will try to make this as brief as possible but I am in need of either support or advice - I am feeling so lost. 

I was technically homeless throughout my 3 years of nursing school. I couch surfed and lived with boyfriends and their families to have a place to live. (I came from an abusive family and have little contact with them.) At this point I became very depressed and suicidal. I began to take antidepressants to stay afloat, while I accomplished this, everything else suffered. 

I was so depressed, I could barely care for myself but I dragged myself to class, clinical, and lab. My teachers/instructors began to find fault in me for not being as engaged. My depression became worse but I dealt with it the best way I could at the time. I kept everything a secret in fear of being removed from the program. 

I ended up graduating last May, powered through a month of non-stop studying and passed the NCLEX-RN on the first attempt.

A month after, I was exhausted and my depression finally came crashing down on me. I attempted suicide. I was unsuccessful thankfully and was checked into a mental health facility for a long stay.

Since then, I have been working on my mental health religiously. I have a therapist, I do not engage in any alcohol consumption, etc., I have a stable home life, I work out regularly, which has made a huge positive impact on my mental health. I have worked hard to change my mindset. 

Fast forward to now - I have been seeking employment and have applied to over 60+ positions and none have worked out. I am getting close to my year mark of graduation and I feel like I may never find a job. I am terrified for my future. During interviews, I have been asked "Why do you think you haven't found a job yet?" I don't know how to answer this question, but I feel I can't be completely honest about my situation.

In school, I worked part-time in an ICU and never had any complaints about the care I gave, work-ethic, etc. but that I would call off often. 

The only good thing I have going for me are my compassion and dedication to patients in my care, my co-workers also praised me on how willing I was to always help. I have won multiple patient satisfaction awards with past employment - but my references aren't good from my supervisors because of call offs and tardiness. 

This downward spiral took place all over a course of 3 years, These consequences are my own fault but I am in a much better place and cannot seem to rid myself of my past. 

I know what it takes to be a nurse and to be apart of a team. I know that my past reflects on my mental health and not who I want to be as a professional nurse, but I fear I may not get the chance to prove that. 

Any advice or words of encouragement is greatly appreciated, I feel so stuck... Thank you for taking the time to read. 

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

7 Followers; 4 Articles; 9,156 Posts; 106,651 Profile Views

What types of positions have you applied for? If you've only applied for acute care positions in hospitals, it's time to broaden your horizons- look at LTC/SNF, ambulatory settings, etc. It may not be the area you want to work in, but it will get you into the nursing workforce.

What is the job market in your area? If there are too many new grads vying for a limited number of positions, relocation may need to be considered.

Have you had your resume reviewed professionally? They may have ideas on how to word things for someone 8 months out of school without experience. They may also have suggestions for addressing the gap.

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6 Posts; 149 Profile Views

Hi, 

I have applied to LTC facilities and hospitals. Mostly all entry level positions. I would be happy to accept a position anywhere. 

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1 Follower; 774 Posts; 7,266 Profile Views

What are you saying when asked about the 8 month gap?  You need to respond confidently and assure them you are not defective goods. 
 

“After graduation, I had a personal matter to attend to that delayed my job search. That matter has now resolved and I am ready and able to join your organization because...(parrot company’s mission statement).”

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

606 Posts; 7,335 Profile Views

9 minutes ago, beekee said:

What are you saying when asked about the 8 month gap?  You need to respond confidently and assure them you are not defective goods. 
 

“After graduation, I had a personal matter to attend to that delayed my job search. That matter has now resolved and I am ready and able to join your organization because...(parrot company’s mission statement).”

Excellent advice! (hugs to you OP and best wishes)

Edited by CharleeFoxtrot

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6 Posts; 149 Profile Views

I think that's a great way to explain it, and I'm going to take your advice. Thank you to both of you. 

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