New RN: I need advice


I am a relatively new nurse. i live about 60 miles north west of Manhattan in Orange County, NY. I have been working as an RN in a LTC facility for a little over a year (this is my first nursing job). Well, long story short I resigned from position to work for another facility that was really terrible (i felt my license was at risk) and now i find myself w/ out a job and i can't seem to find another. i have applied at ever hospital in my area and further (I want out of LTC) and i keep getting the same answer: "thank you for your interest but we are interviewing more experianced candidates." So my question is: How do i get hospital experiance if a hospital wont hire me without experiance? I am not applying for specialties either. I feel soooo frustrated. This is the worst time of my life. I thought becoming a nurse would pretty much guarentee a job any where.


30 Posts

You may have to look at GN positions or positions with orientation for newhires. Acute care and critical care setting is a bit different from LTC. In this case, networking with other RNs is a best way to find out who can your resume to the right hiring manager. Gear your resume towards potential skills you have if you did not get to use them much in the past years.

Make sure you have an objective in your resume to help HR/hiring managers understand which position(s) you want. Med-surg acute care setting may be your best bet at this time to sharpen/refresh your skills.

Write a kick-ass cover letter and individualize them to each potential employer. I recommend you keep a hard-copy in separate folders with your notes (ie., when you sent to who, who you talked to and when, what you talked about, etc.), so when someone calls you back, you'll have a quick access to recall info and won't fumble when you talk on the phone.

Keep resume and cover letter short and simple. A cover letter needs to attrack your reader to want to read your resume. Keep resume to one page with appropriate info (i.e., there's no need to put hobbies or personal info about your family). List other skills you may have from previous jobs, if it's applicable. Focus on your positives.

Your cover letter can be used to "explain" why you changed jobs so frequent but you must frame it in a positive way to your advantage because changing jobs often shows a manager that you won't stick around and why should they invest in training you if you're going to leave in 1 year?, right??

So... for example, you can write something like: I enjoyed working with the elderly population. Working in a long-term care setting has given me many opportunities to improve my therapeutic and communication skills, but at this time I would like to redirect my nursing skills to work with the acute care population. ... etc... Also explain why you quit the last job, but no need to delve into details. If manager is curious, you can explain yourself during face-to-face interview.

Good luck!


147 Posts

Specializes in Pysch, Corrections, MedSurg.

I'm in the same position that you are in. I am in the same county as you, work in the same line of work...but started out as a CNA, then LPN and now RN in the LTC facility. It seems that I too am told the same thing as you.

I had the same mind frame and now find myself not able to get my foot in the door in the hospitals. It is very frustrating and I hate it!!

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

If there are any refresher courses in your area with a clinical component, you might want to look into that. Where I am (well, 1.5hr away, but worth it), a community college offers refresher clinical experience for a relatively small fee (versus a very expensive private program that is more local). That would show hiring personnel that you are serious about trying to get a job in acute care because you are investing your own time and money - as opposed to just sending out resumes to every open position out there. Meanwhile, keep working the network. If you know any nurses working in acute care, or know anyone who knows anyone working in acute care, talk to them, ask if you can shadow them, ask for an informational interview with their nurse manager. You never know when you just might end up in "the right place at the right time." Best wishes!

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