Newish RN needs advice! Please


  • Specializes in LTC, Surgical Dermatology. Has 3 years experience.

Hi all...I could really use some words of wisdom. I graduated at the top of my class with a BSN in May 2009 and was an RN by August 09. Due to the horrible economy, I could not find a job (or even an interview), despite my high GPA and good resume. Most hospitals in my area (Philadelphia) were laying nurses off, had hiring freezes, or wanted 1 yr exp. It took me 8 months to find a part time job at a local nursing home. I have been working there since January 2010. Although I've learned a lot, I now feel it's time to move on. I need something full time, and I need more experience. My nursing home is 44 beds, 28 of which are my residents. I work 3 to 11 shift and spend a good deal of time passing po meds. We hardly ever have residents on IVs. I've had a few tube feeds, mostly bolus. I do a lot of wound care and have experience with pressure ulcers of course, but the good majority of my wounds now are skin tears. Every other shift someone falls or gets a skin tear and I have to fill out an incident report, which is time consuming. I am up to my ears in paperwork. Anyway, I need to move on. I want desperately to get a full time nursing job, but I'm terrified. I'd love to work in a hospital and get new grad treatment, with a preceptor and lots of training, but I don't think I can because I have a yr and a half experience. I am weak in many areas due to where I work, i.e. trachs, vents, etc., because I simply don't see them at my facility! And I haven't had much IV practice since I've been out of school for the same reason. I learned how to insert a Foley in school but I've never had to do it since because 11 to 7 shift is responsible for obtaining UA specimens. Although I'm smart, I feel I haven't been able to hone so many of my skills as a nurse because of where I work. My question is, if I get a job on a med-surg unit, will they expect me to know everything because on paper it says I have experience? Would I be able to have a preceptor? Would someone teach me the things I need to know, like trachs? I plan on sending out my resume this week. Am I no longer considered a new nurse, so will they throw me to the wolves? I took the nsg home job because it was all I could find...did I make a mistake? Help!

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

I would list every single thing u have done on that resume in the nursing home, and ALWAYS say that you are willing to learn anything new, and attend training sessions - even it it's after work hours (I did this during clinicals and it is worth it).

Apply everywhere because they will see that u have some experience, and they can train you up. You will probably get an orientation anyway. It may be difficult at first, but you will pick it up quickly as you sound very mature and most importantly, are ready to learn.

Put it this way, if they call you for an interview after reading your resume and where you've worked, what you've done etc, then they KNOW re your experience or lack of it. And during the interview when they have asked you if you've done IVs or whatever, be HONEST - never lie or be evasive - and say that you are very keen to learn all of this, and that you are a quick learner, willing to stay back for training sessions. You won't be on ur own anyway in a med/surg ward for example, you will have other resource people there to help out.

If you don't apply, you will never know, but enhance your positives - you DO have experience in many areas and you need to highlight those. Do not mentino any negatives in a job application - if they want to query things, they will do that at the interview.

Good luck, I really hope u get something soon!


587 Posts

Don't worry, they have skills sheets you fill out for your preceptor to show the areas you don't feel confident in right up to the stuff you feel competent to teach. I think you'll find you will fit right in and pick up those missing pieces quickly. Lots of people don't have IV skills because some hospitals use IV teams to ease the load of the floor nurse and provide more consistent documentation etc. Just send out those resumes and jump in the water. Hugs. I

wish I could precept you. I love it when people are specific about what they need and don't need to review.