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No Jobs For New Grads Despite RN Time?!

Posted

Specializes in AG-ACNP-BC.

I need a pep talk or moral support or something. I'm an AGACNP-BC as of December and am having a horrible time finding a job. I've been a critical care/ER nurse for 9 years, teach PALS and mock codes, charge nurse, CCRN, all the things. Went to a public and reputable university and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I live in the West and want to be in a smaller community, which I figured would work in my favor, but I am getting nothing. I have been a little picky about location because I want to be near skiing and biking, but even drastically broadening my search area I'm still getting minimal interest. I'm hearing back from some of the places that hopital jobs it took them over a year to fill in 2018 are having 10 applicants in 2 weeks. Jobs that used to have 5 applicants have 30. WTH?! How did things get this saturated so quickly?!

I just got set up with several recruiters in the last week or so and am considering locums assignments if need be, but I'm just really frustrated. I feel like I shouldn't have wasted so much time "mastering" the nursing role and just gone to NP school quickly like most of the other people I know. I feel like my whole RN career means nothing and that I'm stuck in this weird place where no one will take me without experience but I can't get experience if no one will hire me.

Anyone have any tips or positive stories or anything?

renzlao, MSN, APRN

Specializes in MS, Emergency. Has 16 years experience.

I’m sorry 😞 I feel the same way. I’m graduating in May and I’ve been looking at postings in my area. I spoke to one recruiter who told me one job posting currently have 80 applications!
I hope it’s going to get better for you and that you’ll find something soon.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

I'm sorry you are struggling. Right now, hiring for healthcare professionals is very slow due to COVID-19 unless you can work in the ER or ICU. Many hospitals are half empty and are laying off or furloughing providers and nurses. There are places, like New York and some other states, that are hiring NPs to work as RNs for high pay during the COVID crisis. Hiring will pick up once this whole thing is over.

Sounds like you have good experience and also went to a reputable school. Your resume may need improvement if you are not getting any responses. I also suggest researching what areas have the biggest shortages of NPs, especially acute care NPs, and focusing your job search on those areas.

Good luck

@kdawnz I can totally imagine how frustrated you feel: You spent so much time, money, and effort to become an NP and it's been so difficult to find a job in an area that you want to settle down in.

I was wondering if you have considered a residency/fellowship program elsewhere to get the experience. It may not pay a lot but it will be very invaluable in the long run. A part of me wishes I did an NP residency program when I got out of school! Just a suggestion. Good luck!

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

5 hours ago, kdawnz said:

I need a pep talk or moral support or something. I'm an AGACNP-BC as of December and am having a horrible time finding a job. I've been a critical care/ER nurse for 9 years, teach PALS and mock codes, charge nurse, CCRN, all the things. Went to a public and reputable university and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I live in the West and want to be in a smaller community, which I figured would work in my favor, but I am getting nothing. I have been a little picky about location because I want to be near skiing and biking, but even drastically broadening my search area I'm still getting minimal interest. I'm hearing back from some of the places that hopital jobs it took them over a year to fill in 2018 are having 10 applicants in 2 weeks. Jobs that used to have 5 applicants have 30. WTH?! How did things get this saturated so quickly?!

I just got set up with several recruiters in the last week or so and am considering locums assignments if need be, but I'm just really frustrated. I feel like I shouldn't have wasted so much time "mastering" the nursing role and just gone to NP school quickly like most of the other people I know. I feel like my whole RN career means nothing and that I'm stuck in this weird place where no one will take me without experience but I can't get experience if no one will hire me.

Anyone have any tips or positive stories or anything?

I am an ANCP with years of ICU experience as a RN. When comparing your role as an RN to a provider, it literally means nothing in my opinion.

The only thing RN experience gave me was comfortability when talking to patients and working in a clinical setting.

Go do an acute care residency. Yeah it sucks makes 50k for a year but the experience was worth my RN experience and ACNP school many times over. You'll get any job you want after that.

The catch is....residencies are COMPETITIVE. I remember one of my offers came from a place with 100 applicants and 2 slots...

Edited by Numenor

kdawnz, MSN, NP

Specializes in AG-ACNP-BC.

Thanks for the input! ACNP residencies aren’t really a thing where I’m at in the Intermountain west. I’ll look into it though for sure and see if I can find something like that.

It’s just weird because at the level 1 trauma hospital I used to work in we were hiring new grad PA’s all the time even as recently as 18 months ago in a specialty ICU. In my clinical rotations I spent most of my hours in the medical ICU and was taking 5-7 patients independently with notes and orders by the end of clinicals. I was pretty good at central lines, thoracentesis, and was able to get a handful of intubations. Of course more training never hurt anyone and I have so much to learn, but I am not years away from being able to contribute in any sort of meaningful way.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

I agree with the Covid-19 crisis slowing everything down- there's a good amount of "elective" medicine, especially in the form of surgeries. This affects NPs/PAs that work for a surgery practice (I know of one where they had to lay off all of their NPs/PAs), CRNAs in a hospital, etc etc.

Hope you get something soon- but I would probably cast my net much wider. I know you said you were picky about location, but getting that first year or two of experience is critical for future hiring practices. I lived in a location that was not that pleasing to me (weather was too hot) but the experience I gained was invaluable and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

1). Acute care NPs have generally less chances in "small communities". Small hospitals do not need many of them, and those which do frequently prefer PAs.

2). Hiring is down everywhere now. Whatever media are yelling about, ERs and floors have overall lover censuses due to most elective surgeries and procedures cancelled and people plain simple afraid to go to acute care. Everything else is at halt, therefore there is no hiring. SNF sector suffering especially because SNFs halted personal visits.

3). Whatever you did and achieved as a RN doesn't matter for your present condition. CCRN, X+1 years at bedside, etc., - unless you are coming back to the same place where you were working as an RN and docs know you in person, you're going to start from point "1".

4). On top of possibly moving:

- if you were friendly with any docs at your previous job, contact them, they may know someone who needs help

- urgent care centers are open, although you might be disqualified from them as you are adult/gero

- LTACHs (Select, Kindred) will get an immence flush of vented patients soon

- if nothing else and you have temerity to do that: temporary assignment in states heavily affected with COVID. Your past ICU job will be in your favor and at least NY dropped license requirements for now. It will be something to begin with.

YG FNP, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Has 12 years experience.

I’m in the same boat. Finished in December, passed boards in January, and started looking in February. I’m FNP and really getting depressed about this. Coming from the ER, there are jobs for the me as an RN, but nothing for me as a new graduate NP. I am waiting to hear back from a residency to see if I made it, but I have no other prospects at this time. May have to move to get m first year out of the way, I’m just not willing to give up completely on my dream- covid or no covid. Hope my marriage can survive this!

good luck🙂

kdawnz, MSN, NP

Specializes in AG-ACNP-BC.

Thanks for the tips guys! Part 2 of my question: I’m willing to cast a wider net if need be, but I’ve typically been a person who sticks in the same place for a long time. Last job I was at for 11 years. I feel really weird moving somewhere, going through the lengthy credentialing process, getting trained, and then leaving after a year or two. I guess that’s why I’ve been somewhat picky about location. I don’t think that my husband or I have the mental fortitude to spend 5 years somewhere without access to the things in the outdoors that bring us joy. We can suck it up for a short time, but as I said, I feel guilty even considering doing that to a prospective employer. Is that just the norm and I’m being a baby about it?

My husband and I have also considered having me just go work as a nurse in a desired place so that I can network and hopefully gain an in, especially in a smaller community. I have mixed feelings about this. It seems risky, but may pay off. Like you said, lots of people get jobs by word of mouth.

My old job was not a good fit for me as an NP. I may come to deeply regret passing up the opportunity that I had there, but it had become a toxic environment and I really don’t think it would have been a safe space to be a new grad even though I spent 11 years with the group as an RN. Lots of change over the last 18 months so I chose to walk away. Very sad.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

Sorry to hear. This is a terrible time for new grad NPs with the whole crisis going on. I'm graduating within a month and applied to many Psych NP jobs, but so far it's been radio silence.

Fortunately my SO still works and can work online, and our mortgage is pretty low. So it's possible to move if need be.

Hang in there and keep plugging away.

kdawnz, MSN, NP

Specializes in AG-ACNP-BC.

Agree, and good luck to you too! I think I need to not get too worked up until things with Covid start to get somewhat under control... I applied for a PRN ICU RN job near me and haven’t even heard back on that either. Low census and other things are definitely a huge contributor.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

On 4/15/2020 at 2:13 PM, kdawnz said:

Thanks for the tips guys! Part 2 of my question: I’m willing to cast a wider net if need be, but I’ve typically been a person who sticks in the same place for a long time. Last job I was at for 11 years. I feel really weird moving somewhere, going through the lengthy credentialing process, getting trained, and then leaving after a year or two. I guess that’s why I’ve been somewhat picky about location. I don’t think that my husband or I have the mental fortitude to spend 5 years somewhere without access to the things in the outdoors that bring us joy. We can suck it up for a short time, but as I said, I feel guilty even considering doing that to a prospective employer. Is that just the norm and I’m being a baby about it?

Did you research job opportunities in your living place of choice before you started school? Before COVID?

Re. feeling guilty toward prospective employer: it is one thing to get out of your head STAT. You will be working hard as an NP, and holding for your job as onto the last straw works only toward your employer. This is one of the main reasons allowing physicians to abuse mid-level providers with insane loads, impossible requests and working well beyond their comfort and safety zone. You are gonna to get nothing from that except for early and hard burnout, your employer is going to get sweet free time to enjoy his golf or whatever on pretty big bucks brought by YOU. Loyalty to any employer is a good thing only if and when it is used at YOUR advantage. If you will be slaving out like an intern in the most amazing outdoors place in the USA for some measly "compensation" and sitting on several years' contract, you won't enjoy your life anyway.

If you can, avoid private practices. This is where the above schemes are most common and flourishing.

kdawnz, MSN, NP

Specializes in AG-ACNP-BC.

Thank you, I will try to push my concerns about duration out of my mind. I just know I would be frustrated when we would have new RNs come and we put all of his time, energy, and money in to training them only to have them leave after a short time. Given the lengthy process to get hired as a provider I assumed that there was quite a bit of stigma with leaving after a short duration. But you’re right, I will be a good provider in the long run and need to do what’s best for myself and family.

I did quite a bit of research on the main place we are wanting to move to. I interviewed for two positions, there were four total available as of last month. One of the positions I didn’t get, the other three were all postponed or taken down due to Covid. It’s a small area so I’m not sure if/when they will become available again. Since those jobs were taken down, I have been looking all over in the neighboring states and applied for several jobs with minimal interest. Some of this is likely covid related but it’s hard to know for sure.

ArmaniX, MSN, APRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

On 4/15/2020 at 1:23 PM, kdawnz said:

Thank you, I will try to push my concerns about duration out of my mind. I just know I would be frustrated when we would have new RNs come and we put all of his time, energy, and money in to training them only to have them leave after a short time. Given the lengthy process to get hired as a provider I assumed that there was quite a bit of stigma with leaving after a short duration.

People are only interested in what benefits them, that’s how it works and you should ride the train. You must have heard the countless stories of individuals being let go after devoting years of their lives to a company.

COVID19 has really halted the industry. If you have a job, now is not the time to be reckless or switching things up. If you’re looking for a job - cast a WIDE net. You need NP experience, not more RN experience with “hopes” of it leading to a NP position. One to two years getting solid experience is worth the one/two years of not being near “hobbies”.

Many places are on a hiring freeze, cutting hours, letting employees go. It is not the time to be picky, unless you’re willing to wait out for an extended period of time. No one knows how big of an impact this pandemic will cause in the upcoming months and further.

Edited by ArmaniX

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

On 4/15/2020 at 2:13 PM, kdawnz said:

Thanks for the tips guys! Part 2 of my question: I’m willing to cast a wider net if need be, but I’ve typically been a person who sticks in the same place for a long time. Last job I was at for 11 years. I feel really weird moving somewhere, going through the lengthy credentialing process, getting trained, and then leaving after a year or two. I guess that’s why I’ve been somewhat picky about location. I don’t think that my husband or I have the mental fortitude to spend 5 years somewhere without access to the things in the outdoors that bring us joy. We can suck it up for a short time, but as I said, I feel guilty even considering doing that to a prospective employer. Is that just the norm and I’m being a baby about it?

My husband and I have also considered having me just go work as a nurse in a desired place so that I can network and hopefully gain an in, especially in a smaller community. I have mixed feelings about this. It seems risky, but may pay off. Like you said, lots of people get jobs by word of mouth.

My old job was not a good fit for me as an NP. I may come to deeply regret passing up the opportunity that I had there, but it had become a toxic environment and I really don’t think it would have been a safe space to be a new grad even though I spent 11 years with the group as an RN. Lots of change over the last 18 months so I chose to walk away. Very sad.

Cant be picky with location. This what I find RNs fail to grasp that new MDs do. Moving for a position. Almost all MDs move multiple times for intern year, residency and fellowship. this is the norm. RNs cant expect to just swipe cushy NPs jobs int heir home. You might have to move and it is what it is even if its only for a year or two.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

On 4/15/2020 at 4:23 PM, kdawnz said:

Thank you, I will try to push my concerns about duration out of my mind. I just know I would be frustrated when we would have new RNs come and we put all of his time, energy, and money in to training them only to have them leave after a short time. Given the lengthy process to get hired as a provider I assumed that there was quite a bit of stigma with leaving after a short duration. But you’re right, I will be a good provider in the long run and need to do what’s best for myself and family.

I did quite a bit of research on the main place we are wanting to move to. I interviewed for two positions, there were four total available as of last month. One of the positions I didn’t get, the other three were all postponed or taken down due to Covid. It’s a small area so I’m not sure if/when they will become available again. Since those jobs were taken down, I have been looking all over in the neighboring states and applied for several jobs with minimal interest. Some of this is likely covid related but it’s hard to know for sure.

I suggest you use the HRSA website. I'll give a link below with info and how to use their job search website, the Health Workforce Connector.

You should also sign up for the virtual job fairs. Many of these employers are in areas that have a hard time getting providers so will consider new grads. Send your resume to EVERY place at the virtual job fair (you will have their email address) that needs an NP. You don't have to sit in on their session.

Your best bet are more rural areas, smaller towns and cities, and Native American clinics in more rural areas. And I suggest you apply to anyone anywhere that has an opening. If they invite you for a job interview, then you can check out the area - you might be pleasantly surprised.

You can use HRSA to find areas with high HPSA scores (health professional shortage areas). The higher the score, the worse the shortage. The advantage is these areas are eligible for loan repayment (HPSA 14 or higher).

Basically, you need to apply to areas that most people don't find desirable. Since you like the outdoors, a lot of these rural areas have great outdoor recreation, too.

Sunspun

Specializes in Atypical psychology.

Keep writing narratives about your work experience (personal) on her to hone your clinical skills.