Non-nursing first job?

Nurses General Nursing


Hello! It's that season, and I'm sure you're tired of hearing from graduating students but... How horrible would it be for me to take a non-nursing job straight out of school? My advisor seems to think it would be resume suicide, but I hate to turn it down since it's a really nice job offer (and no one has called yet on any of my applications to hospitals). Anyone been through this, or has been on the hiring side?

Depends on what the job is. It also depends on what your goals are.

What's the job? Oh, and BTW don't settle for "x" job just because your first choices haven't panned out...yet.

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

So....the farther away from clinicals you get, the harder it will be. Are you questioning whether you want to work as a nurse? Or is the job market just that tight? My friend graduated as an ADN, worked for less than six months, entered a RN to Masters program....and is graduating with no appreciable experience or skills. I'm not sure how she'll sell that in the job market.

It's nice to have a good job offer. What you need is something "in the field." It's too bad that the flu vaccination season's over - companies that provide workplace vaccines are a great resource for a nurse who's in between gigs. Good luck.

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

It would be unwise unless you literally have no other choice - as in, you can't make rent. Otherwise you really need to find a nursing job. If hospitals aren't responding to you, start applying at the bajillion other places that hire nurses. A non-nursing job is going to do nothing but make potential employers wonder why. Given that there are plenty of new grads to go around, you are likely to be passed over for interviews. I agree with your advisor.

I guess I am confused, when I first read your post I thought you were asking about taking a RN job that wasn't patient care. If you mean getting a first job that isn't as a nurse at all, what was the point of getting a nursing degree? And how is this your "first job?" Have you never worked before?

If the job is something temporary to pay the bills until you find a nursing job, I don't see a problem with that. It would be just another student job.

If the job is instead of a nursing job, that is a different issue. What kind of job are you considering and why?

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Is this a temp/seasonal job to help pay some bills until you find a nursing job or a job that would set you into a solid career in an entirely different field? The former, is pretty understandable, the later is more difficult to sell in interviews. Furthermore if it is a really nice job - are you willing to burn bridges when you leave for a nursing job in a short period of time? Or would you be sticking it out for the long-term, in which case finding an RN job later down the line as a "old" new-grad will become increasingly difficult.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

Great advice from everyone. Do NOT become an 'old new grad' - that is not a good place to find yourself.

Getting that golden first year of experience can seem pretty daunting. Something to consider is maybe settling on something else in the field rather than not. Start applying at LTC places. They often hire new grads. You might also consider expanding your job search to a wider area. A longer commute can be a pain, but is sometimes a smart move in the long run. I think a lot of new nurses apply at jobs they want and are forced to compete with more experienced applicants. I think society pushes the image that we all run ERs or delivery babies, but those jobs are going to be almost unattainable right out of school. Start looking at your 2nd and 3rd choice options in nursing. You can get to where you want to be pretty easily, but you have to build experience. Sometimes the experience doesn't even have to be directly related, it all adds up. Taking a job outside your field though will just make that first job an uphill battle. Kinda like waiting too long to take the NCLEX. Unless you are flat broke, take any nursing job and build on that.

If I were you, I might wanna take the non-nursing job although it depends what "a really nice job offer" means..

Actually my first job after nursing school was not in nursing. I moved to a foreign country where my family lived soon after passing NCLEX, and I worked over there. I had no choice.

I came back to the us after a couple years and got a first nursing job. I have 2+ years of nursing experience now and am ready to get out for good. I became a part timer from this year and my plan is to be completely out of nursing in next three years. I don't wanna do nursing job for next thirty years and just thinking about it makes me feel depressed.

After all, majority of nursing jobs are both physically and emotionally demanding. Nurses who can work bedside for many years are lucky in my opinion. I know you, like a new graduate, don't wanna hear something like this though.

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