Dear Nurse Beth,
Let me start off by telling you about myself:
- I graduated with my BSN 6 months ago.
- I had a 3.8 GPA and have volunteered a lot in the past, I have also been in leadership roles for different student associations.
- I currently work as a per diem nurse at an outpatient facility that is not affiliated with any hospital.
- I have applied to 100+ hospital jobs.
- I have had at least 5 interviews over the past couple of months that have lead to a dead end.
- I have read your book, which is amazing, took all your advice and put it into practice.
I am very conflicted. Recently, my nurse manager asked me if I would like to work full-time at my current job. I do like my current job at the outpatient facility, however, I feel like there is not much to learn. For example, the only nurses allowed to do IVs are the charge nurse and the nurse manager, so I can't even practice that. All in all, I feel like a well paid medical assistant most of the time.
What I would really like is to be working in a hospital and gaining nursing skills that the outpatient facility will not help me acquire. The problem is that for some reason it's very hard for me to get my foot in the door at a hospital. Should I just work at the outpatient facility full-time for a year and then look for a hospital job?
I am also in the process of obtaining licenses in 2 nearby states, so I hope applying there after I get them lands me a job. And unfortunately, I can't move too far from home, because it would inconvenience my family.
Dear Trying to Stay Positive,
Working full-time is better for a work history than working per diem, so I would strongly consider changing to full-time. Obviously they like you and your work to offer you full-time.
Network and persevere- You already know that applying to hospital after hospital doesn't guarantee results. Contact your nursing school friends who landed hospital jobs and let them know you're looking. Ask them to put in a good word for you, and to let you know of any openings.
Focus on interviewing- If you have had 5 interviews, it could mean that your resume is effective, but you are not closing the deal in your interview. After an interview, call the recruiter and ask what you could have done differently to improve your chances. Many will not give information, but some help will, and it's valuable feedback.
Consider sub-acute as a stepping stone and an environment where you could put more of your skills to use.
Please do try and stay positive. You are only 6 months out, and your dream job may be just around the corner.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!