Rejected by 2 RN Residency Programs

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    Looking for some sound advice. I completed my BSN last year and have not started my first RN job yet. Passed my NCLEX 1st attempt in 75 question so yes, I am currently licensed.

    My dilemma is that I just turned 59. I wanted to do nursing all my life and after 2 children and a career as a flight attendant, I finally found the time to go back to school and get my degree. My problem is that I have not been able to secure my first job.

    I ended up with a lower GPA because of my last semester, 1 clinical and a failed exit exam, I was told I failed. Come back and repeat the semester and try again which I did. Needless to say, I have lost all confidence and do not know which direction to go next. I have been rejected by 2 RN Residency programs.



    Dear Rejected,

    The most important thing is not to give up. Instead, I would pull out all the stops in my job search. You have invested a lot to get where you are, and you have your BSN (a plus!).

    You just need one offer to turn this around and start your career. But the clock is ticking and it's important to land your first job within 1 year of graduating. Are you able to relocate? That is often the key to landing the first job.
    Have you considered sub-acute? It's much less competitive and gets your foot in the door of the working world so you can start building your resume.

    At 59, you may encounter age discrimination- here are some tips on that. Ageism in Nursing.

    And honestly, my book below is written exactly for new grads like you, from a hiring manager's point of view. Your resume, cover letter, ability to target, interview skills.....
    must be on point with no mistakes. There are successful examples of all of those to help you.


    Best wishes,


    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on May 11
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,481; Likes: 4,360

    6 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    If you are only applying to residency programs- I would stop that right now. Cast a wide wide net and look anywhere and everywhere. You are in serious danger of becoming an 'old new grad' (doesn't refer to your age btw). ANY nursing job will open doors to future nursing jobs.
  4. by   KelRN215
    Is 2 nurse residency programs all you've applied to? If so, get at it applying to everything under the sun.
  5. by   HalfBoiled
    Residency programs are just gimmicks to appeal to new grads.
    Apply every entry level 1 RN positions.
    I learned wayy more on the floor with a preceptor rather than a class/lecture.
  6. by   Medic_Murse
    It's disheartening, I know! After school, I moved to an area that I thought would be in high demand, wroooong. It is highly competitive and cut throat, to get an entry level RN job. I was denied application after application and a residency program, which I was more than qualified for. So, I went back to the drawing board, did some research, and decided to bring out the big guns and play some hard ball. I put together a portfolio (that my school never told us we should do), I went out to various areas in public where I knew the healthcare crowd frequented and networked. As another poster stated, I broadened my search to areas outside of where I am, and finally landed an interview. It sucks, but depending where you are, getting that foot in the door can be a full time job, in of itself.
  7. by   labordude
    Medic_murse is right on. At this time, new grads are in a buyer's market and these hospitals weren't interested in what you had for sale. Find a way to differentiate yourself somehow. Do you have other experience that can put you a step ahead, especially things that included leadership? Portfolios are okay IMHO, but it's what someone can bring to my unit that matters. New grads are a dime a dozen these days and hospitals are going to be picky. Find a way to make yourself standout so that you can bring something unique and different (and don't tell me about your passion for my specialty area either).
  8. by   PatriciaCifuentes
    Dear awesome nurse with a an incredible BSN, your future is laying ahead for you. Don't let your age or your GPA define you. I know you will get your opportunity, it's coming just around the corner. In the meantime look into other opportunities, home care agencies offer really good experience and they can take you as a new graduate. You can get some nursing experience and $$$$ while you wait to be accepted in an internship. I don't know where you're located but if you're in Texas I highly recommend Angel's of Care. Good luck and congratulations on becoming a nurse. I graduated at 56 and I just started my Master Nurse Practitioner Program at 59. I am so proud of you as I am of myself, because while at our age most of the people are thinking about retirement and being at home, we decided to pursue a a new goal and dream new dreams! Stay motivated, don't get discouraged! Listen to motivational videos in YouTube whenever you're feeling down, they help me to stay focused.
    Congratulations to you!

    PD. Believe it or not I make money as a coverage home care nurse these days, compared to what I used to make at the hospital where I did my internship. That is how I am able to afford graduate school and work less hours so I can keep up with my classes.
    Last edit by PatriciaCifuentes on Jun 8


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