Hi, all. I just passed my CPNE (through Excelsior) and wanted to find out some info about being a new grad if you'd be willing to spare some of your time with me. I'm in California and I have no idea on how to go about obtaining my first job as a RN. I have some RN friends but they're already seasoned RNs and didn't know much about the job market for new grads. Here in Cali, I know that Excelsior graduates are frowned upon especially at Kaiser. At least that's what I hear. I'm not worried about finding a job since there is such a huge shortage. But I wanted to make sure that I find a position where I would learn and also command as high of a salary as I could since starting rate could effect my entire career. I was thinking of training in float pool so that I could tackle variety of areas in short period of time. I thought about making a written or phone inquiry to the bigger hospitals around my area (Inland empire-riverside/san bernardino). What do you think? Thanks in advance for any advice you could give.
Aug 14, '04
Hello Ammie. Please tell me what a CPNE is.
I'm not familiar with the term (is that an accelerated school?). If you have no nursing experience, I would think float pool would be a rough route to go. Floating is good experience, but you need to have some basic nursing skills down before you feel confident floating to new units. I would suggest working one unit for at least 6 mos to get your feet wet. It took me 1 year on med/surg before I felt fairly confident in my skills (and still learning several years later).The market is hot for nurses in CA, so I'm sure you'll have your pick of jobs. Have you checked Nurseweek online? I get the paper version, and it is chock o block full of job ads & new grad programs for all over the state. I would take advantage of a nice new grad program if I were a newbie. All too soon you will be on your own, so having a new grad program is great if you can get it. Good luck!
P.S.- There is a job search area on this website you might also want to check out.
Here's nurse week's site: www.nurseweek.com
Last edit by Genista on Aug 14, '04
Aug 14, '04
I'm not familiar with CPNE either. Have you taken the board exam in CA yet or does the CPNE just qualify you to take the board exam?
Re hospitals in the inland empire area, Loma Linda is always hiring, and usually the VA Hospital in Loma Linda has ads out for RNs. Arrowhead Regional in Colton is the new San Berdo Co hospital, and the new Riverside County Regional in Moreno Valley needs RNs all the time.
Some of the smaller facilities in the area have been having financial and political upheavals recently, so check the local newpaper archives if you are concerned about that.
Kaiser has medical centers in Fontana and in Riverside. Have no idea if you heard correctly about their not liking Excelsior grads, but once you have your license, you've got the same license as any other RN so it shouldn't make any difference. They have not been hiring much recently, though. I believe most of their slots are filled from internal transfers.
Any facility would probably give preference in hiring a new grad with prior hospital experience (LVN, CNA, tele tech, unit secretary...) over someone whose student clinical experience was the only exposure. So if you have any prior experience in the healthcare field, you'd probably be chosen over some of the other appicants regardless of where you got your degree.
Re float pool--most facilities require at least a year's experience as an RN before they will hire someone into a float position. I wouldn't trust a facility that would hire a new grad specifically to be a float. There's enough culture shock for new grads without changing the environment every day. However, once you've been anywhere for a few months, chances are you will have to start taking your turn floating, so you will get the experience anyway eventually.
Most facility websites have job openings listed as well as a way to apply online. That would be a place to start looking.
Hope this answered some of your questions.
Last edit by jemb on Aug 14, '04
Aug 17, '04
Hi, all. Thanks for the info. CPNE was the last step to getting the ASN degree from Excelsior. I will be sitting for boards probably in Nov. I'm so glad I found this site and thanks again for the advise.
Aug 18, '04
CPNE = Clinical Practical Nursing Examination (I believe). Part of most internet based programs, needed for graduation.
Traditional schools have it incorporated into the program.
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