What should I do?

  1. I am feeling really stuck and hopeless in my career path. I graduated 3 years ago with my ADN. I got my first job working in LTC, thinking it would be temporary until I gained enough experience. I did gain good experience, but was miserable due to having too many patients (30+) treatments, falls, charting etc and not enough time. Overtime was the norm. I got another job working at a post acute facility, which I thought would be better because I would have only 12-15 patients, but with daily admits, dressing changes, all sorts of lines/drains and alot more charting, it's the all the same. If you are ONLY an hour overtime it's considered getting out early and leaving on time is a miracle. Because of this I have been forced to work up to 72 hr weeks and after 3 years it is killing me.

    I would really like to work in acute care. I have applied to ALL the hospitals, large and small within 50 miles(cannot relocate due to child custody agreement) ALL shifts(full-time, part-time and per-diem). I am not applying for any specialities, mainly med-surg. I have worked on my resume, making it more ATS friendly and I have only gotten one interview where I feel my experience was looked down upon.

    To add insult to injury, a family friend who just graduated from the same program as me got hired right into the hospital, the same hospital I interviewed at. This particular hospital began hiring new grads within the last year or so. I would like to get my BSN, but don't feel like I have the time working as much as I do. I also don't know if it would make a difference, because the hospital that hires nurses without acute care experience seems to prefer new grads which I wouldn't be.

    I am feeling out of options at this point. I am depressed about my prospects and beginning to lose hope that I will ever work in acute care. I love bedside nursing, but if I knew it was to be like this I might of done something else. Any advice or words of encouragement? I am really feeling down right now
  2. Visit TwoLayi profile page

    About TwoLayi

    Joined: Jun '16; Posts: 20; Likes: 33
    from CA , US

    12 Comments

  3. by   AxelNewRN86
    I am sorry for your struggle. It must be extremely frustrating. Have you tried reaching out to managers, besides just filling out applications. I sometimes would call a hospital after hours and asked to be transferred to the manager of whatever unit I am applying for and leave a message "Hi I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Jane Doe and I am applying for an RN position on your unit. I have filled out the application and just mailed my resume and coverletter to you. I would love to meet with you if you are able to discuss any potential openings. Here is my number." Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't but it was good to be proactive. I found just applying online can be difficult because HR goes through applications before deciding which ones get to the manager. Thus I make an effort that I mail or hand a resume in person so I at least know the manager will at least see my resume. Good luck
  4. by   cleback
    Do you know any nurses already working there? It's not a sin to network and find an in that way.
  5. by   NurseCard
    Or heck, do you know ANYONE who works at any of the hospitals that you might like to work?
    I got my current job because my husband works in the kitchen.
  6. by   TwoLayi
    Well I got my one and only interview at a hospital through my really good friend from nursing school. It wasn't on her unit, but she was able to help a bit. I haven't kept in contact with hardly anyone else from school. I am still friends with classmates on FB and have considered reaching out to a few. I am not sure how to approach them since it's been so long and I feel bad for not keeping in touch. I am an introvert and have a hard time networking, although I realize this is something I need to do. Any suggestions?
  7. by   TwoLayi
    Quote from AxelNewRN86
    Have you tried reaching out to managers, besides just filling out applications. I sometimes would call a hospital after hours and asked to be transferred to the manager of whatever unit I am applying for and leave a message "Hi I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Jane Doe and I am applying for an RN position on your unit. I have filled out the application and just mailed my resume and coverletter to you. I would love to meet with you if you are able to discuss any potential openings. Here is my number." Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't but it was good to be proactiveThus I make an effort that I mail or hand a resume in person so I at least know the manager will at least see my resume.
    I haven't tried directly talking to managers, because I have heard mixed opinions about the practice. Plus that is something totally out of my comfort zone. It would probably be a last resort, but since I feel like I am running out of options, I might need to try it. Thanks for the suggestion.
  8. by   Ddestiny
    Do you have a LinkedIn account? It allows you to basically post a resume and recruiters frequently reach out to individuals to let them know about their openings. There is a setting where you can select whether or not you're open to receiving offers, and even when I've had mine selected to "not interested" I still occasionally get some feelers sent my direction, and when I did have it switched to "interested" for a short period of time I got a lot of messages.

    As someone said above, HR usually gets your applications before they're sent on to unit managers or recruiters, so having your information available where the recruiters and managers can see it first can help you get your foot in the door.

    Also, have you had anyone check out your resume? If you're in a competitive area then it could be non-experience reasons that get your resume rejected, such as multiple spelling errors or not having a very clean/detail-oriented template. And it's easy for the writer of the resume to miss those things because you can read what you *mean* for it to say, not what it actually says. It's important that a resume shows you off to your best advantage.
  9. by   Mergirlc
    Hi Twolayi,
    Sorry about your predicament. Keep on applying! Don't give up. I always remember something an old friend of mine said to me: "You throw enough darts at the board, eventually you're going to hit the board and bullseye!"

    I see you're in California. I would strongly suggest if you can even find the time and $$, you seriously consider getting your BSN. There are plenty of programs out there that do an ADN - BSN bridge. The only reason I say this is because I heard first hand from a friend of mine that the majority of major hospitals are starting to focus on those w/ BSNs or above. It's unfortunate, but true. My friend told me that he once asked one of the hiring managers from the hospital he works at how does she go through all the applications. She straight-up told him she first goes through all the applications and picks out who has BSN or higher without even looking at names or anything else on the application. After that, anybody that didn't make that first cut, gets put to the side. I know it's unfair since somebody w/ an ADN can have tons of experience, but that's just the way it is in some places.

    I agree w/ others that reaching out to your old classmates won't hurt. Just apologize for not keeping in touch and explain your situation. What can it hurt? Worse case scenario: Nobody answers. Best case scenario: Somebody may have some job leads. You have nothing to lose!

    Is going per diem or signing on w/ a placement agency an option for you? Maybe they might be able to put you in places to get more experience?

    Good luck whatever you choose.
  10. by   sheryphilip
    hello, i got BSN in nursing from Egypt from around five years ago, i live in texas and when i called the board of nursing they told me that they accept the foreign graduates within 4 years of their graduation date. so from which state can i get this done without this restriction?
  11. by   Been there,done that
    You are giving up without a good fight.

    You do NOT have to work more than 40 hours / week. Review your state labor laws.
    It sounds like you do not interview well, practice.... practice.... practice your interview skills.
    You could also get that child custody arrangement changed, judges will let you move if it's for a job.
  12. by   Davey Do
    Good luck to you TwoLayi. You sound like a hard working individual who deserves a break! You've gotten some really good advice from your fellow members.
    Quote from sheryphilip
    hello, i got BSN in nursing from Egypt from around five years ago, i live in texas and when i called the board of nursing they told me that they accept the foreign graduates within 4 years of their graduation date. so from which state can i get this done without this restriction?
    sheryphilip:
    Welcome to AN.com! Check out this forum:
    https://allnurses.com/nursing-job-search/
  13. by   court4282
    Keep up the hard work! Working in Staff Development, might I suggest you reach out to the hospitals you are looking at and ask about shadowing opportunities within the hospital. I know my hospital will allow you to come in an shadow in just about any area. This would allow you to establish some contacts that you might be able to use as a reference to get your foot in the door. You could also consider agency or float pool nursing to help you get some experience in the acute care world. Don't give up!
  14. by   TwoLayi
    I wanted to thank everyone for the words of advice and encouragement. I think ultimately I am going to get my BSN online and in the mean time reach out to my some of my classmates and keep applying to jobs.

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