36 online applications and no bites?!

Nurses Job Hunt


I recently started my Job Search last month, this will be my first job in the field of health care. My only preference is that the job I land is at a hospital, being from Saint Louis I have plenty of options so I wasn't worried about having too much trouble getting a job. I'm applying for tech positions, a few LPN positions, and a couple of positions dealing with outpatient procedures where I'd be dealing with IVs and EKGs. I am an LPN, IV certified, and have never worked in health care outside of my nursing clinicals - but I'm qualified for all of the jobs that I've applied for...Did I mention I've put in 36+ applications at 8 different facilities?? Its been three weeks since my first application and I've still heard nothing. I guess I'm just wondering where to go from here and how long of a process this usually is. The facilities that I've called to contact HR for job opportunities simply have voice recordings saying to apply online and that they will contact you if they are interested. Is it wrong to call HR to seek new job opportunities or to follow up on an application? Is it ok to physically go to the Human Resources Department to drop off a resume? Who do I talk to? What am I supposed to do now? The waiting is driving me crazy and I feel like I'm getting nowhere!! Please Help =)

Specializes in Orthopedics.

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer.. Because there ARE jobs out there. But... 36 applications is just a chink in the armor when it comes to obtaining a job. I made a list of every single position I applied to and came out with 152 applications before I got hired. Some I spoke to after NS put in many more than that.

My suggestion to you is think outside of the box. Go to career fairs. Check hospitals websites for open house interviews. This was the only way I landed my gig. The difficult part is getting someone to talk to you. People at career fairs and open house interviews are there specifically for that.

You have to remember for every job posting there is, there are hundreds of candidates. Also, many hospitals hire from within but are required to still post the job opening on the website.

Above all, don't get down! Stay positive and focused... It may be a few months before you land your opportunity. Most people I have spoken with seems it has taken 5-6 months.

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

Getting your first nursing job can take months and hundreds of applications. 36 applications and 3 weeks is nothing.

You may think you're at an advantage being in a big city, but it also means that you're competing for jobs with thousands of other nursing school graduates- many of whom will have previous healthcare experience. It's actually easier to find a job in more rural areas.

You probably don't want to apply for tech positions. Many states/facilities do not allow someone who is licensed as an RN/LPN to work as a tech due to liability. You are held to the standard of your license, but while employed as a tech your scope of practice only lets you do certain things. So if there were a patient emergency while you were a tech, and you didn't implement certain interventions within the LPN's scope of practice, you could be sued. Big risk for the hospital.

Since you have no previous healthcare experience, you'll likely have to broaden your search beyond hospitals. Apply to skilled rehab facilities and long term care. You might not get your dream job right off the bat, but you have to get experience somewhere and then you can move into the hospital setting.

I hope you are not one of those nursing student who were told that, once you graduated, you'd be able to work wherever you want and you would have tons of job offers. If so, you were sorely misled. The job market is very tough for new nurses- especially those without any previous health care experience. Make sure your resume and cover letter are as good as you can make them and keep applying. If the HR message says to apply online, then calling or going in with do you know good. You'll get to the hospital, ask to give them your resume, and be asked to turn right around and send it in online. That's the policy beucase, otherwise, HR would have hundreds of people calling/visiting every day.

I've applied to 45+ CNA positions (all within the same healthcare system) over the past 6 months and have yet to get ONE interview. I finally got hired at a random LTC facility but I'm still applying to the hospitals because that's where I'll be doing my nursing clinicals and where I want to work after graduation. I'm in a good sized city and have been told by our school's HR liason (my school is affiiliated with the healthcare system) that they receive 300+ applications for ONE CNA position.

Keep trying!

Specializes in School Nursing.

It's my understanding that many hospitals are no longer hiring LPN/LVNs and are phasing out the ones they do have. I'm not sure if that is true in your area, but I've heard that's the trend around here. You may be limiting your possibilities by not including LTC and private doctors offices in your search-- home health care as well.

Is it possible to go to the floor and personally hand somebody your resume? I've heard some people say to do that and others not to but what could it hurt? From the way it sounds you haven't heard back anyway so it might be worth a shot to get your face associated with a name. Now you aren't just some name on the list of hundreds but you're that person who came on the unit and have put your face out there.

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma.

call or go to HR. i am a new grad RN(from december), and have almost 217 applications out(i'm keeping a log). i landed a PRN job in an outpatient surgery center 30 days after i passed nclex, because i called HR. i have 4 interviews coming up at an amazing hospital, because i decided that applying was getting me nowhere, and called HR. you have nothing to lose. a classmate of mine went to HR and asked for a list of nursing manager names, and the HR person actually walked her around the floors to introduce her to the managers, and she had a job in a week.

good luck!

Specializes in trying to figure it out.

I am an RN with 5 yrs clinical experience, currently unemployed after an "awful" experience working Homecare (it's a long story in its self). Anyway I have been having the same problem. So many online applications filled out and nothing. Not even sure if they got it, if anyone has looked at it with my resume that I typically attach if applicatioin allows. So I talk to a friend of mine about my frustrations. She works for one of the big hospitals I have applied to over the past few weeks. She tells me that alot of these positions are filled "in house" by nurses already working there and that HR is still required to post the openings online anyhow. Does anyone know if there is something to that theory?

I've been applying, searching and had few interviews on and off in the past 2 years. It's rare I receive a call back or any type of response, besides an online confirmation of receiving the application. It's very frustrating. The only area that has embraced RN applicants has been agency nursing, with my specialty.

I have networked and job shadowed, and still have not been successful. I have not lost hope, and know if I continue to apply and interview, I will be hired eventually.

Specializes in Ambulatory care.

@Hkroeck hang in there keep applying and call to follow up on your application say after 1 week. You're just getting started 36 is a tiny drop in the sea of it all. I'm up to 150 in past 2 months, and i've an excell sheet tracking it all.

Remember you're an RN now and your #1 duty is to protect your hard earned license. Be very careful of what you do even as volunteer. Most states make it so that places cannot hire an RN for a lower position and do not accept work from a private place that says sure no prob its fine because its not. Some thing happens to patient and while you're just the "tech" but as an RN you could have changed the outcome well they sue and you're done for. AND medical doesn't cover you in the role of tech.. as you're not suppose to do it to start. BON gets involved now you either lose license or its under investigation. You dont want dings on your licencse and youve not even started using it yet. Future employers will see it as poor judgement, liability risk etc etc

Anyways for monies just do something else on the side and up to you to list it or not on resume. Most of my classmates including myself have had to do other things no nursing to put food on the table until we get a nursing job. Apply to nursing homes too. In the mean time take certification courses, volunteer at your intended place of employmebnt if you can. ( this is basically water refilling, talking to pt, or filing) GOOD LUCK!

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