Operation Job Before Graduation!

U.S.A. Washington DC


Hello all, this is my first post on all nurses woohoo!

My family and I are moving to DC when I graduate this coming May with my BSN. I want to work in the DC area, and I need all the advice I can get for getting a job right away! Step 1: Get an interview! I have already emailed all of the HR departments for DC area hospitals. Am I starting too soon? Most of the responses I have recieved have said "check our job postings" but obviously, I can't apply for a specific job on the online application system, since I have not yet graduated.

Any nursing recruiters out there?

Also, how reasonable is it to survive in DC with a family of 3 on a nurses salary? We would like for my husband to be able to stay home, since our son is 18 months old, and we don't want to have to put him in day care if its not absolutely necessary.

Ok, so anyone and everyone give me the lowdown and how to, because I am READY to be "one of those" in my graduating class that says "I already have a job" :)

Peace and blessings to all :)

I would make a list of the hospitals you are interested in working at and see what their new grad hiring cycles are, to include when they post the job openings. For example, several hospitals in DC have new grad programs that start in July, however I know that one of them knows who they are hiring by February (I think they post the jobs in either Dec or Jan) but others don't post until the spring and don't do interviews until June for a July start- and there are still others that are in between those 2 ends of the spectrum. As far as living costs out here, it pretty much depends on how far you are willing to commute/ how much you are willing to compromise on space. I live in Northern VA and am starting next month in DC. It's only a 20 miles drive, but that 20 miles could take 35 minutes or it could take an hour and a half. The train is also an option. I'm not as familiar with the MD side, but I have heard that there are some nice, affordable places over there, too.

Specializes in SICU.

I have some questions. Why are you moving to DC? It is an expensive area to live, unless you have a long commute into DC. It also has some of the worst traffic in America (ranked 3rd I think). Do you have family here to help you?

To answer some of your questions. New grad pay is around $26 to $28 an hour. Housing gets less expressive the further out from DC you go, both into Maryland and Virgina.

As the above post said you need to be applying for jobs starting very soon. For a May graduation, you are looking at a July start. Most of the area hospitals have already interviewed and given acceptance letters for new grad jobs by March. If you wait until you pass NCLEX before applying then you are looking at a October start at the earliest and more likely a January 2011 start, as not all the hospital have a mid fall new grad start date.

I currently live in Indiana, and we hate it. I grew up in San Diego, and want to move back to a big city. We enjoy DC, and my father in law lives in Northern VA. We refuse to live in northern VA, though. It's not our style, and there's no way I'm sitting through that traffic. Pretty much all of Fort Wayne is in a hiring freeze, so we are going wherever I get a job. Our starting preference is DC, and it seems like it is one of the few cities still hiring new grads. Although living in Indiana is VERY inepxpensive, new grad jobs are close to impossible, and are starting out at about 14.00 with horrible benefits. From what I've heard though, living directly in the city is less expensive than many places in northern VA.

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

First congrats on almost being done with nursing school and making the decision to move to DC. I moved to D.C. 9 months ago and I love it. Children's National and Washington Hospital Center seem to be hiring more new grads and even nurses in general than anyone, but then that's not always a good thing. ;) I recommend looking at Georgetown, as they seem to hire a fair amount of new grads in July and give them a very nice orientation.

As far as housing goes, you are right that there are some affordable places in the District proper. Try looking around Columbia Heights/Mt Pleasant area.

Thanks so much! Do you mind telling me what worked for you getting a job in the area? What hospital do you work at, and do you like it?

I would like to piggy back on the original post if I may. :)

I already live here in the area and will be graduating from NOVA in May. I have no idea when or where to start looking for a job but from what you all already said it sounds like I need to start looking now and that I need to be aggressively seeking opportunities. I don't have any sort of resume put together and that is actually an assignment in the Spring. Sounds like I need to do it way before then...like, now!

My questions are:

How does one find out the job posting and hiring cycles? Do I just contact HR at each hospital and ask them when they post jobs for new grads?

If I find a job at WHC or any other hospital in DC, do I take the NCLEX in DC or here in VA and then transfer my license to DC? Can I even take the NCLEX in DC?

I'm in Fairfax County so DC would be a bit of a hike for me but honestly I'm very concerned about being able to find a job and am willing to go the distance if necessary.

FutureNOVARN- I would definitely contact the individual hospitals and ask when they post for their summer start dates. Some will actually know who they are hiring for in July, as early as February, while others hire through June for a July start. Due to the large number of applicants, for some of the hospitals, it's very important to apply early because they will only look at the first 200, 300, etc applications. I'm not sure where you are in Ffx Cty, but I'm in West Springfield, right on the border with Burke, and I commute to WHC, and with 12 hr shifts, it's a really easy commute (about 35 minutes or so, sometimes about 40 in the morning because of increase traffic on DC streets). Good luck in the rest of school and finding a job! =)

Thanks for the advice. I am definitely going to start calling around and working on my resume asap! I had no idea I needed to start looking this early.

+ Add a Comment