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Passed the RN board exam this year... I have a situation... Need advice Please!!

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Hello Everyone! (sorry if this is long)

So I passed the NCLEX-RN in April 2010 (my first try). I got my BSN Diploma August 2009. But I walked for the graduation ceremony May 2008. (I went to a private school >30k/year). In 2008 w/ the economy my dad lost his job, our family lost our house and we couldn't afford to finish paying my tuition = hold on all my records (official/unofficial transcripts + diploma, etc.) Luckily my church and relatives helped us out and long story short, here I am.

I haven't had clinical experience (let alone professsional exp.) in 2 years. I live in the Los Angeles County and (w/ the nation in debt, esp. the state of CA) there has been this hiring freeze... most if not all places look for at least 1 year of professional experience and I don't know what to do. The hospital nurse recruiters tell me not to go to home health or clinics... that I should keep trying for smaller hospitals before going to bigger ones because I need that baseline HOSPITAL experience. My goal is to become a CCU nurse... But how can I convince even the smaller hospitals to consider me?

Should I take a refresher course that also offers additional clinical experience refresher help? Should I take all the refresher courses possible? IV & Wound courses? Also, does anyone know any quality refresher courses that can help me? I just turned 26 this year. I still want to go to grad school and become a nurse practitioner. I just need that one chance in the hospital to prove that I can and will be a great nurse. (I hope ^_^):nurse:

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Honestly, I do not think taking a refresher course is going to help you. It will put you right there with all the other brand new grads who also aren't finding jobs.

My recommendation is to take a job, any job, in healthcare. Even if it means working at a nursing home/SNF.

What you need is NURSING EXPERIENCE. In this economy, you probably are not going to land your first job in a hospital, I'm sorry to say.

I also think you're making a mistake by focusing on small community hospitals. You will probably find that large hospitals, especially teaching hospitals, are going to be more likely to have new grad programs and are willing to train you. Small hospitals don't have the budgets that large ones have, and are most likely only going to hire nurses with experience.

Consider relocating.

Good luck.

The recruiters are telling you to stay away from areas like home health but they aren't telling you where to get a job. I say, go to home health, or a LTC facility and get a job, any job, at this point. You can continue your search for hospital work.

You need to tackle your goals one task at a time. Your main objective right now should be to find a job...any job. You've been out of school for so long without any experience and you become less and less desirable to employers by the day. If you are lucky enough to even be considered for home health or clinics that are local to you, then you should work there. Otherwise, consider moving outside your city or out of state if there if there is absolutely nothing where you are.

You can always go after your dream unit later. That's the way I see it. Gone are the days when new grads called the shots and had 8 different offers with sign-on or relocation package$. As you've already said yourself, experience is at a premium. When a CCU opening comes up, do you think they would take a new grad or a nurse who has some experience, proven skills in time management, prioritization, good references, etc.?

As far as the certifications like ACLS and PALS, they may help you.

sissykim

Specializes in Med Surg,.

Sorry for the hardship. I want to know what happend to the lost of realestate? :igtsyt:How did you handle not having a home. I am in the same situation. As for employment, your luck may not lay in the fact that you are inexperienced (two years out of school) it may be a reflection of the economy. Keep trying to find employment for certain an opportunity will happen. Take what ever work you can obtain until you get the job which leads to your career goals.

Sorry for the hardship. I want to know what happend to the lost of realestate? :igtsyt:How did you handle not having a home. I am in the same situation. As for employment, your luck may not lay in the fact that you are inexperienced (two years out of school) it may be a reflection of the economy. Keep trying to find employment for certain an opportunity will happen. Take what ever work you can obtain until you get the job which leads to your career goals.

Thanks. A couple from my family's church group took our family in until we were able to stand on our own again (now) and now we are able to rent a house. Thanks for the advice Everyone! I'll try my best and continue to look I guess. :nurse:

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

Any experience is better then none at all.

canchaser, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 20 years experience.

I would suggest looking into a long term acute care facility.. They will offer a 3 month internship and give u great experience that could launch I into a hospital.

cokeforbreakfast

Specializes in Telehealth, Hospice and Palliative Care. Has 7 years experience.

Don't forget about clinic work. At my facility the RNs do all the IV infusions, assist in surgery, do caths, and a lot of critical thinking in other jobs like triage and protimes. It was enough experience to get me a job at a large hospital (I start the end of Nov!)

Good luck!

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Personally, I would take a refresher course. I've seen other posters here who were successful in landing a position after freshening up their skills.

Look at it this way: If you and newly graduated nurse are in competition for the same job, how would the employer look at the 2 of you? Experience: none for either of you. Recent skills/clinical: yes for the new grad; no for you.

Plus, you may be able to network at the facility where you take the refresher course, or with the instructor.

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

Just take a job and get some experience under your belt. It is tight right now. I have never seen so many nurses having difficulty finding a job. I myself, with 32 year of experience just got a job after being out of work for 5 months. You might have someone review your resume to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light. In addition, make sure your cover letter is appropriate for the job you are looking for. Don't just write a generic cover letter. It must be specific for the job you are applying for. You might also have to rearrange your resume to fit the specific job you want. If you need assistance, I would be glad to help you. You can send me a private email.