Possible to work as a new RN without doing a new grad program?


So I graduated a year and a half ago, have my BSN-RN. There were no new grad programs right away so I started working in a pretty low-key job- an allergy and asthma clinic. Some acute situations but pretty low-key for the most part, a lot of education, etc.

I have stayed longer than I intended to (a year and a half) and now am antsy to do a new grad program! problem is I called about 20 hospitals in my area and all are on hiring freezes or are just not offering new grad programs because of the recession.

What do I do? I don't feel qualified to get a position as an RN on a med surg floor without a year of acute hospital experince!

Would it be an impossible transition to attempt to get a job without doing a new grad program? would they even hire me? HELP I am willing to do almost any kind of work but kind of need to stay local.

Any suggestions??? how do i get from here to the hospital?

86toronado, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 528 Posts

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED. Has 5 years experience.

Maybe try easing into it, with some work in LTC, or a rehab hospital? I don't really know, but I'm pretty sure that would be a good way to transition...

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC. Has 23 years experience.

I did it. I worked psych after college, for a year. I then switched to Med/surg. I had a two week orientation, but I was on my own a lot during that time due to short staffing. It was rough, but doable. 1.5 years out is still doable IMO. I would not try doing it (no new grad orientation) after 5 years or more, though.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

I didn't get into a new grad program, I am being trained on the floor. I got hired without any prior experience. Which I honestly prefer being trained to the floor than a GN program. No working strange hours and going to classes. I get trained on the floor. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

E.R. Rookie

116 Posts

I have talked to so many Nurse that were hired right out of school onto a med/surg floor or even right into the ER. I wouldnt worry if I was you.

Plus most of the residency programs require you be out of school a year or less.


1,845 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC, Acute Care.

I just got a position in med surg and they are going to precept me with a seasoned nurse for 3 months as training.

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.

i know a few people who started outside of the hospital setting before entering the hospital. what they did was land a rn job on a ms floor. then they trained the same way new grads train. since you have some nursing experience you may not require an entire 12 weeks or more unless you wish. also, if the hospital has a new grad program you may be able to request to participate since you are under the 2 year mark. at my hospital they accommodate nurses with work experience of less then 2 years.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I'd start applying. If the facilities are willing to hire you and think they can orient you appropriately I'd go for it. Good luck.

Specializes in Emergency, MCCU, Surgical/ENT, Hep Trans. Has 20 years experience.

Keep plowing away at it. Be flexible, don't call! Walk in with a portfolio, pound the pavement. Make appointments with the RN recruiter, tell her you need to get into their hospital, offering to work on a floor. I assume you do have a license? Have it IN HAND with your portfolio, reference letters, etc. Offer to work weekends only, etc. You must set yourself apart from the rest of the fray! Got a friend in any of those hospitals? Network thru them!

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