Think persistence. Fax, mail, or hand deliver your resume not only to HR but also to the head of EVERY major department (ICU, Med/Surg, ER, etc). I find that many HR departments don't communicate well at all with the departments and have no real idea about what's going on on a floor. HR may be telling you they only want someone with experience--meanwhile a director is tired of paying time and a half and having a short schedule, and would be MORE than willing to have a new grad.
Follow up at 1 and 2 weeks and then monthly after you sent your resume. Again, follow up not only with HR but also with the directors of the departments. Following up means a phone call or email (I personally think a phone call is best, but email's not bad), expressing your interest in a position and inviting them to contact you with any questions.
If you get an interview, look good. Don't wear perfume. Smile, sit forward and nod attentively. Look up information on the facility, (go through recent articles about the facility in the newspaper, check out the facility's webside, ask former or current nurses, etc) and prepare in advance a few general and specific questions. While questions re: pay, schedule, etc are acceptable, questions that show a long term, general interest are better. Something like "I read recently in the paper that the hospital is trying to attain magnet status. Where are you at in that process?" "A friend of mine who works here says there are many different council and committee positions open to floor nurses. What sort of involvement do you recommend for your new nurses?" "I see on the hospital website that this hospital has a growing, successful hospitalist program. I've never worked in a facility with hospitalist; what is the impact of a hospitalist program on the role of the floor nurse?"
After the interview, even if it is a phone or email interview, send a thank you. Thank them for their time, let them know *again* how interested you are in the position, and how good of an impression the facility made on you.
If you flat out get turned down for a position, thank them graciously for their time and their consideration, and *again* express how interested you are in a position. Request that your resume be kept on file so that you might be considered for future positions. Ask them if they have any suggestions for you in terms of interviewing or marketing yourself better--for example, would you be a more desirable candidate if you had ACLS certification?
Finally, volunteer somewhere. If you are wanting a position at a specific facility, volunteer there. You will establish a positive relationship with the facility, prove your reliability and professionalism, and will be gaining at least some sort of experience. Some facilities (mine included) even have "nurse volunteers". These are mainly retired nurses, and they don't actually take pts, but they do perform more duties than the regular volunteers--such as doing some of the admission history.
If you can't volunteer at the facility, volunteer at a place that will get you nursing experience. Free clinics take nurse volunteers. You will get to use some of your nursing knowledge, and you'll gain experience.
Volunteering will also show that you weren't letting your skills go, that you really wanted a job and were willing to put in unreimbursed time to get it. It shows responsibility and maturity.
Have someone go over your resume professionally, while you are at it. Practice interviewing, ideally with someone who has interviewed people in the past (sometimes your school's guidance counselors will offer this service); they can provide you with some constructive criticism.
Good luck! It's such a tough market right now, especially in certain geographical areas. Anything you can do to stand out positively will help you.