Thank you all for your suggestions.
When I started my job search I was a bit naive and was reluctant to "use connections". I stupidly believed that as far as new grads go I had done all the "right things" to make myself marketable and would get a job without calling in favors. So much for that reality...
Now I knew that as a new graduate I am missing the only thing that hiring managers are interested in, EXPERIENCE, but new grads do get hired SOMEWHERE. I knew that being picky or choosy is not an option, and that I would take any offers that came my way, and work hard at whatever job I would get. So no entitlement to get into the specialties of my dreams (peds onc, adult ICU, dialysis) just the feeling that with all my hard work I should be able to pick up a job somewhere.
Then came phase two. Swallowing that I obviously was not good enough on my own and would have to beg someone to let me in was a bitter pill to swallow. But hey, as a nurse bitter pills are part and parcel of what we do and if I can dispense I should be able to take some myself. Well, that didn't go too well either. When I exhausted (and I mean exhausted) the list of former professors, preceptors, unit managers, close relatives, distant relatives, friend's relatives etc. etc. I realized that despite the fact that I always had a solid reputation as a hard-working and bright individual it really made no difference.
Sure I can apply for forbearance and deferment, I can take a low paying non-nursing job so that I can send my check directly to the loan companies while I wait in the social services office for government assistance. I know that these aren't necessarily bad things and that it's temporary and as soon as I get a better job I'll give back double!! The thing that bothers me the most is that I have one desire, to be a PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY. To be able to pay my bills and dues on time, and give back to the world more than I take. It's incredibly frustrating to see this fall away.
I have always been self supportive, fiercely independent, and strong willed. I am naturally shy and quiet but I have always given the impression of being smart, capable and hard-working. I became a nurse because I truly believed that it was the right choice for me. The combination of art and science, humanity and technology, physical and emotional, passion and compassion is something that I view as an honor and privilege to be a part of.
I'm not going to give up because that's not in my nature AT ALL. I will take a job temporarily (already lined up) and continue to search. I hope that someone, somewhere, someday soon allows me the privilege of working for them so that I can really use those letters after my name.