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Tips and Tricks on How to Get a Job as a New Graduate RN!

Job Hunt Article   (62,804 Views 43 Replies 1,793 Words)
by ashleyrosesf ashleyrosesf (Member)

1 Article; 6,501 Visitors; 137 Posts

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Most of us entered nursing school with promises of the ease in finding work upon graduation only to find our hopes shaken by the surge of negativity in the job market. We're bombarded with stories of people telling us that it's extremely hard to impossible to find a job, that we should settle for jobs that don't light us up just to get experience, or that we should think about doing something else as a career. These are tips that my friends and I put together after finding positions before and shortly after graduation to help those who are in and out of school achieve their goals! You are reading page 3 of Tips and Tricks on How to Get a Job as a New Graduate RN!. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

ShantheRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc.

13,063 Visitors; 646 Posts

I'd like to add onto one of the OP's points: the related health care job? Get it at a hospital/hospital system that you want to work at post graduation. Internal transfers usually get the jump on outside applicants. Bonus points if you convince your managers that you're an asset to the unit. Degree doesn't matter when your bosses want you on the team.

Also.....I'm skeptical about how valuable all those certifications ultimately are for a new grad. You can have 17 certs of every variety but it doesn't change the fact that you have 0 experience as an RN. Those classes are expensive! You might be better off spending that money on NCLEX review courses or resume services. Incidentally, I have most of those certs now and they cost me nothing :) Bigger employers will offer it for free.

The job hunt is mostly a numbers game, coupled with a whole bunch of luck and networking. I got my new grad job because my managers liked me, plain and simple. My interview was a joke (done at 3am during my PCA shift lol) and I know for a fact they didn't even glance at my resume. I basically had to wait for an opening and for HR to process the paperwork.

It's great that you posted this, though! I feel like a debbie downer but I'm trying to stop the "but....but....I did ALL of this and didn't get a job!" posts a few months from now :up:

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1 Article; 6,501 Visitors; 137 Posts

Thank you ashleyroses. Good post. What exactly is an informational interview?

Informational interviews are exactly what they sound like - you're contacting the nurse recruiter, HR director, etc. and requesting more information about the hospital and the job/new graduate program. It's a great way to get a sense of how you might fit in with the hospital and what they can offer you. Also, it gets you in front of them which I believe is key in helping you stand out. :)

As an additional note - for the most part, the contact is generally more receptive if you're understanding of their time and plant a seed for the future so, even though they may not have anything at the moment, it shows that you're interested in the future. When I would contact them I would say things along the lines of "I know your time is precious, but I would love to meet with you and get a sense of how I can be a part of your hospital either as a new graduate or in the near future."

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1 Article; 6,501 Visitors; 137 Posts

I'd like to add onto one of the OP's points: the related health care job? Get it at a hospital/hospital system that you want to work at post graduation. Internal transfers usually get the jump on outside applicants. Bonus points if you convince your managers that you're an asset to the unit. Degree doesn't matter when your bosses want you on the team.

Also.....I'm skeptical about how valuable all those certifications ultimately are for a new grad. You can have 17 certs of every variety but it doesn't change the fact that you have 0 experience as an RN. Those classes are expensive! You might be better off spending that money on NCLEX review courses or resume services. Incidentally, I have most of those certs now and they cost me nothing :) Bigger employers will offer it for free.

The job hunt is mostly a numbers game, coupled with a whole bunch of luck and networking. I got my new grad job because my managers liked me, plain and simple. My interview was a joke (done at 3am during my PCA shift lol) and I know for a fact they didn't even glance at my resume. I basically had to wait for an opening and for HR to process the paperwork.

It's great that you posted this, though! I feel like a debbie downer but I'm trying to stop the "but....but....I did ALL of this and didn't get a job!" posts a few months from now :up:

Of course! If you can, definitely try to get a job in the hospital you want to work at! Not to be a Debbie Downer myself, but you're going to have to try extra hard to get there, especially as an ADN. In California (I don't know how it works in other states), hospitals were reluctant to hire us since we would be finished and on to a higher degree (which trumps being a CNA) in a relatively short amount of time. They were looking for people who would stay longer than that. That doesn't mean you can't do it and shouldn't try, just the experience many of my classmates had after getting their CNA. =)

As for certifications, it's been helpful with the hospital HR staff I and some of my classmates and friends have spoken with, but that's just our experience. If money is an issue and it comes down to getting certifications or getting Kaplan for NCLEX (for example) obviously do the latter. I think I made that pretty clear in previous comments, but I'll reiterate it again here. =) Not passing boards and having all the certifications in the world isn't going to help you.

Your experience was great and definitely not the norm. Congratulations!

For those who are just "playing the numbers game", there's very little hope for a job that way. =)

And hey - if people want to get upset about not getting a job based on following the tips that's alright. I won't take it personally. ;-) I put this out there to try to help people get out of the slump and into a more positive space and to find a position in a market that has a story being run about it being impossible. I'm still a firm believer that these tips are tried and true, but it's up to people to make it happen for themselves. I do hope that they help find some people find jobs. =)

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ShantheRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc.

13,063 Visitors; 646 Posts

It depends on the region, too. When I graduated 2 years ago, CA was terrible for new grads. I guess it's still the same? I've never heard of an informational interview. Out here you get the initial interview with HR, then one with a specific unit. And I'm not special - everyone I graduated with (ADN program) that had a hospital job already ended up getting hired :) Some of the others are still looking for jobs, even after finishing a BSN program! I feel awful for them.

There's some good advice on this thread. I hope it helps someone!

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,162 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

Duplicate threads merged.......

baileybee How many years do you go to school to be an ADN, in the states? Here in Canada, if you want to be a nurse you can be an LPN ( 2years) or get your BSN (4 years). Does an ADN have the same scope of practice as an RN?

Unfortunately the US has 3 entry level of education to being an RN. Diploma....hospital based 3 years, ASN/ADN 2 years (which is actually 3) and BSN.....they all sit for the same NCLEX and get paid the same starting out......that is why we are so confused and argue all the time.

The BSN grad is getting preference these days in some areas for hire....but the different schools remain.

A counter-argument might be made that ADN nurses could be paid less and thus keep costs down. I'm just not sure that's something that happens. A nursing recruiter might have good insight into what is working in a given area.
ADN RN's are NOT paid less the any other RN ....at some facilities they nmight be given 50 CENTS more an hour but that is it.

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If the market sucks your attitude won't make a difference. Although as a coping mechnism "won't happen to me" attitude some like to think that it does..... When I graduated hospitals flat out said, "no new grads" "online only" " do not contact managers/recruiters". I ignored those and it didn't get me anywhere.... Neither did my externship ( I was "promised" a job there but that hospital closed a unit down and merged with another and actually had to find jobs for the nurses from the closed unit.....) What worked for me was relocating to a middle of nowhere area...... What worked for the few classmates where I came from who found jobs were that tge hospitals they had externships at didn't close. Some hospitals couldn't even find openings to place their externs let alone outside applicants . High up connections ( HR or unit managers) helped. I can say from my experience as a nurse my manager seems to hire more on personality than anything else.

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I appreciate the tips; however, these do not work for everyone.

I know when I was a student, I introduced myself to the NM. She had no idea I was even a student, despite being in scrubs and having my school patches on them identifying myself. She asked me if I was interested in a CNA position and I explained I was getting ready to graduate nursing school. She just seemed uninterested.

To me that would be a red flag screaming "Don't walk away from this place, RUN. Don't even consider working here." People in the nursing profession are supposed to have an eye for details. Sort of like "Oh, I see you are a nursing student at xxxxxx" Yes I realize that prospective employers have you under the microscope, and are very critical, but really you should be the same way with them. You need to be equally critical with them too, even if you are the one needing the job.

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Thinking back on that post, she offered her a CNA position... That could of potentially led to a RN position once she worked her butt off!!! IMO that experience could of been valuable.

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wish_me_luck has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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rntm, I have nursing assistant/PCT experience (I had to quit due to school schedule conflicts and some degree of bullying issues). Also, this offer was made like less than a month before I was graduating as a nurse. Plus, I have a Virginia nursing license (valid VA only, no compact privilege); hospital was in TN (I found out later that I would only have a VA license, hence why at the time, I introduced myself to the NM). It would not have even done me any good or gotten me anywhere, looking back on it.

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4,080 Visitors; 43 Posts

Okay, thank you for the clarification. Best of luck as you continue your education

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Not Your Nurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Emergency.

5 Articles; 15,477 Visitors; 186 Posts

Thx for sharing :)

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Those are all great tips- thanks for posting. I do have to say the BSN downer comment seemed a bit detrimental to the rest of the positive feel of the post. I am a BSN, and my program did literally hundreds of clinical hours more than the ADN programs in the vicinity. I don't understand why people who go to school for a year and a half less often seem to make it sound like their education is superior to their BSN counterparts. Anyhow, good luck as you begin working as an RN.

In my state, very few BSN programs do more clinical hours than the ADN programs. In fact, several in my area do less hours and their NCLEX passing rates are lower than most of the local ADN programs. Our BON publishes the study yearly and the breakdown of clinical hours.

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