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Hello all,

So... I don't know if I am the only one in this boat, but I really need some advice/thoughts. I graduated with a BSN in May 2013, passed my NCLEX in August 2013. And I still don't have a job yet!!! It has been almost a year since I graduated from nursing school...It is already March! I feel so embarrassed about this, to be honest. I have been applying to hospitals mostly because I want to be able to use the skills that I used during clinicals. I realllly wanted to start out in a hospital setting. I feel like if I got a job at a nursing home I won't get to use a lot of skills and they will just keep slipping further away. My younger brother is a STNA at a nursing home and he thinks I should try to get a job at the same place he works at. Do you think I should apply at nursing homes so I can try to get some experience? I don't have a background in nursing. The only work experience I have had is babysitting (child care provider) and working at a horse farm, so that is probably a factor in it. I want to start my nursing career and help people. I feel like I am not even being considered for interviews even though I keep applying. It gets frustrating, depressing, embarrassing because of this situation I am in. I would really appreciate any advice that anyone has to give! I am located in Ohio and am 23 years old if you were wondering. Please help! And thank you SO much in advance for any thoughts and advice!

Thank you!



1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Yes, apply at the nursing homes. Acute care jobs are ideal for a new nurse, but very hard to get in todays market in most places. By limiting yourself to hospitals only, you are heavily hindering your ability to get a job. Especially with no medical employment background. Finding a nursing home job is not ideal if you don't want to work there, but it is better than no job. The further away from graduation you get, it will be even harder to get a job because prospective employers may feel like you are rusty. They would rather hire a fresh out of school new grad over a 2 years out new grad. At a nursing home you will still use a lot of what you learned in school. And after you get at least 6 mos under your belt (a year is better) you can tailor your resume to highlight the more "acute" type skills you used while there. I haven't graduated yet, but I plan to work in a nursing home first if I cant get a job within a few months of passing NCLEX. Im going to try for a hospital, but in todays market it wont surprise me if I don't land one.


12 Posts

yes! u should def look into starting at a nursing home. i have seen alot of nurses work a year then move on to the hospital. alot of hospitals dont want to see a new grad esp without prior healthcare experience. and even though you wont use alot of skills in the nursing home you will gain a ton a leadership experience because u will be the charge nurse who oversees alot of different things and you will still have experience with ivs, wound care,trach pts etc esp if they place you on the rehab unit. so give it a try and after 6 mon-1 yr try the hospital jobs again....


25 Posts

Thank you for the comments and advice! It really means a lot to me. I think I will start applying at nursing homes nearby. I love how I can come on this site and get advice from all you professional nurses! Thanks!! :)

mrsboots87-- good luck with the rest of nursing school!! :) Hope you are able to find a job too!

inchii-- thanks for the article..I think it describes me perfectly and I guess I hadn't thought about things in that way. So thank you!

Alfredak--you say that I would be the charge nurse...would that be right away? I thought that as a new grad there would be an orientation/mentor period before you are on your own. I really hope there is, anyways.

Yes, apply everywhere! It took me 7 months of applying before I finally landed a job! I applied EVERYWHERE. Hospitals, home health, LTC, SNF, hospice, clinics. Everywhere that had an RN position I applied. I was lucky enough to somehow impress the lady at the hospital that interviewed me (1 of only 2 interviews I had) and landed a job there!


22 Posts

I'm in the exact same boat!! Its definitely frustrating, I completely understand. Good luck in landing a job in a nursing home! Personally, I have absolutely to work in that setting and I know I would be extremely unhappy if I did. Its not beneath me in any way, I just know its not the place for me, but it could be for you. It truly is a calling and I have the utmost respect for the amazing people that do work there! One thing I've learned in job hunting is that networking is key. Its all about who you know and who they know. Go to career fairs, mingle with people in (or not in) your industry. Ask friends, family, really anyone. Most people know of at least 1 person in healthcare, especially nurses. Even my friends and family have been sniffing around for me and out of the blue our family doctor offered himself as a reference! My sister's friend from her old job happened to know someone who works in HR at a hospital at which I'm applying, so you just never know who has connections.

Another thing I've done is joinmy local Red Cross chapter. It'll get you involved with people who have similar interests and there's probably a nurses chapter as well. My Mom told me helping someone else is the best way to boost your spirits and its totally true. We became RNs because we wanted to help others, right? Volunteering is great for a resume because it shows you're willing to and enjoy offering your time, efforts, and your means without compensation simply out of the goodness of your heart. Check it out! There's also an RN on YouTube called EmpoweRN. Her channel is awesome, and she's super helpful if you email her for advice (I did! Her email address is on her Facebook page). She even sent me a link to her book on RN success that you can buy online for a penny!

Another idea: if there's nursing professor you trust, maybe shoot them an email asking for guidance? Or consider your school's career center for help with your resume, interviewing, etc, or any other facility that offers services like that. It couldn't hurt! I know its tough, but stay positive. Keep us updated on your Job Search! There's a job waiting for you (and me), promise :) *so sorry for this novel! haha*


25 Posts

Thanks sunshine daisy and Lizzie! I actually just applied for a nursing home...the one my brother works at, but all they had was nights (I've never worked night shift before), but it was full time so that's good! hopefully I can get an interview here :)

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

I'm so glad I read this thread because I didn't even think nursing homes kept more than one or two RNs on staff... I didn't think it was much of an option.


25 Posts

So today I got a phone call from the nursing home I applied at just yesterday afternoon and I am going to have my first interview ever tomorrow at 11!! I am so surprised at how quick that was!