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Why graduate nurses can't find jobs- a must read!!!

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This article is definitely what landed me three job interviews and two job offers; this was after getting about ten phone calls from nurse recruiters. I graduated in May and became licensed in October. With everyone screaming about a nursing shortage i thought nurse recruiters were gonna be literarilly begging me to work in their facility.

however, after reading this article i felt i had to be as open minded as possible and go the extra mile to apply for jobs (which i know we have all been doing). I went on goggle and found a list of all the hospitals in New York State (which is where i live). i did not even bother to look at how far they were from my city because i did not want to be discouraged. i started applying to each hospital. it was over a hundred hospitals on the website, but every time i came back home for the day i made it a priority to sit in front of my computer and keep applying. At first i wanted to give up because i was frustrated that nurse recruiters were not calling me

However, i started getting calls from nurse recruiters. some of them discovered that i was not experienced enough for the position so they did not set an interview (but i was esctatic that i even got calls). Finally i had two "phone interviews" and one "in person interview"; all in major hospitals. I got two job offers- one in the step down unit, and one in surgical rehab; and i'm waiting for the third. Mind you, all i did was apply for these jobs on the hospital's respective websites. i had no "conncetions" or nobody to recommend me to the manager.

The hospital i decided to work at is two hours from where i live which means i'm gonna have to relocate. However, i landed my dream job at a hospital that is well known in New York, so if i have to make some sacrifices to achieve my goal then it is definitely worth it. I'm definitely grateful to God. I start in a few weeks and i'm so excited!!!

So my point is even when everything seems bleak, just persevere and keep applying until you succeed. The journery is hard, frustrating and sometimes discouraging, but its worth it

This is a great article to make copies of & hand out to everyone that tells you, "but I thought there was a nursing shortage?" when you say you are still looking for a job in the hospital.:grn:

I sure wish I had known this a year ago. In Feb 09, I was offered a position at the hospital I precepted at, on a unit I believe I would have really enjoyed. Stupid me...having just graduated in Dec 08 & having been told for 2 YEARS that we would have "NO PROBLEM" finding a job, I thought I could hold out for a day shift. Not the brightest decision I've ever made & something I will regret for the rest of my career. :banghead: I've been spending my time since then looking for a full-time job in the hospital, applying all over the place. I've been working for just about anyone that will hire a new grad: flu clinics, ADHC, Private Duty. I've worked for (no joke) 5 different companies so far & am waiting for the start of 1 more flu clinic with another company at LAX airport! The pay has ranged from $17/hr - $30/hr. I thank God for the work & experience, but I'm looking forward to getting experience in the hospital setting.

I've definately learned a hard lesson. NEVER think you are holding all the cards or that any industry is recession proof.

Good luck to everyone still looking!

Kelly :nurse:

This article is definitely what landed me three job interviews and two job offers; this was after getting about ten phone calls from nurse recruiters. I graduated in May and became licensed in October. With everyone screaming about a nursing shortage i thought nurse recruiters were gonna be literarilly begging me to work in their facility.

however, after reading this article i felt i had to be as open minded as possible and go the extra mile to apply for jobs (which i know we have all been doing). I went on goggle and found a list of all the hospitals in New York State (which is where i live). i did not even bother to look at how far they were from my city because i did not want to be discouraged. i started applying to each hospital. it was over a hundred hospitals on the website, but every time i came back home for the day i made it a priority to sit in front of my computer and keep applying. At first i wanted to give up because i was frustrated that nurse recruiters were not calling me

However, i started getting calls from nurse recruiters. some of them discovered that i was not experienced enough for the position so they did not set an interview (but i was esctatic that i even got calls). Finally i had two "phone interviews" and one "in person interview"; all in major hospitals. I got two job offers- one in the step down unit, and one in surgical rehab; and i'm waiting for the third. Mind you, all i did was apply for these jobs on the hospital's respective websites. i had no "conncetions" or nobody to recommend me to the manager.

The hospital i decided to work at is two hours from where i live which means i'm gonna have to relocate. However, i landed my dream job at a hospital that is well known in New York, so if i have to make some sacrifices to achieve my goal then it is definitely worth it. I'm definitely grateful to God. I start in a few weeks and i'm so excited!!!

So my point is even when everything seems bleak, just persevere and keep applying until you succeed. The journery is hard, frustrating and sometimes discouraging, but its worth it

Any advice/suggestions/samples on resume & cover letter writing?

Kelly

eyorkfd

Specializes in ER. Has 2 years experience.

Here is my two cents on the topic. I think that many of the recent grads got into nursing because of all the "hype" surrounding the profession. This "hype" is very similar to the mid to late 90s Information Technology boom, which we all know came crumbling down in 2000-2002. I was one of those lucky ones who went from $150k to 0 in a matter of months. While I don't think that will happen with nursing, there will be a plateau at some point. I have been a RN for working on 2 years in an ED in a major hospital. I was a paramedic/Firefighter (and still am) for 6 years prior to becoming a nurse. So, going into an acute care area was just a natural fit for me. I think my advice for all recent grads would be realize the profession you have chosen is very demanding, dirty, bloody, and filled with STRESS. You (new grad) are going to be treated like a new grad until you prove yourself. Don't be the first to ask to go to lunch, volunteer to stay past EOS if things are crazy. You are going to have to prove yourself. If things need to be done, do them don't say that is the techs job!!! Be a team player. You are entering a world where you have to be part of the team. Stay up move don't sit around. These are just some of the mistakes I have witnessed new nurses making. I can assure you, your fellow nurses will not respect you if you make these mistakes. Additionally, if you aspire to move into acute care nursing you will need to prove yourself on the floor and go the extra mile, educate yourself, get ACLS, PALS, TNCC, ENPC, etc.... I don't mean to sound harsh, I just want everyone to be successful and not fall into some of these common pitfalls. Hope this helps.

Bobbkat

Specializes in NICU.

While the advice is noted, I think the main problem is that we can't even get on a unit at all. No call backs or interviews = no job = no opportunity to pitch in and prove our worth.

I really hate how the experienced RN's view new grads. We are not just expecting the best positions and the best hours. Most people, nurses or not, know how to act when they first begin a job. I wish that I could hear some more encouraging words from men and women whom were in our position at one point in their lives. Congratulations to ALL of the new grads that landed positions. I have friends that have jobs, some of them knew people and others did not.

I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. My resume has been critiqued over and over again, and I hope it is now perfected. I make follow up calls and I am VERY flexible. I have applied to every hospital in New York except for the ones that are over two hours away. Unfortunately I am not one of those new grads that can move or go far away.

I am not here to insult anyone. We just live negativity and hear about it everyday in our daily searches for jobs. NO ONE was born a nurse and everyone was giving a chance at some point. The article was an excellent read but offered no new hope for my career in nursing. I only have a ASN and a non nursing BS. Some nurse recruiters made me feel that my BS meant nothing which is rude to say to anyone that has achieved that degree. I want to further my education, but I currently have student loans from my previous degrees. How can I invest in more schooling when I can't even get a job in this field?? However I will be enrolling in school in Jan 2010...just to better my chances. I shall see what happens. Thanks fror reading...I needed to vent :-)

I agree with the article, its spot on.

I don't expect to have much difficulty finding a job when I graduate. I'm single, kids grown and I can relocate anywhere in the country. Plus I'm not particular about which floor I'm assigned to.

I still wonder about online nursing education vs classroom. I've chosen classroom.

You should expect to have great difficulty. I am single without kids and am also able to go anywhere. And your age is not helping you.

smn2010, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric Nurse. Has 11 years experience.

mariposa: congratulations. i get very excited when a new grad expresses how they actually like working in ltc/snf/rehab. that is where i and many of my classmates started out. if one is lucky enough to get a job at one of these facilities that happens to be organized, has a good scheduler, and truly cares/values their staff (among other things), a new grad can gain a wealth of experience. i have met many nurses who were totally against ltc/snfs but after taking the job...because they couldn't get into an acute care facility...they would not leave their ltc/snf for the world now!!! your ability to be flexible has paid off for you and will continue to. if you hang in there long enough, the don will probably want to put you through the facility nurse supervisor program!!! ...so good luck to you!!!... :up:

to others: i know that most acute care facilities thoughout the u.s. are in great need of nurses and would love to hire a new grad; however the unit managers realize they do not have the appropriate staffing (...nurses with 3-5+ years experience...) to serve as a mentor and/or a preceptor to the new grads that come to work directly on the unit versus starting in a new grad program.

today, many units consist of nurses with only 1-2 years of experience with only small pockets of experienced nurses, on each shift. the unit managers don't want to take any chances when it comes to training a new grad (...when there are currently nurses with

time and patience is the key in today's economy. to make matters worse, when facilities do begin to post new grad positions the cycle of unemployment will still continue because there is an over abundance of new grads seeking employment. i just hope the employment status for new grads will change within the next 6 months or so.

Little Mouse,

I got your PM and am responding to your in here as I do not have an option to respond to PMs. Anyways, the fact that I got a job when I did is no luck. It's solely God's hand and timing. I did nothing different this time than I did before. And the job is not in Indiana.

Before I got my job I was condisering volunteering somewhere, like hospitals or free clinics. That way you could get clinical experience and show that you're a responsible and hardworking nurse. Then you'd have higher chances to be hired by that facility or any other place.

I hope things will soon work out for you!

CaliAliRN

Specializes in Trauma Med-Surg.

Thanks for the article. I think also another part about the lack of employment opportunities not mentioned is pay. Most experienced nurses who are near, at, or over retirement age would be an asset in the educational realm of nursing. But with pay being MUCH higher in hospitals, they won't change career paths/roles as nurses. Not that I blame them, with spouses losing employment, you need to put food on your table and keep that health insurance especially if you are over the age of 50 in this county.

Coming from the California Bay Area, the highest paid location for nurses in the country, I've heard this story more and more times over the past two years of school. Now that I'm at the end and desperately looking for employment, I still feel for these individuals, but my rational brain is angry with them because they are effectively caring out that age old saying "nurses eat their young". By not vacating hospital positions, you are leaving new nurses unemployed and allowing their fresh skills sets and knowledge to become rusty. Also, they are leaving a huge hole in the educational sector of nursing, decreasing the capacity of schools can handle because they don't have instructors. The hospitals are to blame for this as well, but with money being tight on their end too, it makes it difficulty to "run a business" without running it completely dry.

Pointing fingers is so cliche and pointless because everyone has to make a living, especially with the economy in the state that it is. I just wish people would look for the long term solution over the short term.

Edited by CaliAliRN
mispelled word

@Hoosier03: Thank you for your reply. Currently, I am volunteering at a nearby ARC doing flu clinics and working at a HH agency per diem. I have networked with some people and continue to do so. At this point, I've accepted the situation and will see how things go. It still isn't easy and it does get hard at times, but the only thing one can do now is accept it, continue to try, and just have hope for the future.

kkia123

I have worked as a RN for more than twenty years and have seen three recessions as a nurse. I agree it is challenging to find work in this situation and landing a job takes more than submitting hundreds of job applications. Have you tried joining a professional nursing oganization and/or volunteering with a non-profit organization? If not, you may want to consider doing this because you need to make yourself stand out in a competitive market.

good luck

dishes

I really hate how the experienced RN's view new grads. We are not just expecting the best positions and the best hours. Most people, nurses or not, know how to act when they first begin a job. I wish that I could hear some more encouraging words from men and women whom were in our position at one point in their lives. Congratulations to ALL of the new grads that landed positions. I have friends that have jobs, some of them knew people and others did not.

I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. My resume has been critiqued over and over again, and I hope it is now perfected. I make follow up calls and I am VERY flexible. I have applied to every hospital in New York except for the ones that are over two hours away. Unfortunately I am not one of those new grads that can move or go far away.

I am not here to insult anyone. We just live negativity and hear about it everyday in our daily searches for jobs. NO ONE was born a nurse and everyone was giving a chance at some point. The article was an excellent read but offered no new hope for my career in nursing. I only have a ASN and a non nursing BS. Some nurse recruiters made me feel that my BS meant nothing which is rude to say to anyone that has achieved that degree. I want to further my education, but I currently have student loans from my previous degrees. How can I invest in more schooling when I can't even get a job in this field?? However I will be enrolling in school in Jan 2010...just to better my chances. I shall see what happens. Thanks fror reading...I needed to vent :-)

Ditto. Good luck.

Perpetual Student

Specializes in PACU. Has 4+ years experience.

The author touches on the fact that there has been an increase in the number of new graduates, but she did not place enough emphasis on that as the true source of major problems. See the attached graph from the Washington nursing board that shows the number of 1st time NCLEX takers in Washington--see how there has been an ENORMOUS increase in the last several years? Even if the economy were doing great there would be a huge shortage of appropriate new grad positions.

I am not picky at all, and my availability is completely open even despite the fact that I have a 3 month old baby; I still haven't been able to find anything but an immunization job.

Edited by Angelahealer09
typo

HeartsOpenWide, RN

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

With the flu season and H1N1 and lack of new Nursing Jobs, my hospital has hired the new Dec grads to be "guards". All doors are locked to get into the hospital except for the main entrance. Once inside the main entrance there is a new grad at a podium that makes sure you do not have any flu symptoms or else she does not let you though the closed double doors into the rest of the hospital.

Visiting hours have been changed to 11-7, no one under 18 unless that person is a parent of a child in the hospital, and no visitors with flu-like symptoms. All patients with flu-like symptoms have to wear a mask.

JenniferSews

Specializes in Professional Development Specialist.

With the flu season and H1N1 and lack of new nursing jobs, my hospital has hired the new Dec grads to be "guards". All doors are locked to get into the hospital except for the main entrance. Once inside the main entrance there is a new grad at a podium that makes sure you do not have any flu symptoms or else she does not let you though the closed double doors into the rest of the hospital.

That is just depressing. Although as a new grad, I'd almost be happy for this job. I'm tired of hearing I'm not flexible or realistic enough. If I had one single interview or one single job offer, I would take it. Other threads are saying new grads shouldn't take unpaid orientation periods, then the next says new grads are being too picky. Which is it?