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worried about future job prospects - any advice?

I graduated with my BSN on May 09. After almost 200 job applications, 7 months, and numerous crying sessions, I finally found a job at an outpatient clinic. I am SO terribly grateful for having a job (better than being at home crying) that I can’t even put into words, since many of my classmates are still unemployed.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be in ambulatory care forever but since I don’t have “acute care experience” I am worried that I will never get inpt experience. Bedside nursing is really where my passion and interest lies.

All the job postings that I see say “acute care experience required”. Since I’m technically not a new grad anymore (since I now have some sort of RN work experience) but don’t have acute care experience, I am afraid I will be stuck in ambulatory care for the rest of my life……..

Since the non-nursing shortage will likely last for a couple more years (I presume), I am worried that I won’t be marketable down the road. I feel like I am losing my clinical skills each day.

Any advice?

Grrr!! Just noticed my typo in the title and now I can't edit it! Blast!!!

*Edit: Prospects*

I am in a similar situation and wondering the same thing!


Specializes in TSICU, Renal Transplant, IR, Cath Lab.

What area of the country are you in, and are you able to relocate? Some places are a lot tougher than others right now. For instance, here in Texas, the job market isn't what it used to be, but it is still viable if more competitive. And the cost of living is generally pretty low. We've also had a pretty steady influx of yankees and international folks for decades now, so depending on where you're from, it probably wouldn't be the huge culture shock you might expect, especially in the larger cities (I'm in Dallas, and I love it). I imagine much the same is true for other states where hospitals are currently hiring.

Here's another thought -- you might consider trying to get on with an agency and pick up a few hospital shifts every month. This would definitely count as acute care experience, although you will need a thick skin for it. This would keep your skills up, and if you're like me, I'm sure the extra bucks would be useful. :)

In any case, things will turn around eventually, so keep your head up and don't despair. :redbeathe

I always understood that to do an agency, they require experience as well. (Forgive my ignorance, by agency, I assume you mean per diem) Sadly, all the postings I've seen for per diem require even MORE experience than full-time/part-time jobs) ?????

Unfortunately, moving isn't an option right now (too long for details).


Specializes in TSICU, Renal Transplant, IR, Cath Lab.

Well, I guess that would depend on the agency. Some may very well be glad to get a nurse with any kind of experience, and you definitely have that, right :)? And by agency, I mean a staffing agency. You will probably work "per diem" (as opposed to a regular schedule), but many hospitals that have their own dedicated float pool could accurately use this term, as well. I guess the semantics all depend on where you are and what terms are commonly used in your area.

Anyway, If I was you, I'd go ahead and apply with every agency in your area. The worst that can happen is you get no response, in which case you are no worse off than you are now (and you are employed! :nurse:). The best that could happen is you get hired and gain the acute care experience you're after. Just make sure you watch out for your own interests, and prepare to deal with resentment from the regular staff nurses -- from what I've seen it can be tough. However, agency gigs have been known to lead to hospital job offers if you fit in well and avoid the landmines. Besides, if you try it and don't like it, you can always quit. Go for it!

Thanks, Dogstar. It is reassuring that the worst that can happen is "No" (which I have become immune to). And....you're right...I HAVE a job in the meantime. And I thank my lucky stars every day!!! It's not my dream job, but it is SOMETHING. :D

Thanks again!!!!


Specializes in TSICU, Renal Transplant, IR, Cath Lab.

:hug::redbeathe You're welcome!


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