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Would it hurt me if I get a retail or minimum wage job while looking for an RN job?

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I am a new grad BSN in the Philadelphia area. It is extremely difficult for get a job here. It is estimated it will take me 6-12 months to land a job in this area. I have sent out at least 30+ applications and resumes and have only received rejection letters or no responses. My loans will be coming in soon and I want to at least have some money to start paying. Plus, I hate being home all day. I love working!

Will getting a retail or minimum wage job outside of nursing hurt my chances of getting a RN position? Will an employer judge me because of it?

Thank you!

If you are planning to get a job in the meantime, while waiting to get a job, I say go for it! Especially since you have loans (I am in the same boat as you!). You do not need to indicate on your resume that you have a job that is unrelated to nursing such as retail. Your nursing resume should only indicate relative skills.

I assume that once you land a nursing job, you will leave your side job. If you plan on working in both areas, retail work usually has flexible scheduling.

The priority is to have a job whether it is in nursing or not, since your loan payment will be coming soon. You don't want to get penalized for not being able to pay it back.

I am waiting to hear back from a hospital I interviewed at but I also contacted my old employer (in a retail job) to see if I could come back while I am looking. Crossing fingers I do not have to go back though but it's good to have a plan B when you need income coming in. Good luck!

If you are planning to get a job in the meantime, while waiting to get a job, I say go for it! Especially since you have loans (I am in the same boat as you!). You do not need to indicate on your resume that you have a job that is unrelated to nursing such as retail. Your nursing resume should only indicate relative skills.

I assume that once you land a nursing job, you will leave your side job. If you plan on working in both areas, retail work usually has flexible scheduling.

The priority is to have a job whether it is in nursing or not, since your loan payment will be coming soon. You don't want to get penalized for not being able to pay it back.

I am waiting to hear back from a hospital I interviewed at but I also contacted my old employer (in a retail job) to see if I could come back while I am looking. Crossing fingers I do not have to go back though but it's good to have a plan B when you need income coming in. Good luck!

I am hoping to hear back from a few hospitals I applied to. I have a revamped resume and I make new cover letters for every position I apply for. Hopefully someone contacts me! I definitely need the extra income!

Best of luck to you!!

flyersfan88

Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

I live in the area as well, and worked as a server through school, and will up until next week, since I'll be starting my first RN job in september. Employers eat up my restaurant experience. Working with the public will never hurt you. .. but sitting at home getting NO experience and NO money will.

Also....its most likely going to take A LOT more than 30 applications to get a call back in Philly. 30 is nothing. Keep applying....dont sit and wait for a phone call.

flyersfan88

Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

You do not need to indicate on your resume that you have a job that is unrelated to nursing such as retail. Your nursing resume should only indicate relative skills.

Absolutely NOT. This could not be more wrong. Why would you ever think that as a new grad that no experience in ANYTHING is marketable? The unit manager at the hospital I just got hired at was so beyond impressed with my previous years of customer service experience and felt that all of it gave me an edge in dealing with patients. I know for a fact that if I were going against another new grad with only school clinical experiences on their resume, they would have never stood a chance against me. Just because it isn't nursing doesnt mean it isn't pertinent with translatable skills.

Absolutely NOT. This could not be more wrong. Why would you ever think that as a new grad that no experience in ANYTHING is marketable? The unit manager at the hospital I just got hired at was so beyond impressed with my previous years of customer service experience and felt that all of it gave me an edge in dealing with patients. I know for a fact that if I were going against another new grad with only school clinical experiences on their resume, they would have never stood a chance against me. Just because it isn't nursing doesnt mean it isn't pertinent with translatable skills.

I do not disagree with you at all, if they have been at a job where they have used their customer services for a good period, it could work in their advantage, but I do not think they require to add it on if they just started that job a week ago. Instead, I would focus on the skills they have already worked on.

It was just from advice and other threads on AN that others have mentioned that we do not have to add it, and focus on nursing. In my interview for a unit recently, I did speak about my retail and customer experience and related it to nursing but I wanted to keep my resume to maximum 2 pages and left it out there. The OP asked if it would look bad if she mentioned she got another job outside nursing, my answer to that is no, and like you said, it is translatable skill. But she is worried about "employers judging her", I meant it is not mandatory to add it if she does not feel comfortable doing so.

Edited by CaffeinePOstat
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LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

Also....its most likely going to take A LOT more than 30 applications to get a call back in Philly. 30 is nothing. Keep applying....dont sit and wait for a phone call.

THIS.

It took me about 200+ rejections to receive my first interview; and that was after I went to a career fair.

Two years later, I went to a career fair to try to get into another health system and expand my nursing practice, and was able to land a position into with that particular health system due to networking with a recruiter; I start next month. :yes:

Also OP, you can apply for a "unemployment" deferment in the meantime if your loans are federally serviced; a retail job may or may not cover your total for school loans, which then you would have to apply for an income-based repayment plan, and that takes a while for it to be processed; there are options for repayment; don't hesitate to look into those options while looking for employment.

Edited by LadyFree28

Thank you everyone for all of your help! I was a nurse extern for a year and worked up until I could no longer because I was taking the NCLEX examination! I am trying very hard and have revamped my resume multiple times and had people edit it and such. I would not be embarrassed to put that type of work on my resume. I was just worried that they would think I was not trying hard enough or willing to find nursing experience.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you everyone for all of your help! I was a nurse extern for a year and worked up until I could no longer because I was taking the NCLEX examination! I am trying very hard and have revamped my resume multiple times and had people edit it and such. I would not be embarrassed to put that type of work on my resume. I was just worried that they would think I was not trying hard enough or willing to find nursing experience.

Recruiters KNOW how hard it is to find a job in the area; they deal with THOUSANDS of experienced and new grads vying for positions; most will tell you it's about timing on ones résumé popping up for a job; you do what you have to do to stay afloat.

I got my newest position because the manager was really in need of nurses in the department; she wanted to not use agency nurses and wanted to hire nurses instead of using "outside" help. She personally called the hospital systems HR recruiter who is specifically for her department; they pulled my résumé, she reviewed it and she personally called me. I was shocked, to say the least.

Recruiters KNOW how hard it is to find a job in the area; they deal with THOUSANDS of experienced and new grads vying for positions; most will tell you it's about timing on ones résumé popping up for a job; you do what you have to do to stay afloat.

I got my newest position because the manager was really in need of nurses in the department; she wanted to not use agency nurses and wanted to hire nurses instead of using "outside" help. She personally called the hospital systems HR recruiter who is specifically for her department; they pulled my résumé, she reviewed it and she personally called me. I was shocked, to say the least.

Wow! I would be shocked too! Your stars definitely lined up! I'm hoping mine will someday!

Hi all! I'm a new grad here looking for my first job! I passed boards about 6 months ago with no interviews so far. I recently moved out of state so I no longer have my college job. I too was thinking of working in retail to have something while still searching for a nursing job. To those of you who did this too or may have a part time retail job as a nurse - did you tell management that you're a RN? Did you include it in your resume? I guess I'm thinking I don't want to potentially sabotage my chances of getting hired in retail because of nursing. Thanks for your help!