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1 year down, no acute care experience


Specializes in LTC, Medical, Rehab, Psych. Has 7 years experience.

I graduated in June of 09, took a job in pediatric home health after months of rejections, now have a second job in LTC. I feel like there are more job posts in my area and have started applying again but I'm faced with the same problem I was last year: no acute care experience. And of course, I can't get any unless someone hires me. And since I'm no longer eligible for residencies, I'm applying for the regular staff positions with my sad 1 year and almost 3 months of experience (minus the year spent as a nurse tech), hoping that someone "counts" my experience and decideds I might be worth training.

Any advice for my situation? I'm applying for peds (I've got 6 years exp in peds, including 5 in my former field) and med/surg. I'm afraid I've been thrown away and not believing anybody who says it will "get better" because I'm working with nurses who got stuck here years ago when they graduated into hard times. It never got better for them.

I can not speak from experience but I can for a nurse at my job. I started in ltc lasted 2mos, now I'm doing homehealth. I talked to another RN at my job who started her career in home health (2yrs home health) and successfully went to work in a hospital. Didn't enjoy acute care and is now back in home health. I do not believe it is a dead end, and believe there are different areas of nursing for a reason. If you do not have certifications BLS, PALS, ACLS, try some of those to perk up your resume.

I am in the same boat. I have been a nurse for two years and work 13 months in a sub acute and just had a job offered in home health and not sure if i will like it. I have been trying for the past two years to get into acute setting,but no luck. I really want to change career. I am already tired with nursing.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I suggest doing some volunteer work at the hospital of your choice. Get to be known by them. Let them see you committment and that you are a good worker, etc. Then ask the person who oversees your volunteer work to serve as a reference for you on your job applications. That might get you past the first round of applicant screening and get you an interview.

Im in the same boat! Oh my goodness! How frustrating for all of us :( Graduated in May of 09 here in Texas and no luck getting in a hospital setting. I wasn't a CNA, didn't know anyone, and wasn't lucky enough to get into an internship program. So I went into Home Health Privated duty Pediatrics...I love Pedi's, but I can do sooo much more then this. Does anyone have any advice? How can we get in? How can we make it into acute care? How!? As for the volunteering I had no idea we could do that? Really?


Specializes in LTC, Medical, Rehab, Psych. Has 7 years experience.

Thanks for the responses. Still here doing the same thing. Ready to quit the homecare job come hell or highwater because I don't want two jobs. As for volunteer work? I'm working 2 jobs! I have a small child and I rarely have any family time since I work opposite hours with my husband to avoid childcare costs. I can't stretch myself in any other direction! And for unpaid work all in the HOPES of finding another position??? That's crazy. I did plenty of volunteer work in my 20s. I can't say it did more than added another line to my resume. No thanks.


Specializes in Pediatrics, Home health. Has 2 years experience.

I'm in the same boat..graduated last June, only job that would hire me was peds home health in Oct. I would love to work in a hospital, but even IF I ever get hired at one, I would feel so unprepared. I know I've learned some, but not a ton working in this field. I think a new grad program would be really beneficial but if the hospitals hire us as an experienced nurses, they probably wouldnt give us the same training as actual new grads, which I would love to have.


Specializes in Cardiac Care.

Take classes to boost your resume. Certifications, for example, Cardiac Arrhythmia and Advanced Arrhythmia, do you live in an area where there is a Perioperative Training program at the local community college? Look into classes for Fetal monitoring. I know these are specialities but sometimes you can break into them as a "new" grad easier than Med-Surg. Someone suggested ACLS and PALS, have your resume/cover letter rewritten based on some acute care situations and examples of issues you have delt with within the RN scope where the situation required interventions at the acute care level.


Specializes in LTC, Medical, Rehab, Psych. Has 7 years experience.

Thanks. Not sure where everybody's from but the issue here is that it's just really saturated. There aren't really a whole lot of non-new grad jobs either. So classes, if there were any, probably wouldn't do a whole hell of good. It's just a sign of the times.

Honestly, the way it stands for me at this point is that I'm making more than most new grads working per diem LTC/rehab so I'm thinking I should just be happy with that and see where I am in a few years. My main interest was always to work in clinic anyway. I just thought I'd have better chances if I got my acute care experience in. I'm actually seeing that this isn't necessarily the case- it just depends on the type of clinic. But alas....those jobs are few and far in between also right now...... they all are.

Hang in there everybody. At least we're not in one of the many industries that is never coming back.