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RN graduate (May 20th!) and no jobs in sight, WWYD?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, whew!  I did it, with four kids, one born right before my final semester.  I was able to nurse and maintain my GPA.  While I know they say," what do they call the nurse that graduates last in her class, RN!"  I wanted to have something in this competitive market to make me stand out.  I maintained Dean's List Status up until this last semester, but still have all A's and B's.  I was in a locally recognized program that is known for producing RN's that hit the ground running (ASN-2 year program).  I am returning in August for the accelerated Bachelors program and will be completing that in 18 months.  I have outstanding clinical references from my instructors and also have 10 years experience as a CNA.  While I was drawn to nursing for reasons beyond pay, the job security was also a factor.  That is just not the case.  I applied for a nurse residency program and was one of 460 graduate nurses applying for 71 positions.  I did get a second glance but with preference given to those who did externships, or already holding positions within the hospital, along with having their own graduates, I feel lucky to have gotten that.  I have applied for other positions at other hospitals...but with no luck as of yet.  I am going to take the NCLEX as soon as they receive my info and I can set a date.  My question...I need income now!  I have applied at the one facility I really want to work at, for a position that requires no license.  I feel with the market being flooded I should just set my sights on continuing on to become specialized.  I am aware that December graduates are still looking for positions despite the fact that there are numerous hospitals in the area.  Should I apply for positions that I am qualified to do that do not require my RN License?  Wait it out?  I have been living on student loans but have NO DESIRE to do that anymore.  I feel so depressed, I should be celebrating my achievement but instead I feel such a let down...all that hard work, sacrifice made by myself and my family, studying endlessly for the best grades and then...nothing.  Ugh!  I thought everything would change and here it is, still the same...any body else having this experience?

Edited by frolick16 - 5/10/11 at 8:57pm
post #2 of 12
Congrats on making it through nursing school - and doing so well! I'm sorry you aren't having any luck finding a job; not sure if you are on allnurses.com, but it sounds like the situation is the same for many new grads all over the US. Depressing, for sure. I think you are doing right by continuing your education, as BSN's at least have a slight advantage. Still, you need that magical 1-year of experience to have your application even considered.

Have you tried nursing homes/skilled care facilities? I'm guessing you have; just mentioning it anyhow. Any organizations you can volunteer for to keep your skills fresh and add to your resume? I would say yes, apply even though you haven't taken NCLEX - doesn't hurt. Can you work as a CNA until then? Not sure if it's a conflict before you are actually licensed, but if not, it's better than nothing and might help you network.

Best of luck finding a position.

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post #3 of 12

I'll second what Drummer's Wife said. 


Certainly keep trying, the longer without a job, the more you are considered on "older" new grad and well, with more and more grads coming into the picture, you get the idea. It is not an uncommon problem, many places are not hiring these days and those that are often have their pick of applicants. While LTC isn't most people's first choice it can be a job and lead to experience. They usually are more favorable to new grad hires then hospitals are right now. Specializing without experience may not make a difference since experience is what most hospitals are currently looking for. 


Good luck. 

post #4 of 12

Wowzers! Good work.


I am not in healthcare and not in your part of the country ... but ... I went through this in spades in summer of 2009 when I finished a masters in a program that normally gets 100% placement. It was totally miserable and I knew my field was flooded by layoffs and older recent grads who were also hunting. I finally picked up a contracting gig in September (3 mo's post graduation) and a full-time position in November (5 mo's). It was painful and terrifying and ultimately, short-lived (in the big picture). (I had classmates who graduated with me who didn't find a good position for well longer than me, but they did eventually.) Now, maybe it will be a different story in your neck of the woods in your field, but keep your faith! I know it's hard to be patient when you've worked so hard and need money but there's just no other way around it. Ultimately, it will be ok. : )


My heart is with you!

post #5 of 12

sending good luck vibes your way!!

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Double Ugh!  Thank you for your kind thoughts.  I just am so aware that anytime there is a "shortage" we quickly work to assure that does not happen and now all these studies show that nursing schools are OVERPRODUCING students.  I have applied for CNA positions and anything else I could do that will keep me in the field, including Psych and LTC. At this point my plan is literally to continue on until I am either hired, an NP or PA or nobody is going into nursing anymore because there are no jobs.  Ergh,  must not let my frustration/depression destroy me. 

post #7 of 12
Don't let the job market bring you down! I know, it's hard after all the effort you went through to become an RN, but remember the parts that made you passionate about nursing when you are feeling defeated.

I would definitely continue on for a BSN as you have planned... and of course if you happen to have any student loans at least they will be deferred until you are out of school. Then, if you still don't have a job, see if there are any NP programs that do t require a year of experience. I think both NP's and PA's are going to be in even more demand within the next few years, so any way you can become a mid-level seems like the way to go for the future, IMO.

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post #8 of 12

I don't know how easy it would be to swing this, or not, but you've already proved you can work things out just by making it through school with four LOs but if you're going to go back to school in the fall, you may want to consider checking out if there are any summer camps near you that need nurses.  It's one of the most difficult roles to fill at a camp and many would be willing to take a new grad, especially with all your CNA and parenting experience.  Just a thought and good luck in finding a permanent placement!

post #9 of 12

Fellow recent graduate here (May 18) from a 2yr program.  My best advice?  Keep applying, keep looking, and the biggest, keep following up!  Get the names of the recruiters at the places you've applied, or if possible, the actual hiring managers.  Call them on a regular basis (once a week, biweekly, etc.) and find out how their hiring process is progressing.  Find ways to play up everything good about you from school, from specific clinical experiences to school performance.

post #10 of 12

Keep trying!  I've been a nurse since 1997, and right before I graduated, there was a similar situation.  From the class of 1995 and 1996, some of them didn't get jobs for months.  All of our class got jobs, but it wasn't necessarily where we wanted.  I started in med surg, then transferred to L&D later when there was an opening. 


But, the good thing with nursing is that eventually there will be a job.  Keep going!

post #11 of 12

I'm so sorry! :-( I was a hospital sponsored student (they paid for education in exchange for me working for 3 years for them) and I still did not get placed! Basically I applied for over 30 positions, interviewed for four, and found out later most of those interviews were just because they needed to interview three people. The ones I was up against were current employees or interns. Nice, huh? Finally was released from the contract after more than 90 days of job searching.


However I did just find a job!! It's not what I was going for but I think it will be fine. It's a home health company that cares for mostly ped clients. I got to choose my own hours, driving distance, and the pay is the same as hospital for a new grad! Just something to think about.


ETA I am going to start my BSN soon, too. In the hospital I was sponsored by, the BSN new grads were getting placed with much better luck that I was getting.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am still looking have had a job offer IF I pass boards and then IF the job is approved...I am keeping myself in the mindset with EKG classes, phlebotomy classes and studying for the test next month.  Thanks for the encouragement.  It is tough out there!

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