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RN mamas: What's the job market like?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm in my last semester of my BSN program and I'm starting to look around for jobs (which isn't very reassuring)  I was just wondering what it's like in your area and where your area is?? 


Any suggestions for a new grad on the search for their first RN job?  FYI, I don't have a lot of preference at this point.  I really like psych, but I've really enjoyed just about all my clinical experiences.  I'm doing my capstone in ICU right now, which is giving me some great experiences!

post #2 of 9
According to allnurses.com, the job market for new grads is awful pretty much everywhere.

Do you, or have you worked as a nurse tech/CNA? I know that helps, slightly. I've heard it's challenging to even find a RN position in nursing homes, in some areas, w/o that magical one year of experience.

Continue networking now, and volunteer if your school schedules allows.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am doing home health LPN work right now..but I only have like two patients.  They said they want to keep me as long as they can, but they are small, and there is not a lot of promise to add to that case load.  I also did flu shots this fall.  My plan is to actually see if I can volunteer at our local free clinic when I finish classes (if they will let me pre-RN licensure).  The free clinics see a lot of homeless and mentally ill patients, and that is where I feel my heart is, even though there aren't really a lot of paid jobs there.  But I am hoping it might help me move into the psych-nursing world.  I'm coming from a very highly respected school in our area, so I am really hoping that helps.  But they keep telling us that if we are willing to re-locate, it will be easier to find jobs.  I just don't know if that's true or not..

post #4 of 9

Keep up to date on allnurses.com, the posters there often have accurate pictures of what the job market is like in areas. 



I graduated from nursing school in 2002 which was back in the hiring frenzy period. None of us in my class had any problems getting hired where ever we wanted. Relocation and hiring bonuses were common. I was courted by managers during clinicals and had my pick of where I wanted to work. I know those days are long over! Now it is all about networking and being willing to work anywhere just to get experience. There are 2 nursing schools near me and I know jobs for new grands are rare. I see ads in the paper once in a while for 1 nursing home that will because it is an hour from anything other then grocery store. I work in public health now and we don't hire new grads. It isn't an official policy other then all job postings go in-house first and then if they aren't taken then we advertise, but we just don't have the money to hire and then train. There are so many experiences nurses looking for more work. And usually at our faculty, where they work part time hoping to be able to pick up more work or transfer to another dept. 

post #5 of 9

Recently my hossy has had a lot of jobs open up, mostly from people retiring..but it's been tight lately. However, I have a cousin in SLC area and graduated last year. I know she finally got a PRN job at a nursing home doing night shift and it's kind of a drive, so it sounds like things are tight out there as well.

post #6 of 9

I am an LPN working in a nursing home.  Within the last couple of years, I've seen a few new grad RNs work for a few months to a year to get experience because they can't get a job anywhere else.  Long-term care isn't usually a job of choice, it seems, it's a job you get stuck with.  But these people don't seem to have trouble finding hospital jobs after putting their year in.  It may help also that when looking for a job, they are already employed, rather than coming from a position of unemployment right after school.


Long-term care wasn't my specialty of choice either, but you can get good experience there.  As an RN, you would work in a supervisory position.  You would learn good time management experience, IV's, wound care and treatments, as well as med pass.  Since LTC involves a primarily geriatric population, you also deal alot with behavioral issues caused by dementia and mental illness.  If psych is a specialty you are looking into, LTC can offer experience in that area.  LTC is notorious for being short staffed and overwhelming, but if you learn to handle stress there, you will develop many personal and professional skills that you can take elsewhere.



post #7 of 9

I have heard new grad jobs are hard to come by where I am in the PNW.  I would keep working with your home health company as much as you can, even if only one or two clients because at least it will be RN experience to put on your resume.  Are you willing to relocate?  I have 13 years as a RN, with a variety of experiences including PACU and CCU, but just got passed over when I applied for L&D because they wanted someone with L&D experience.


On the other hand, my coworker has her resume on monster.com and got a recruiting email for a hospital in southern cali.  They had lots of job openings and most of them said only "1 year experience."  You might want to think about relocating, if you really want to get work outside of long term care or home care...

post #8 of 9

Also, working nights is a big bonus for getting hired.  I refuse to work nights, so I have more limited options when it comes to getting a job outside of my experiences.  You are more likely to get trained for something new if you can/are willing to work night shift.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well it's turning out that I've made an impression in the ICU I've been doing my Capstone in.  I have a couple of people really pushing to get me into the step down unit so that I could perceivably move into the ICU from there.  The problem at the hospital I'm at is their critical care units are actually very short staffed, but they have no educator to help support new grads.  But since I've been working my a** off there, I've learned about all the basics so I'd be about ready to go into the step down as far as where my skill set is.  The hiring manager in the step down just did a trial hire of a new grad for the first time in two years who was a CNA on the floor and my preceptor says is "really smart", so she thinks she'll be a good example.  If they determine she does well, he says's he'll open up a few more shifts for new grads and if he does that, I think I'd be at the top of the list for choices.  I'm also going to be applying for an critical care internship at a different hospital, but that wouldn't start until August.  So we'll see...I'm not feeling quite so freaked out, but still on edge and basically just really trying to shine my brightest so that I can make the cut ya know?


Relocating isn't an option right now as DH still has a year left of school himself.  I am willing to do nights, however, as I've been doing them all semester long for my capstone and I don't really mind them.  Also, unexpectedly, my DH and DS seem to be handling them just fine as well :)


So ya..just crossing my fingers that it all falls together in the end!

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