View Full Version : New RN: I need advice

12-02-2008, 05:49 PM
I am a relatively new nurse. i live about 60 miles north west of Manhattan in Orange County, NY. I have been working as an RN in a LTC facility for a little over a year (this is my first nursing job). Well, long story short I resigned from position to work for another facility that was really terrible (i felt my license was at risk) and now i find myself w/ out a job and i can't seem to find another. i have applied at ever hospital in my area and further (I want out of LTC) and i keep getting the same answer: "thank you for your interest but we are interviewing more experianced candidates." So my question is: How do i get hospital experiance if a hospital wont hire me without experiance? I am not applying for specialties either. I feel soooo frustrated. This is the worst time of my life. I thought becoming a nurse would pretty much guarentee a job any where.

12-02-2008, 08:19 PM
Hi and welcome,
This is from the viewpoint of Australian nurses so you might have to adjust it a bit for the US. I assume that LTC is a nursing home (Long Term Care?).

Agency nursing is a way to get more experience quickly, however it is hard work and it is always for first day of work. Agency nursing works by hospitals ringing your agency when they need a nurse to fill in for a shift, you get short notice of the shift but the money and experiences are good. Work can fluctuate as to availability.

Bank nursing. Same as Agency but cheaper for the hospital as you are assigned to a hospital already. Bit easier for you as sometime you get to select which wards you work on. These nurses (agency and bank) are generally treated like students (as in g/you don't know how the ward works so g/you don't have to do all the work expected of a ward nurse, just look after the patients properly). I have seen nurses get full time jobs (at the hospitals) this way, as people see you working and this works as a kind of reference during job interviews.

Go back to study. Courses in ED, Crit Care, Paeds, etc; require you to be working in the area, the hospital gives you a job, you study, you stay with the hospital for the required length of time.

Review your resume and portfolio (books are available on this topic). People pad their resumes, you need to shine above those who are padding. If you are going to pad, DO NOT LIE! you will be caught out. But for example: If you are the only RN at night in the facility, you are the manager/nurse in charge for that shift, you need to put that down. Have a portfolio of clinical appraisals, references, yearly appraisals, conferences, on-going learning, etc (there are books for nurses on this).

I think the problem is that you either need to get more up to date experiences, or show that you have the experience already.

Hope this was of help.

Mother Jones, RN
12-02-2008, 09:27 PM
Hi there! Welcome to Nursing Voices. I'm happy that you dropped by.

I can understand your frustration about your situation. It's a real Catch 22. You can't get a job without experience and you can't get experience without a job. This kind of stuff just makes me want to bang my head into a wall. PJ has given you some really good ideas. Keep plugging away and you'll find the right job for you.


12-03-2008, 02:37 PM
thanx for the support and advice. I'm still plugging away :)

12-03-2008, 07:34 PM
Here is a New Zealand perspective. Most hospitals here run new graduate courses where the nurses are hired with the understanding they haven't got experience yet, you might find a hospital willing to take you on in that capacity esp if you show how keen you are and have a great cv. My sister (also an RN) has never work in a hospital, since graduating she has worked as a practice nurse that is with a General Practitioner (family doctor with own practice) and as an early childhood visiting nurse (called Plunket nurses here). Lots of experience but not at a hospital, she recently applied at my hospital and didn't get a job, they said currently as we are so short staffed everywhere that it would be to hard to support her while she found her feet. Indeed, a catch 22 as she would have been going to a pediatric ward and she does know about kids. However my hospital runs a short course through our professional development unit which is designed to prepare nurses without recent/any acute hospital experience for hospital positions. May be someone somewhere does that sort of thing. Our course is for a fee. Hope this gives you some ideas. Do not give up. The fact that you refused to stay somewhere that didn't provide good care means you have integrity and that is valuable to employers.

12-03-2008, 08:42 PM
I really understand where you are coming from. I have been very lucky but when I graduated 11 years ago, before the nursing shortage, I had to take what I could get. I would say, set your goals higher. Get some one to help with a resume and send it to the larger hospitals in the area, you may need to drive father but the rewards with be worth it. Try to network with friends and former teachers. Keep your ears open. Now if you are really adventurous come to California. New grads in Central California can make 6 figures first year out and we have limited patient loads per the area. Housing is much more affordable since real estate prices have dropped. If you can last one year in a extended care facility then you can survive anywhere in an acute care hospital.

12-04-2008, 05:54 PM
Thank you all so Much. Your words are very encouraging. I have been trying to network with friends that i know work in hospitals and I am going to start looking farther from home, perhaps Manhattan. I have an interview witha pediatric home care co on Tuesday- it's not a hospital but they take care of very sick kids. Kids on vents and with g-tubes. So I fell that this would definately benefit me clinically but i sooooo want to work in a hospital. Sigh... I also have looked into Cali a little, I am not opposed to relocating at all. Perhaps I should apply to a few cali hospitals online. I just never thought it would be this hard.

12-04-2008, 06:44 PM
Just a second thought from what JacquiBee said; due to the shortage of nurses and the number of trained nurses who left the industry due to having kids, etc. Some hospitals are now running 'return to work' programs in hosptials, where you are supernumary for a few weeks and mentored back into hospitals, you might qualify for this.