Can you give some new grads in the San Francisco Bay Area some tips?

By | 2022-02-08T14:39:01-05:00 October 1st, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

Can you give me some tips? New grad jobs are difficult to land in the San Francisco Bay area! I, like many of my peers, graduated from a prestigious private nursing college and passed the NCLEX. I am unable to find a job. My peers and I have done the résumés online, talked with recruiters and managers by phone and in person, attended job fairs, had our résumés and cover letters rechecked by professionals, and dressed in suits for interviews. Personally, I must have more than 100 résumés out online.

It appears that the SF Bay Area is oversaturated with new grads. Also, when we see jobs for staff nurse IP/I/II and apply, all we get are rejection letters. We’re told that in order to get into a position we need to begin in their new grad program (So, why do they advertise for an Interim Permittee or Staff Nurse I?) Yet, there are only a few grad programs open during the year, and they appear to pick those new grads with the 4.0s and experience. Sadly, for wonderful students like me, who maintained a 3.2, raised two children on my own over the 6.5 years I was in school, and came in to nursing with zero experience, it is really difficult!

Do you have any new advice for students like me? There are about 13 of us from my class who have yet to find employment.

Dedicated and Hopeful

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Dedicated and Hopeful,

This is a phenomenon that is occurring in certain parts of the country. Please read “New Grad, New Job Strategies” at and take the advice there.

While you may have had your sights set on a hospital position, consider alternate work settings, such as rehabilitation, psych, sub-acute care, head trauma, and other facilities. You can get amazing experience in these settings; and if you wish, you can continue to look for a hospital position. This is not the end of the world — even though it may feel that way.

If there is a particular specialty you are interested in, such as pediatrics, look for a pediatric rehab or pediatric long-term care facility/unit to work in. If you are interested in OB, consider working in a Planned Parenthood clinic or birthing center. If you’re interested in med/surg, consider out-patient hemodialysis. You have tons of options. When I got out of school years ago, I wanted to work in a particular ED. They had no openings, so I got a job in a psych hospital, another interest of mine. After six months, something opened up in the ED, and I took it.

Rather than pine over what you can’t get right now, look in a new career direction. You may just be surprised, and possibly even delighted, at where the road takes you. You can always come back to the hospital later if you wish.

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


Discover how can help you find your next dream job.
Just sign up and wait to be paired with your perfect match.

About the Author:


Leave A Comment