New Yorks nurse vacancy rate is about 8.6% and is expected to increase as the states aging nurse workforce enters retirement, according to a report released in June by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) The report estimates the state will need 105,739 more nurses by 2020.
Even though there is a need for nurses, new openings have dwindled. Despite the odds, New York nurses have found success and satisfaction in new jobs. Those fortunate few share how they found their positions, offer advice for nurses seeking new jobs, and discuss obstacles they had to overcome to secure their new appointments.
Carolyn Mella, RN, Staff Nurse, Pulmonary Unit, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.Carolyn Mella, RN
I found my job through Nursing Spectrum. After graduating and receiving my nursing license last year, I signed up for a subscription and began looking for a job using the magazine and www.Nurse.com. I eventually landed a job at a home care agency, but about a week before my orientation began I received a call from Bronx-Lebanon, one of the many hospitals to which I had applied. Ive been here for a little more than six months.
I chose to take classes during the summer, but I would suggest that anyone looking for a job go to as many open houses as they can and, if possible, get an internship for the summer. Show your face as much as possible.
It took about four months for me to find a job. I did go on interviews, but as soon as the recruiter found out I was a new grad who wanted a day shift it was over. I held out for what I wanted and Bronx-Lebanon came through for me. Their ad in Nursing Spectrum listed many different openings, so I decided to send my resume and see what happened. They called me three months later.
Jaclyn Massa, RN, BSN, Telemetry/Intermediate ICU and Step Down Respiratory, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.Jaclyn Massa, RN
I have been working at Lutheran Medical Center for three months. After passing my boards, I spent a lot of time looking for positions on Web sites of potential employers and applying online. During this time, I made it a point to speak to anyone and everyone I knew about my job search. I was lucky enough to hear about job openings at Lutheran through a referral from a friend.
Securing an RN position as a new graduate was not an easy task. My job search lasted four months. There are many obstacles you cannot control such as position requirements, employer hiring freezes, and job availability. As a new RN, I found myself trying to overcome self-imposed obstacles. I just graduated, am I really qualified for this position? and Am I ready to start working? are some of the questions that passed through my mind. In school, we sit through lectures, take exams, and participate in clinicals but when it comes down to it, you wonder if you are ready for the independence and autonomy nursing provides as you start caring for your own patients. As new RNs, we know more than we think we do, so be confident in your abilities.
Be persistent when looking for a job. There are so many people applying for jobs, it is easy to get lost in the pile of applications. I was concerned with annoying recruiters, but at the end of the day you have to get in front of them and make your name and face known.
Do not get discouraged. There might be an abundant number of new RNs looking for a limited number of jobs, but the right job will come along. Be open to new experiences and positions in areas you may not have considered. You just might discover something you love.
Michele Kunz, RN-BC, MSN, ANP, Director of Nursing Education, Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Centre, N.Y.Michele Kunz, RN
A professional placement service called seeking a director of nursing education on Long Island. I was happy in my position for 25 years as director of nursing education and nursing informatics at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. However, I saw the listing and it sounded interesting with new and exciting dynamics. I had been commuting from Long Island for 25 years, and this position was in a community hospital close to my home.
The placement professional had wonderful things to say about Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and the new nursing administration led by Renee Mauriello, RN. I took a chance and went to the interview and realized there are different types of opportunities in nursing even in this job market. My love is nursing education and there is real support for growth for the staff and nursing management at Mercy.
I recommend nurses take a chance, learn new things, and seek new opportunities. Learn how to build a professional resume, take review classes, and get certifications in med-surg or other specialties. Keep up with your ACLS, PALS, NRP, and BCLS. Speak to your local university or look into online degree programs. Many opportunities are on the hospitals intranet sites, but calling and sending resumes is helpful. Have an open mind. Most hospitals, home care, and other agencies are willing to train new nurses.
I was extremely lucky to get this job offer. The biggest obstacle is actually making a change. As with most nurses in a role for a long time, we dedicate ourselves to the institution, the workplace relationships, and its patients. After 25 years, it was a difficult decision to make, but I did.
Change is good! I find I still learn something new everyday, thanks to my coworkers. No matter what the role, when you get a new position, embrace your new family. For it is your coworkers who help you accomplish the goal of patient safety, satisfaction, and quality care.
Danielle Jean, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Orthopedics/Med-Surg, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside, N.Y.Danielle Jean, RN
I was already an employee here in the hospital working in outpatient dialysis. I looked online and put in a transfer form once I became a registered nurse. After receiving my RN license, I spoke with Allison Gelfand in recruitment and retention regarding my transfer.
I recommend sending resumes to every hospital. Call recruitment and retention offices and go online and look for job postings. I would also suggest you attend Nursing Spectrum jobs fairs.
[Job hunting can be] very difficult. Most hospitals are looking for experienced nurses. I also recommend staying very positive.
Yuliya Faller, RN, ADN, Geriatric Med/Surg, Staff Nurse, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, New York CItyYuliya Faller, RN
I went to a career fair and left my resume with as many recruiters as would take an associate degree nurse and a new grad. St. Vincent had a table there, so I spoke with human resources and left my resume with the recruiters. I waited for a call but then decided to take matters into my own hands a few weeks later when I didnt hear from them. I had taken their business cards at the career fair, so I called and asked what they thought of my resume. Because they had so many resumes, I dont think they remembered me, so they asked me to come in and meet with them.
The biggest obstacle in my job hunt was being a new grad and having an empty resume. Job hunting online is very impersonal youre just a name in a sea of resumes. Its very hard to stand out. I would recommend face-to-face contact. Be determined. Dont give up. You may not get a call back, but if youre persistent you can show them why they should have you on their staff.
Show them that if they take you on as a new graduate they will give you the opportunity to take the journey to become a good nurse. Im pretty sure I was hired at St. Vincent because I was persistent and called the recruitment office. With hundreds of applications coming in, they cant call everyone, but you can call and follow up.