I graduated nursing school in August 2008 but took some time off to study for the boards. I became pregnant in 2009, took the boards, and passed and am now trying to find work, but I am considered a new grad. How do I find a nursing job at a hospital that will hire me?
Dear Donna replies:
Because you have been out of school for two years with no work experience as a nurse, a refresher course may be in order. To find these courses in your area, do an Internet search for “RN Refresher courses in [your state].” There are some facilities that will take nurses into their new graduate orientation program up to two years after graduation, but some will no longer consider you a new grad after one year from graduation, regardless of your experience.
In the meantime, start volunteering somewhere medical a hospital, clinic, public health department, nursing home, etc. This is a great way to gain experience and build confidence. You’ll also make valuable contacts and have some recent and relevant experience to put on your resume and discuss on an interview. Besides, volunteering often leads to paid employment.
Join your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (ANA.org) and get active. This will help you to develop a local support system, stay up to date on information and trends and get connected to your profession. At the very least, attend local chapter meetings as a guest. Networking is a great way to find and get a job.
The job market for all new grads is very tight right now in many parts of the country. You may have to look outside the hospital for work. Read New Nurse, New Job Strategies at http://news.nurse.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880905001.
I also urge you to read Your First Year As a Nurse. Find out more at http://ce.nurse.com/7010/Your-First-Year-as-a-Nurse/.
My best wishes,