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I am a new grad looking for my first job. Would taking a refresher course help me secure employment?


Dear Donna,

It has been almost two years since I graduated from nursing school, and I haven’t been able to find an RN position. I live in New York City, and the job market is competitive.

The issue I’m having is that hospital administrators who have interviewed me have questioned why I haven’t been able to secure a position. I also have heard that after two years you no longer are considered a new grad. I am volunteering at a local hospital for almost a year. I’m considering going back to school to do an RN refresher course. Will this improve my chances of securing a position? If I am able to get a position, I’m concerned that I won’t qualify for a new graduate orientation. If that were the case, would I still receive training?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Martha,

The job market for all nurses, but especially for new nurses, is tight in most parts of the country. I find it surprising that anyone in the New York City area would ask you why you haven’t been able to secure employment because nurse recruiters, managers, etc., are acutely aware of the job-finding challenges faced by new nurses.

In the past, nurses were considered “new grads” for up to two years. But there are so many new nurses in the same boat as you (no hospital experience or no job at all) that eventually hospitals will have to create extended “new grad” guidelines and programs.

Taking a refresher course would be a good thing to do. You also need to look beyond hospitals and nursing homes for employment. Consider privately owned hemodialysis companies, home care (many have great new nurse programs), cancer care centers, psych facilities (my first job out of nursing school was in psych), rehab of all types and more. You have to think outside of the box. Staying unemployed much longer will take its toll on your psyche, your career prospects and you self-confidence.

You also have to use new strategies to find and get those jobs. You should focus your time and attention on networking. That includes joining and getting active in your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (, attending nursing conferences and conventions, etc.

If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile and get active on Twitter and Facebook. Social media is another way to network and has become a hub for job leads — even for new nurses.

For more tips, read “Jump-Start Your Job Search” (

Best wishes,

By | 2011-02-08T00:00:00-05:00 February 8th, 2011|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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