What should a new graduate RN with past LVN experience do to get hired?

By | 2022-02-14T17:47:23-05:00 March 3rd, 2011|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I just passed the NCLEX. I have 4 1/2 years of acute care experience as an LVN with a gap of 2 1/2 years between that experience and getting my RN license. I have been told I am considered a “new grad” because of the gap. What do I need to do to be hired as a new grad? I graduated from nursing school when I was 46, so I am older than 50.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Alicia,

You are a new graduate RN. Even though you have experience as an LVN, the role of RN is different — wider in scope of practice and responsibility. The time gap has nothing to do with anything, regardless of what you were told.

You find new graduate positions by applying to area hospitals, attending recruitment events (open houses) and career fairs. See what’s coming up in your area at www.Nurse.com/careerfairs. Read “How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Career Fair” (www.dcardillo.com/articles/fair.html). It also is important you join and become active in your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org). This is important for many reasons: building a support system, increasing your learning curve and gaining professional contacts. Have business cards made (www.dcardillo.com/articles/buscards.html), get a business suit to wear to these events and attend meetings and join a committee. Most state chapters have reduced dues for nurses who are unemployed or new RNs. Networking is a powerful way to find and get a job.

Some hospitals have new graduate nurse orientation programs. Some even have more formal “Nurse Residency” programs that may charge a fee. This also would be a good option for you to gain recent experience. To find these programs in your area, search online for “nurse residency programs in [your state or county].”

Understand the nursing job market, especially the hospital job market, is tight for all nurses right now. So you may need to look in new directions for employment. Read “New Nurse, New Job Strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).

Best wishes,


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