Getting Your First Job As a New Nurse - Hope and Hints for Graduate Nurses

How do you get that first job at nursing? It can be so daunting, sending in application after application, always applying and hearing little back.Keep at it! I have been a nurse for 30 years, and it is a wonderful and versatile career. Stay open to education as you progress in your career - but first you have to get that first job.

When I started nursing school hospitals were begging for nurses. I even saw a hospital offering the use of a car in exchange for nurses who made contracts. When I graduated that had changed. That time it was because of a change in insurance - there were new "diagnostic related groupings" as a way of diagnosing and getting reimbursed and hospitals responded by freezing jobs. I have also worked in Canada, and experienced a period of time where they were experiencing layoffs. It was very hard for nurses, especially as they might have worked many years in a specialty like labor and delivery to be forced to go to another area. During that time it was almost impossible for new nurses. Two years later, both situations had turned around again - but getting that first job can still be tough. It is highly probable that changes in national health care will open up jobs to nurses, but for right now - how to get that first job is the major challenge. Here are some helpful hints:
    * Consider a nationwide search. Some states are more open than others - California new grads are having a particularly hard time, but just over the border in Arizona or New Mexico it is much better. The South and the Midwest are doing well also. I helped some of my Canadian nurses consider relocating to the States, as the cultures and language are so similar. (Although I did have to retake my boards in Canada, and the situation might be the same in the US - dependent on the States.
    * Open to other kinds of facilities such as nursing homes, doctors offices and home health agencies.
    * If you are still in school, try hard to get into a hospital or nursing home that you would be interested in working at as a Medical Secretary or Certified Nursing Assistant. The skills that you develop in these professions translate directly into nursing and you make yourself seen by doing these jobs.
    * Don't get stuck into believing that just because the Internet exists there are no ways to use personal contact! Go to any nursing event that remotely interests you - even if you don't feel qualified to be in the room. Try to contact the head nurse of an area that interests you directly - even if you are just able to volunteer.
    * Look into hospitals that offer internships.
    * Consider enlisting in the military. There are sweet deals for nurses here. However, they much prefer BSN nurses, so talk to your recruiter to make sure you are getting all the details. They are available nationwide.
    * If at all possible get a union job. Ralph Nader once said that the California Nurses Union is the strongest union in the United States, and other states are unionized as well. If you have a choice, a unionized job will give you the strongest protection.
    * Don't give up! Every nurse had to start somewhere - and you will find that first job.
You can get that nursing career you have worked so hard for going! Just keep going, and try the options above. For a list of hospitals that offer new grad internships visit from my site - where we explore all aspects of prosperity and good living from the most mundane to the most spiritual.

Good luck!