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Times are tough

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As I said last week, I am looking for a new job.  I have submitted at least 15 applications to various hospitals and clinics, for various units, for staff, charge nurse and management positions.  I have received no’s from about half of those already.  I had one interview, have one more set up and one possibility.

As I am waiting for somebody to call me, I have been thinking how are the times are for new grads especially.  I mean look at me, I have critical care, med/surg, emergency, charge nurse and management experience and I can’t even get some hospitals to call me back.

I can’t image graduating, feeling good about your future as a nurse, have students loans about to come due and then not even being able to get past Human Resources at the hospital when you submit an application.  It must be incredibly frustrating, because I have some interviews and I am frustrated as heck.

I know what the deal is though.  Nurses that have been out of the workforce for a while are coming back because of the economic environment.  Nurses that were just working Per Diem or part-time are moving over to full time because their spouse lost their jobs.  All these experienced nurses coming back into the full time work force is giving new grads very little chance of even getting an interview.

For me, the interviews I do have are because of the people that I know.  I am not confident that I would have even gotten the interviews if I didn’t know somebody.

Things will turn around again, someday, but right now…times are tough.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.

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9 Responses to Times are tough

  1. Hi Rob,
    Are you interested in relocating, or are you settled in Colorado? What kind of job are you open to: staff, management, etc? If you would like, I would love to speak with you about some great opportunities in Texas!

  2. I really, really, REALLY pray that things will turn around by the time I graduate in 2012. I hear that the cycles in nursing move by quickly but after losing my job for the first time due to the economy, the last thing I need is graduating again with yet another degree that I can’t use.

  3. It took me over seven months to find a job as a new grad LPN. I sent out well over 50 applications/resumes and was active in 10 job find sites plus craigslist. Footwork got me in. The job was listed on and gave the web site. I called and was told to come in and apply. I got an interview about 20 minutes after I filled out application and attached my resume and references page. I pretty much got a job that if my references checked out and I passed the drug test and lifting test.

    I live in a suburb SE of Seattle. No shortage here.

  4. Phylisanne

    Same thing here in Texas. I need a PRN job just to make the bills and I would love to try hospice nursing. But one look at my resume with over 20 years in L&D and woman’s health and they assume I can’t handle it. What? The death and dying? Before my OB career I was med/surg, managed a unit and even House super. Saw plenty then and OB is not without it’s tragedies. I think I am a very good, well-rounded RN, but I can’t get past the HR staff who only look at the application and never talk to me. So I just keep slogging on.

  5. new nurse

    I live i FL and i have been a LPN since last year. Everywhere i go wants experience. HOW! I can’t even get my foot in the door, so how am i suppose to get the experince. I feel like i have wasted my time going to school for something that i have always wanted to do. I just keep applying for jobs and pray someone gives me a chance.

  6. Holly

    I am an LPN with 21 years experience (and halfway through RN school). It took me 6 months to find a full-time job here in the Baton Rouge area. My problem was this- too much experience! They wanted to hire new grads (cheaper, don’t have to pay as much). Finally, I got a great job in an endoscopy center. Just hang in there, it will happen!

  7. Elisabeth

    Come to Australia! We have lots of nursing jobs available, and it seems like a lot of ANUM and NUM positions as well. I’ve never had a problem finding a job as an RN Div 2, but now I’ve just applied for grad RN Div 1 jobs and I’m nervous. My first preference only takes 21 grads and they get 120+ applications. Still, I’m feeling positive at the same time. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll land one soon, you’re clearly great at your job. Or, as I said, come down here!

  8. Australia! If your preference only takes 21 out of 120+ apps , how can this be a example of Nursing jobs available?

  9. Melanie

    HI. I Have been a R.N. for 14 years and have worked in many settings. I have been in the S.I.C.U for almost 5 years currently . We seem to be having problems lately with keeping nurses on day shift. Many have left or have wanted to go to nights. Heck, I remember when you had to start off on nights for any job to get to days. Things change all the time in nursing. Of course ICU burnout is one of the reasons a lot of nurses change positions.Some days I feel it. Well good luck on your job hunt.