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New grad vs. seasoned nurses


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This is a hard time for new grads.  There are not many jobs out there, and there are plenty of experienced nurses that are looking for a full time job or returning to the workforce making it is hard to even get an interview.  In Denver, there are so many nursing schools pumping out nurses, the market is completely saturated with nurses.

Recently, I had a position to fill.  I probably received 15 applications the first week before I finally cut it off and did not take anymore.  I had everything from nurses who just got their license a week before, to nurses with 15 years of med/surg experience, even a nurse with experience on this very unit wanting to return to the organization.

I finally weeded though all the applications down to six that I wanted to interview.  Of those six, I finally got it down to three that I wanted make my decision from.  One was the RN with 15 years of med/surg experience, the one with several years of experience on this unit and a new grad who did a clinical rotation on this unit.

After talking to other nurses on the unit who had worked with the one wanting to return, I found that she had a rather negative attitude when she was here.  The one with 15 years of experience scored very low in the assessment tool that the organization uses, in the areas of relationships (how she gets along with other team members) and positivity.  But the new grad was positive in her interview.  She wanted to move into a place where she could learn from the team and grow as a nurse.  She also scored well in those assessment categories that the other had score low in.

Can you guess who I picked?  I picked the new grad.  I felt that a positive attitude was more important to my team and unit than being able to rush somebody with experience though orientation to get them on the schedule.  I honestly feel that how that person will fit with the team and how they will help create a positive atmosphere was more important than the experience.

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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