Here I am, three and a half months after graduation, and I have already been through my first nursing job. When I graduated, I was still optimistic that I would find that perfect L and D position; I just might have to work nights or a less than optimal shift. Little did I know...
I started sending out applications to all of the local hospitals as soon as the excitement from graduation was over. I never received a single response, not even a "No, thank you." The hospitals advertised internship programs, but I think you would have had to work for them as a PCA while in school to have a chance for a slot. I heard that some of the hospitals weren't even having their internships, even though there were positions posted.
I did get an interview with an infectious disease doctor, but they were looking for someone to start right away, and I wanted to wait to start working until my kids were out of school for the summer. I didn't realize that would cost me the job, but apparently it did. I never received an official rejection from them, but when weeks passed and I didn't receive a phone call, I put two and two together.
In early June, I received a phone call from someone in HR at one of the local hospitals; someone had dropped out of their graduate nurse academy before it started, and I was recommended as a candidate. I was extremely excited about the opportunity, and went in for what I thought was a successful interview. The nurse manager who interviewed me assured me that I would hear from him whether I got the job or not, and they were trying to make a quick decision, because the program started soon.
During the second week in June, I volunteered as the camp nurse at Cub Scout day camp. It was my job to clean out the nurse's station and make it presentable, (and clean enough so that I felt I could treat patients), shop for first-aid supplies within a budget, administer medications, and treat campers and adults for cuts and scratches, as well as heat exhaustion. I learned that a popsicle can go a long way toward making a child feel better! I sent one child to the hospital that week with a broken arm, and only one other child had to go home, because he was vomiting. It was a lot of fun, and I made a contact that week with the local county's hospital district. He asked me to send him my resume, which he would forward to a recruiter.
I was scheduled to take NCLEX on June 28th, and decided to focus my time for the next couple of weeks on studying, and not worrying about looking for a job. After all, being an RN and not a GN would make me much more desirable...I called the hospital where I had interviewed, because I never heard a word back from them...they went with another candidate who had some nursing experience. That confused me, because the job was part of their Graduate Nurse Academy; we were going to be trained on every aspect of the job, and everyone was a new nurse. I was disappointed, but not discouraged yet.
...To be continued