So I graduated nursing school back in May...
At the time I was interviewing for a local physician office job (lots of patient education, some case management, M-F, 8-5, no weekends, no holidays) and I thought I was 'in' because I had two awesome interviews with HR and I already knew the nursing hiring manager (and her boss too!). Therefore I quit my student nurse job because 1. I hated it and 2. I was super busy the month of May plus studying for NCLEX test and I wasn't getting any hours in and 3. new awesome different RN job soon, woohoo!
Uh yeah, that job fell through.
So I passed the NCLEX on June 11th (last hoop of nursing school jumped!) and I have been applying my ass off to jobs ever since. I've lost count to exactly how many positions. 50+? 75+? I've applied to the health department, many hospitals, home health companies, and physician offices. And by 'many' hospitals, I mean 7 hospital systems, probably well over 15 hospitals if you count the individual different locations within one system.
I have not heard back from any of them...
Nursing shortage? What fucking nursing shortage?
To say I'm a little disheartened is an understatement. One entire hospital system is on a bit of a hiring 'blackout'. Another announced layoffs by the end of June. The rest? Literally have 1-3 positions open. Total. Last year, one of the largest most well known hospitals in Indy had 40-ish new RN jobs listed. (I've been watching for years. I also keep on eye on housing prices and used cars. I may need a job. Oh wait...). So great, there's not a lot of open positions out there. But it gets better. All of them have the criteria of 'MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE.'
Side rant: I hate the phrase 'MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE' more than I hate people driving under the speed limit with no passing zones, my old student nurse job, and the beeping from smoke detectors when the battery has died, all COMBINED. Because generally the position requirements follow up that phrase with '1 year' of said 'MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE.' 1 measly year? That's not 'EXPERIENCE.' That's barely out of orientation. So WTF?!?! How the hell does one get this crappy barely counts as 'MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE' for 1 year if you can't get job anywhere at all because you don't have this magical bullshit 'EXPERIENCE'?
I apologize for all the yelling and cursing.
I've heard it takes time, hospital HR departments are notoriously slow with hiring new nurses. I've heard it'll turn around in a few months, hospitals can't operate without nurses no matter how much they want to cut costs. I've heard it's who you know, not what you know. (Hm, I know a lot of stuff but I don't know anybody, crap.) I've heard you need to poop glittery rainbows and sacrifice kittens on the blue moon during a July snowstorm to get a job... Wait, what?
A kind mom of a friend asked me a few weeks ago "so are you excited about getting a hiring bonus?" I almost cried. Those don't exist anymore! Yeah this is so not what I expected 4 years ago when I registered for nursing school pre-requisiste classes.
On a slightly more positive note, I do have a job offer. It's part time, days at a local sewing place (they do custom fabric interior design work, mostly window treatments, pillows, etc). And while a dollar earn anywhere is a dollar earned, I'm not super excited. Because damn, I just spent 4 long years and a lot of money and heartache to earn my RN, BSN and I'm not using it now or as it seems, any time soon.
So here it is, Universe. You have until July 8th to give me some sort of encouraging move towards a RN job anywhere (phone call? email? may I dare ask for an interview?) or I'm taking the sewing gig.