With new grads coming out of school every year, it can sometimes feel like a horse race trying to find a job. Sometimes, you are just lucky to get what you can.
Even if you are in a job that is less than your dream job, you can still use the experience to start your career. You aren’t necessarily stuck with one job – unless your facility paid for your nursing school.
If you have the obligation, you have a readymade job, and that’s an important part of learning to be a nurse. However, if you don’t have a job waiting for you, you can still turn this to your advantage.
Any nursing job will give you that most important aspect of nursing: experience. It is one thing to listen to a recorded sample of rhonchi, but it is even more difficult to hear it in a patient.
It takes many months – sometimes years – of putting your stethoscope to chests to finally understand what they were teaching in nursing school. The more patients you can see, the better it will be for your career.
Even if you work in home health or someplace that you don’t get to see 8-10 patients a day, you can still get experience. In those situations, it is up to you as the nurse to make the call if the patient needs further care.
Just going through orientation can help open up your eyes to what nursing is. Orientation changes you.
It isn’t like school at all, but can sometimes feel like you are thrown into the deep end. In a good facility, your preceptor will help you through this jarring experience.
You should be wary of any facility that offers two weeks of orientation. That isn’t even enough to experience a code brown, let alone be confronted with a patient going bad.
You need to find a place where you can enjoy the work, despite how difficult and stressful it can be. Either you will find a first job that you hate or one that you love.
If it is a place that you hate, then you’ve learned something. You have learned that you don’t want to spend your nursing career in this type of nursing, and you need to find another job.
If, however, you do like the place you are working for, then don’t let go of it. If it makes you happy taking care of the patients, and you respect your managers, then run with it.
For new grads, the pool of jobs is unfortunately not very large. You may have to take a job you don’t like to get the experience to move to a job you do.
Keep sending out your resume, and keep your name in front of recruiters that handle your dream job’s hiring. The best job for a new grad is one that gives you experience, helps you transition into a professional nurse, and provides enjoyment.
It may take a long time to work through the details, but you will always learn along the way. That’s the most important take away for new nurses that are job hunting.