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Despite the current nursing shortage, it can still be a challenge for new grad RNs to land their first job. It’s not unusual for some new grads to take three, four, or even six months to find their first job. Some of the factors that play into how easy or difficult it is to find your first job include limited experience, your desired specialty, and your location. In the end, you may have to adjust your approach.

Here are the top four tips for new grad RNs who are looking for their first job.

Apply for Residency Programs

One of the best opportunities for a new grad RN is to be accepted into a residency program. Residency programs provide hands-on training in an environment conducive to learning, and one which fosters growth, critical thinking, collegiality, and accountability. At the end of a residency, you will have the basic nursing foundation and clinical skills necessary to begin a successful nursing career.

Our comprehensive Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation Nurse Residency Program is a full-time employment opportunity. The program will provide you with support from unit leadership and educators, and you’ll receive exposure to a variety of clinical experiences within the health care environment. The program facilitates hands-on clinical practice and is designed to enhance your decision-making and critical thinking skills. Additionally, you’ll enjoy strong peer support and one-on-one collaboration with an experienced preceptor.

We’re currently accepting applications for the next cohort–apply here today. Our 2023 cohort start dates are February 27, May 22, July 31, and additional dates to be determined.

Connect with People You Already Know

One of the best ways to find a job is for someone you know to refer you. This might be your nursing professor, a fellow student who has already found a job, or a friend or family member. If you’ve worked as an LVN while pursuing your RN credentials, talk to your co-workers and supervisors about your current job interests now that you’ve graduated.

Reach out to each of these people and let them know that you are looking for your first nursing job. Have your resume ready in case they know of an open position and want to forward it to their contact.

Look at Other Specialties

While you may have always dreamed of working in pediatrics or the ICU, it may be worth looking at other areas when searching for your first job.

Depending on your location, there might be other specialties, such as med-surg, that are less competitive in your area and have more demand for new nurses.

After working for a year or two, it will then be easier to transition to another specialty, since you will have some work experience under your belt. One caveat is that a job in home health will not count as acute care experience when applying for hospital jobs.

Consider Relocating

The nursing shortage is generally framed as a national issue. However, in your particular area, there may not be a shortage. If there are not a lot of job opportunities in your area, or you live in a big city where there is a big supply of nurses and recent graduates, you may need to look at relocating.

Whether you move to a different part of a big city, another city, or even another state, look for areas that have a big demand for nurses.

Where are the RN jobs near me for new grads?

Job opportunities for new grad RNs can sometimes be tricky to find, but there are many hospitals in Southern California that need to hire nurses like you.

You can apply for RN jobs today at Eisenhower Health and begin your career in nursing. We not only provide a healthy work-life balance, but working in the Coachella Valley gives you access to world-class dining, shopping, wellness amenities, and year round outdoor activities.

Originally posted on 11/1/2023

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