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New to Nursing

Becoming a Working RN

Published April 23, 2014 12:59 PM by Frank Visco
It's been almost seven weeks since I passed the boards, and I'm still hard at work on the job trail. I've filled out quite a few applications, and have gotten a lot of rejections in response. There are a ton of jobs out there, but it seems everyone wants nurses with experience.

Still, I'm in good spirits. Keeping busy has certainly helped with that. I'm the best man in a wedding a few weeks from now, so I've been pretty occupied with bachelor party planning and speech writing. I'm currently training for the Broad Street Run, a 10-miler we do here in Philadelphia every May. And then, of course, there's my baby girl. She's already over three months old and readying to be baptized next weekend!

Besides, it hasn't been all bad news on the job front. I did get hired to do some part-time work for a home health care agency, and so far it's been a really rewarding experience. I'm functioning in a private duty role for a patient every other weekend, and even though I'm still new on the job, I've already gotten tangible experience maintaining a ventilator, a tracheostomy and a G-tube. I've even gotten an opportunity to do pulmonary vest therapy and use a manual Hoyer lift.

My home healthcare gig isn't a fulltime thing, but it is allowing me to care for a patient in need and gain real RN experience, so I am grateful for it. Taking on the second job isn't even that big of a problem for me. I attended clinical every other weekend for over two years, so this schedule just feels like getting back to the status quo.  

I'm still hopeful that I'll get full-time work in a hospital setting at some point in the near future, but in the meantime, I'm glad to be practicing in the field. Getting my degree was great, and passing the boards was even better. But actually logging hours as a working RN? That's been the best feeling so far.


I know this is delayed, but it is very good to hear from the both of you. I have yet to find a full-time gig, but I remain optimistic and take great inspiration from nurses like the both of you.

Thank you.


Frank Visco June 9, 2014 5:20 PM


Home health care is a great start. There are so many needs in the community and opportunities to educate the public. It is very difficult for a new graduate and can be frustrating, but keep on trying and hang in there. I don't know what part of the country you are in but in my area in South Carolina, we are still using traveling nurses and agency quite a bit. We have hired several new grads in the past 6 months and they are great! We are having difficulty when they only are looking for experienced nurses, none of them are applying. I have worked with many new grads that "take off running". It is great because they are so enthusiastic and want to learn. Once you have some experience under your belt, you can move around and find your specialty. Good luck!


Regina Stransky, RN May 2, 2014 10:56 AM
Mount Pleasant SC

When I started 1995, I couldn't find a job in the hospital. They had their choice of many experienced RN'S. I had sent out over 25 resumes, when I received my first call.  I started with united Cerebral Palsy, Homecare, School Nursing, and a Medical Clinic. I did work all four at one time and 7 days a week. I also had 3 children.  I was able to continue to learn from these areas. I eventually narrowed it down to the Medical Clinic and UCP.  I have found working with the developmentally disabled most rewarding. This was not the area I thought I would be working in.  I didn't recall learning about this population in school and was surprised there were so many agencies available for their care.

Maybe this is an area you can look into and start out with while you continue your job hunt. You might just like it and stay.

Good luck, I know you'll find something.

Margaret Scarpulla, Developmental disabilities - RN Supervisor, DDI May 1, 2014 11:23 PM
Smithtown NY

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