Finding a job in NYC as a New Graduate Nurse

October 1, 2008

(This post won’t be of much interest to anyone that isn’t looking for a job as a new graduate nurse in NYC.)

I did want to write about the experience of the job hunt as a new graduate nurse looking for work in NYC.  My reference points for this are mostly based in Utah, where the nurse recruiters were all over the new graduates.  Most of my friends started working on temporary licenses as soon as they’d finished the degree but before they’d taken their boards.  

My understanding of New York is that as a new graduate you can start working even without a temporary license if you graduated from an accredited NY nursing program. – Of course, keeping that job is dependent upon your successfully passing your nursing boards within a designated amount of time. – Also, as you might expect, there are a lot of nursing schools in the New York area.  These factors make it more difficult to find a position if you are coming from out of state.  

Ultimately I had to travel to New York to find a job.  I tried to do it from Utah, but it was difficult to get a hold of the nurse recruiter that you wanted to talk to, and they are so busy!  Being there, standing in their office makes it a lot harder from them to brush you off by telling you that they’ll call you if they have something for you.  Mind you, a lot of them still say this, even to your face, but you have better odds of them actually considering a position for you if you’re standing there.  

I did a lot of cold calls and walked into a lot of hospitals like I actually had business being there.  My goal was to just get into the the recruiting offices – Do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  But do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  OK, it’s up on the 4th floor… – There was a lot of acting like I knew what I was doing and a little bit of playing naive to get myself through the door.   

It was my opinion that if I could just get an interview with the nurse manager I would be offered the job.  Of course, this might not have actually been the case, but that’s the opinion I have of my abilities and what I have to offer.  Fortunately for my self-esteem, the interview was in fact followed by the job offer.  Identity crisis averted.    

I have a friend that I graduated with that also went to NYC looking for a job.  Her trip was not a success.  I think she is planning on just getting a job here in SLC and then going to NY as a travel nurse (which is a better financial deal, anyway.)  In Utah she has her pick of the department she wants to work in.  I thought about this approach for myself when I was afraid the NY job wouldn’t pan out, but this approach would require me to spend at least another year in Utah.  I love Utah, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’ve reached a life-plateau here and I still want to go higher.  I can do travel nursing later if I want, right now I want to live in NYC.  

There is a nursing shortage in this country.  It’s only going to get worse in the coming years.  But so far I’ve decided that the time this shortage is felt the least is July-October after the wave of new graduates enters the workforce.  If you want a new graduate nursing position in New York City then get there in May or June when there are more spots available and they are full on in the mode of new graduate hiring.  But no matter when you get there, it’s still possible to get a job, you just have to be willing to do the foot work.

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3 Responses to “Finding a job in NYC as a New Graduate Nurse”

  1. […] Finding a job in NYC as a New Graduate Nurse By Protean My understanding of New York is that as a new graduate you can start working even without a temporary license if you graduated from an accredited NY nursing program. – Of course, keeping that job is dependent upon your successfully … Protean In NYC – https://proteaninnyc.wordpress.com […]

  2. Mark said

    Good thoughts. Despite the stats, I still see high paying nursing jobs posted on employment sites –

    http://www.linkedin.com (networking)
    http://www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
    http://www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

    I still see 100K, 125K and 200K jobs

  3. Thanks for share the useful information.

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