I am relocating and starting my career in the District of Columbia.
I am happy to share that I will be moving to Washington D.C. I am both so excited and nervous. Why this change? As you all know, I graduated from the University of New England May 2020. Due to the pandemic, landing a nursing job in Boston, MA was harder than expected. This pandemic has made it extremely difficult for all new grads to land an entry level nursing job despite the need for nurses. Being a new grad nurse in the greater Boston area was so discouraging and proved to be a more difficult task than anything. Which is quite surprising to me because Boston is known for great medical care and facilities. Unfortunately, these facilities in Boston and within the Boston Greater areas do not cater to new grad nurses. Despite applying to entry positions, they too required at least one year of clinical experience which was bizzare to me. An entry level position that requires experience seems contradicting. Even to secure a medical-surgical position which is usually where new grads are given the opportunity to gain skill was a slim to none chance. Yikes!
I have been job searching for hospital-setting entry positions for over five months and FINALLY received a job offer I could not let pass by (6 months of job searching...talk about exhausted). I know employers are reluctant to hire RNs fresh out of nursing school, especially during a pandemic. I will forever be grateful for the level 1 trauma center that decided to take the chance on me. Ironically, after accepting this amazing job offer, I then received 3 other offers (2 located in Maine and 1 in Massachusetts). When it rains, it pours. After thinking long and hard about the pros and cons for each role I could step into (two being in an Emergency Department & one on a Med-Surg unit), I realized the original offer before the others poured in was still the ONE for me. I will be starting my career on a Cardiac Surgery unit. This was the best option for me because it will open up the door for a seamless transition onto a Cardiovascular ICU, which is where I want to be.
An important takeaway from my job search that I think every new grad looking for “the dream job” should know is:
Be flexible: there are many ways to get to where you want to be. Your ideal speciality can come in different forms. Finding out your options and being open to alternative units that may still provide exposure to where you want to be is key
Don’t settle: working outside of a hospital setting was something I was never going to settle for. Remaining patient and persistent will ensure you at least get a portion of your wishlist.
Network: connecting with people who are going through a similar situation as well as with those who have made it out the other end it helpful. I was fortunate to talk to a lot of people on my job searching journey. Every piece of advice and insight from everyone was extremely beneficial.
Be open to a new location: Like me, I was willing to relocate for that level 1 hospital job. So for the new grads that are willing to take an adventure for that dream hospital job, GO FOR IT! Based on my research and 175 applications later (I never settle), you’ll find an abundance of opportunities for new nurses in areas like Texas, Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, DMV area and some states in the Midwest.
This is just the beginning! I look forward to sharing my adventure with you. I'll be sharing my experience of D.C living, apartment hunting, exploring my new city and tidbits I learn along the way with my student nurse to cardiac nurse transition.
How was your student to career transition? What is your dream nursing gig? What things will you like for me to share with you?