Searching For Nursing Jobs All Around Florida

Since my husband and I met in 2004 we had been planning on moving. Since December 2008 we had been planning to move to the southeastern coast of Florida. After some recon trips to southern Florida we chose the city of West Palm Beach. It was a little less congested as compared to Miami, it had a multitude of hospitals near by, and there was a much much higher prevalence of apartments having washer/dryer in the unit. This was the only absolute must we had during our apartment search. A friend of mine previously lived in Ft. Lauderdale and advised me that Ft. Lauderdale and Miami were more for single people and north of Ft. Lauderdale is more family friendly.

We did our research, had a narrowed down list of apartments to look at, and had spoke with many nurse recruiters. We were making these plans during my husband’s last semester of nursing school, spring 2009, and everything seemed to going smoothly in our search. All of our plans were coming together. I was working full time plus as a compliance analyst in the sales and use tax division for a corporate tax firm. My husband was graduating from nursing school, working as a graduate nurse, and freaking out about passing his boards and getting his RN license. We thought that would be that last big hurdle and it would be smooth sailing once he had the RN license. There is a nursing shortage right?

People should be more specific. There is a shortage of experienced nurses now. With the struggling economy and the unemployment rate reaching near 10% hospitals are looking for experienced nurses now.

So we continued with our recon and made a final trip in August. We found a great apartment and set up to move in some time after September 14th. We thought getting the nursing job would be smooth and easy. We had spoken to so many nursing recruiters and hospitals. Resumes had been sent and jobs had been applied for. We were at a point where we could not call to follow up on those applications as we were physically out of state and would not be there until mid September. So we closed up business in Indiana and started our long move. I have written part 1 of 2 already here and I will get around to write part 2 in the next week. So we move in our new apartment in Florida, we get settled, and start sending out applications.

My husband soon notices that most of the job postings require 2 years experience. At one hospital there were over 80 open postings. I was shocked. How where they expecting to fill these positions? Any nurse with 2 years experience, has experience because they are already working. Hadn’t these hospitals heard about the nursing shortage? It is talked about all over the place. In some people’s cases this shortage that will ensure future job security was the only reason they went to nursing school. It is certainly the reason nursing schools are so hard to get in these days. Yet the vast majority of open job postings state they require experience and as all job postings say now, they state that if you don’t meet their requirements don’t apply. My husband even had quite a negative experience trying to talk to one nurse recruiter in our area. They act as if they are flooded with qualified applicants. We had no idea that someone with and RN license could have trouble finding a job. I mean what do you do about not having experience? It isn’t a skill you can take classes to learn, or study up on in your old college books. I always thought employers used this as a way to pay you less and now they use it as a way to filter out all the resumes they receive. I would have never thought this would be the case with nursing.

Thus my husband and I had a rude awakening. I wondered if this was just happening in our local region. I turned to my friend the internet and searched job postings all over the U.S. I started with Arizona as the mother in law has been saying my husband should go there after he graduates as they pay really well and he will get a job easy and it is really nice there yada yada. You know how mother in laws are. She kept saying how bad Florida was and how there are hurricanes there. Well all I have to say about that is at least you know well in advance when one is coming. Moving from a tornado zone this is appreciated. So back to searching and guess what we discover. The huge vast majority of RN position postings require 2 years experience. This is when we really start freaking out. We even start to uncover articles, postings and blog entries about nurses who have recently graduated but can’t find a job because they don’t have 2 years experience.

We take a moment to freak out some more.

Then we think of a plan of attack. We had only previously applied to RN positions in a certain close radius. We opened that radius up to the entire state of Florida. My husband applied to every single RN position that did not require 2 years experience. The hardest part is getting the interview. Do you know how sick of those on-line applications he became? But he was a champ and kept at it and was applying to jobs every waking moment. In the mean time I start a part time job. The pay is low, it is only part time and the job isn’t all that appetizing considering I busted my butt to get a bachelor’s degree but it is money coming into our account. Then we started getting some call backs for all of those RN positions.

There really is a long bureaucratic process to get hired anymore. Yet somehow illegal aliens still find jobs and make money. Noting against illegals, aliens or foreigners, I have been one a few times in life, but that is the reason they use for requesting so much personal data. I imagine it all gets sold to credit card companies and other information database companies. The process seems to be: application, photo identification, social security card (always a must in FL apparently), background check, credit check, fill out questionnaire that has ridiculous questions that you answer with either strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. At some point at the very end you get to interview with some kind of representative of the company. It all reminds me of going to the movies where all of the previews and pre movie commercials are all so long that you forget what movie you actually came to the theatre to see. The process has all become so depersonalized and mechanized that it almost becomes hard to remember how to interact professionally with human beings.

With all that being said, today we are driving from West Palm Beach to Tampa for an interview. My husband is really excited about the position. The only drawback is that we would have to move again. Tomorrow we have an interview in West Palm Beach for an RN position. My husband is also looking forward to that as it is with a hospital he really likes. I hope we get a job offer this week from one of the positions. I have no idea what we will do if we get an offer from both. I assume we will weigh the pros and cons and try to make the best educated guess about the future.

Stay tuned to see where we end up.

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