I have to take my own advice. For years I have worked with student nurses and the one question they ask more than anything else is not about patient care, it is about jobs after graduation. My advice to new grad RN's has always been to be flexible, and go anywhere to get experience. As a new RN I moved 1500 miles to get my first job, and afterwards with that experience on my resume jobs came easy. True some people can't move because of family, but others won't move because they are afraid to leave the security of their community. The economy changed things and over the last 5-years it became tougher for new RNs to find work, and even more so in areas like San Francisco and Boston where nurse are paid extremely well. My advice is even more relevant now and I still tell student nurses to leave home and go spread their wings to get some experience. Besides traveling to another city for a job interview is exciting and it also shows them you are committed. Then after a year or two, when you think you know what you are doing, you can go ahead and apply to work closer to home. Moving away is what 99% of medical students have to do for their residency experience.
I do understand not wanting to move, I liked calling the SF bay area home for the last five years. After becoming board certified six months ago my plan was to continue working on-call as an RN, while started to apply for local NP jobs. However, most of the jobs near me were in pain clinics or one of those retail store clinics, and that was not for me. I want to keep learning and preferably in a teaching hospital or specialty setting. The current hospital I work at is not NP friendly (NPs know these places) and other jobs near me were being filled with those who had experience and connections.
It was time to spread my wings and apply only to places I wanted to work, and in specialties like orthopedics and sports medicine, because I like musculoskeletal specialties. Getting hired as an NP is a long process of interviews and credentialing, but after all the paperwork I got the job I wanted, in the specialty I wanted. So NPs & RNs spread your wings and do not settle in your little corner of the world looking for a job you may not want. .