Experience First, Money Later

In healthcare, I see how reality has not matched the promise of easy employment after school in lucrative “shortage” jobs.

Have you ever heard these lines before?

“Your profession will be in high demand”

“Because of the shortage, you’ll have no problem getting a job after school”

“You can expect relatively high wages for this career path”

I see many newly graduated Therapists, Medical Coders, RHIA’s, RHIT’s, and even nurses join the Clear Medical Network on a daily basis, and many of them are having a hard time finding the type of employment they were expecting after school in this economy.

Not the right pay.  Not the right specialty.  Not the right type of facility.  At least not until they have experience. 

What does this mean?  For those of you who are graduating soon or have just graduated, it’s important to realize that everyone is paid in two ways:  money and experience.  It seems that in this economy, sometimes grads have to work (sometimes for less pay) to earn experience before they will earn the higher pay others with more experience are earning.  

Even RN’s I know that want careers in a specific specialty (L&D, ED, etc.) or type of facility have had to volunteer (yes, for free) at the type of place where they want to work, all the while working in a clinic/unit that they don’t get excited about.

Reality?  I’m afraid so.

For those of you still in school or deciding on a career, please know that careers in nursing, medicine, therapy, coding, and so many other healthcare positions will indeed be great careers in the long run.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that we’re looking at a 22.5% increase in new jobs in our industry by 2018.  Combine that with Baby Boomers starting to retire, and it’s obvious that there will be a shortage.

Just don’t expect it to feel like it right now. 

If you’re looking for mentoring, advice, or career opportunities, we started the free Clear Medical Network to bring experienced healthcare professionals together with new grads and students to help bridge the gap of experience. 

Hang in there, it’s worth it.  It’s a wonderful career to care for your neighbors when they need it most.


About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 

Looking into the Eyes of the Future (of Healthcare)

This weekend, my youngest child (a one year-old son) and I spent time inserting different shaped blocks into the correct spots on one of his toys.  Half of the time my son was looking at me with this look of wonder and amazement as I showed him how to do it.  Simple stuff to me, but a big deal to my son.   

You could see it in his eyes.    

My son


As part of the leadership team in a healthcare organization, I see that same look from new graduates or interns I get to work with.  They know that they don’t have the experience, but they are grateful when someone shows them how to do difficult things that seem so simple to the veterans they work with.  (Big thanks to the many great preceptors and trainers out there!)    

However, with all the stress and staffing concerns in our industry, it is no wonder that we sometimes forget to remember that these rookies in our department are the future of healthcare. 

We are truly looking into the eyes of the future.   

What’s scary is that future might be more difficult than we imagine.  I’m sure the saying “Nurses eat their young” is not unique only to nursing, and with the baby boomers set to retire and healthcare reform now the law of the land, we’re going to need these unexperienced colleagues of ours to be confident, encouraged, and focused on a long-term career caring for patients.     

Unfortunately, with the economy where it’s at, finding graduates working in a hospital or clinic is not as easy as it was just a couple years ago.  Even new RN’s are having a hard time finding work in some areas that just a couple years ago were offering signing bonuses.     

I know RN’s that are volunteering to gain experience and relationships while they search and medical coders traveling across the country for their first job.  It’s crazy for high demand positions like those two (and many others) to have that sort of challenge to find work!  Especially since things were so different when they started school.    

Right now I see about 50 requests a week from new graduates with healthcare degrees looking for a place that will give them their first chance, despite the curse of the proverbial “no experience”.  With Spring graduation season coming up soon, that situation isn’t looking any brighter…    

One brighter spot is that I do see some places that are still hiring graduates if they have good attitudes and are willing to work hard, but those places are hard to find.  This was one of many reasons that we formed the Clear Medical Network to connect healthcare professionals for career guidance from their peers, as well as the fun stuff too (annual cruise, nights out, etc.).  We’re hoping to connect our industry to help share ideas and opportunities to make a difference.    

It’s not just for graduates, but that’s one group that needs it most this time of year.    

If you know anyone looking to hire new grads, we will gladly share the resumes we’re getting (for free).  Just have the hiring leader join the network or email me at Aaron@ClearMedicalSolutions.com.   Also, if you get a chance, please let me know what you think about the idea and help remind me and others of the important role that our young colleagues will play in our future.     

Have a great week!     


About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives at Clear Medical Solutions, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He enjoys teaching, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.