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New Grads - Job Hunting Out of State, Your Experience


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I am currently a PA-S in Texas with an expected graduation date of August 2016. I am interested in applying to jobs out of state where I have no medical/job connections and I was wondering if anyone on here pursued a job out of state in a similar fashion as a new graduate and if they could relay their experience. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and also North Carolina and I would enjoy being back in these areas due to the outdoor environment they offer. 

 

I am most interested in how the process of obtaining a license and finding a job went and if anyone has recommendations on how to make the process as smooth as possible or if it would just be easier to obtain a license/job in my home state (Texas) until I have a few years experience under my belt.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance! 

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I'm from Indiana, went to school in Tennessee, and got a job in Texas. I applied to a lot of jobs. I just used Indeed, I didn't do any networking whatsoever. I think most employers wanted licensed and certified applicants, but eventually I got 2 interviews on back-to-back days, so I could just take one trip. The timeline was... graduate on Saturday, PANCE a week later on Monday, interviews on that Wed & Thur. Of course you can't get your license until you pass your PANCE. Fortunately my employer allowed me to start prior to obtaining my license and just follow the other providers.

 

That said, Texas is a hot job market right now. Dallas and Houston are two of the top cities in the country for PA jobs. Keep that in mind, as not all areas are going to have a lot of jobs available. Also be sure you are doing things NOW that will stand out on your resume and separate you from the crowd of fellow new grads. It can be tough to find places willing to hire new grads.

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I'm from the Midwest, went to PA school in Chicago, then moved to the San Francisco Bay area after graduating. I applied to a few positions before leaving Chicago without much luck. Most jobs did want national certification and license in hand, but the licensing in California was incredibly easy - I had that within a month or so of passing the PANCE. I took a few months to find a position partially because my particular area seems to be saturated with NPs (one particular potential employer told me that their VERY LARGE hospital system had a policy that given two applicants, an NP and a PA, with the same background, they were required to interview the NP and offer the position to them, if eligible, before interviewing the PA). 

 

As far as tips go, if you know where you want to move, try to get a rotation in a specialty you would want to work at a practice you would like to work now. Make the connections, see if they know anyone interested in hiring. Research the licensing process for that state and prep everything in advance (I submitted my state license application before finishing PA school since CA allows that). Also, if you have zero connections in the area, search all the job sites, look at the hospitals you'd be interested in, but don't be afraid to look outside the box. I got the job I currently have as a new grad because I applied for a different job at the company that required 5 years of experience. And I followed up like crazy. Make phone calls after you apply for jobs. Remind them that you're interested so that they're more likely to remember you.

 

FWIW I am incredibly happy with my decision, and glad I didn't try to stick it out for a few years before moving. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I just went through all this. From North Dakota, went to pa school in Utah and now work in Michigan. I did have my job a month before graduating PA school so that made some of the details regarding licensing, PANCE, etc easier. 

 

What I did was went to the AAPA conference. They have a job fair there with a lot of recruiters with jobs all over the country. All I did was tell the recruiters what specialty I wanted to work in and what region of the country. They do all the groundwork and the nice thing is it is free. However, just don't let them push you into anything you don't want as they are paid when you take the job. I also put my resume on Indeed and updated my Linkedin. A hospital recruiter found my information from one of the recruiters and that is how I got the job. Had I never put my info out there I wouldn't have landed my dream job in my dream specialty. I will say that I did not have Michigan anywhere on my radar but I sacrificed location over a great opportunity with a SP that is willing to take time to teach me and not set me up for failure right out of PA school. 

 

Licensing and everything went easy after that. Take your PANCE first, doesn't matter where you take it. I would say take it where you are living so you can focus on studying rather than moving. Once you pass your info can be sent to whatever state you move to. It is a lot easier to do credentialing and licensing with your first job as you don't have to list all your previous jobs, SPs, malpractice, etc. That being said, I passed my PANCE in mid August and still am waiting for my credentialing to go through. I am licensed in MI but the insurance and hospital credentialing can take a while so be prepared. Another reason why I took this job was that they let me be a "scribe" until my credentialing goes through. So that is great experience with my SP and I am still getting paid.

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I'm from Indiana, went to school in Tennessee, and got a job in Texas. I applied to a lot of jobs. I just used Indeed, I didn't do any networking whatsoever. I think most employers wanted licensed and certified applicants, but eventually I got 2 interviews on back-to-back days, so I could just take one trip. The timeline was... graduate on Saturday, PANCE a week later on Monday, interviews on that Wed & Thur. Of course you can't get your license until you pass your PANCE. Fortunately my employer allowed me to start prior to obtaining my license and just follow the other providers.

 

That said, Texas is a hot job market right now. Dallas and Houston are two of the top cities in the country for PA jobs. Keep that in mind, as not all areas are going to have a lot of jobs available. Also be sure you are doing things NOW that will stand out on your resume and separate you from the crowd of fellow new grads. It can be tough to find places willing to hire new grads.

When you say "doing things now" are you referring to volunteering? I am a PA student that will be graduating next year and have not been able to balance volunteering on top of all the PA school stuff that we are required to do. Any suggestions?

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The job market for PA's is incredible.  Apply to any and all jobs you're interested in wherever you please!  Don't let the licensing turn you away, especially if you're student.  You can apply for a temporary license in the state you find a job and get started shortly after you pass your boards.

 

Here is an article about obtaining my first job if you're interested in some things I learned through my own experience:

 

http://www.physicianassistantstudyguide.com/ObtainingMyFirst.html

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I've done it twice since I graduated in TX, first job in California, then 3rd job in MA. Indeed and lots of Internet searching was useful. I casted a wide net for my first job and applied to any surgical positions that I could find that would accept new grads even if it wasn't the subspeciality that I wanted. Took me about 1.5 months both times to get at least one offer. I would try to lump the interviews depending on when I would be in the state for a few days. It's a pain but definitely doable even as a new grad.

 

Also, I did everything like two months before graduation. Therefore, I graduated, took the pance, moved to CA, and started working in less than 4 weeks.

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I did this as well. Went to school in Florida, applied to work all over the country (except Florida). Eventually landed a few in-person interviews for drivable states and a few Skype interviews for farther locations. It was definitely a lot more work compared to my classmates, who it sometimes felt like were handed jobs on their rotations. I applied through every job site I could get my hands on. Eventually got my first choice location (in North Carolina) but an underpaying job. A much better fit at a hospital up the road fell in my lap a few months later and I've been very happy there. If you're not interested in working in Texas I wouldn't bother with their license.

If your school will let you do an out of state rotation, DEFINITELY try to make this happen where you think you may want to work. I wasn't able to arrange this through my school. Best of luck!

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