After surviving years in nursing school, your next hurdle after graduation is finding a great job. With so many areas to explore, you may find yourself overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of opportunities, with an increased demand for medical health professionals and frontline workers. However, once you figure out the route you want to pursue and acquire the necessary work experience, you’ll be granted more freedom to choose what position is best for you, given your specialty.

For those nursing graduates who fear being pigeonholed into a job that doesn’t align with their interests, you’ll want to recruit the experts, build your resume, and refine your interview skills. Here are some excellent tips for landing a nursing job upon graduation.

Work with a medical staffing agency

As a graduate with minimal work experience, you’ll need all the help you can get to land enviable positions like travel LPN jobs. Job hunting requires specific skills that a staffing agency will possess. Due to the time-consuming nature of the job application process, having someone to complete your menial tasks will pay off in the long-run.

This medical staffing agency will work to understand your skills, preferences, and help fine-tune your resume. For example, a recent graduate may wish to work at a nursing home, home healthcare, or rehab center among other sectors. With the help of a medical staffing agency, you’ll be able to locate openings in these specific areas.

Since healthcare staffing companies have an in-depth knowledge of the field, they’ll be able to help find you the best job. Fusion Medical Staffing helps graduates break into the industry by securing an ideal position in travel nursing, allied healthcare, lab, or therapy at a variety of locations across the United States.

Consider relocating

The place you currently live in may not have a desirable amount of job opportunities that cater to your specialization. In these cases, it would be best to consider relocating to increase your chances of securing your first full-time position. Making the cross-country leap may also open doors for new adventures, so don’t be dead-set on staying in your hometown. Take time to conduct comprehensive research before making your final decision and, if possible, have job leads before relocating.

Overcome your lack of experience

You’ll come across many employment listings that require many years of prior work experience. With these job experience minimums that impede recently-graduated applicants, those who have recently entered the job market will be fraught with anxiety and unsure of how to gain the necessary experience, so they’re able to secure their dream job.

Taking part in job-shadowing programs and internship programs helps graduates practice the skills they’ve learned in school and gain much-needed experience to build a resume that attracts potential employers. Those who don’t invest their time in internship programs risk graduating without a network or any job offers.

Nursing schools often partner with hospitals to offer new graduates work, so be sure to investigate for such opportunities. Without these partnerships, a recently-graduated nursing student can work as a part-time, on-call nurse which will boost his or her chance of working in their desired specialty. Although you will likely be overqualified for these on-call positions, they’ll allow you to demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers and meet influential people who can connect you with opportunities in your field.

Join professional nursing organizations

Your nursing organization membership will open doors for you to further develop your career potential. Besides making it convenient to communicate and network, these organizations provide valuable materials and resources to new graduates. Make sure you remain active to avoid missing out on new opportunities to form long-term connections and to help employ fellow students and former colleagues. Your membership may also help you benefit from certification discounts, position statements, and local and annual conventions and meetings.

Some of the organizations you should consider joining include the American Nurses Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the National Student Nurses’ Association.

Utilize Every Opportunity

As you begin your nursing career, you’ll realize that there is so much that you still need to learn. Because education is a life-long pursuit, it’s important to take every opportunity you receive seriously. Prove to your employers that you’re eager to learn and show initiative even if the task seems simple. Doing so will reassure potential employers that you take your career seriously and that you’d make an excellent addition to the workforce. In no time, you’ll find yourself advancing up the career ladder.

Using the nursing sectors that you enjoyed prior to graduation as a guide, you’ll learn new practices and establish a foundation for the rest of your career. Listening to your peers, and taking the advice of your supervisors will help you learn something new. Take time to further your skills and experience by attending social events and seminars, whenever possible.

Volunteer

Besides offering help to people who need it, volunteering allows you to explore various opportunities. It also puts you in a better position to score the job when the chance arises. Volunteering demonstrates to employers that you’re a well-rounded applicant with a diverse set of interests and skills.

Therefore, you should allocate some of your time to socialize with hospice patients, assist in a blood drive, help children with various illnesses, and oversee immunizations or first-aid stations.

If you look closely, you’ll find vulnerable populations who could benefit from your help. When exploring different volunteer opportunities, you may stumble upon your passion, not to mention that it will look great in your CV.

Prepare for interviews

Once you send applications for certain positions, start preparing answers to potential interview questions, in the case that you are contacted for an on-site or video interview. Make sure you choose the most appropriate attire and have it washed, pressed, and kept stain-free. Strive to dress conservatively. To do so, consider purchasing a business suit to keep you looking professional, while also helping you make an excellent first impression.

Besides your appearance, find essential details about the facility and position and make sure you can speak clearly about your goals, strengths, skills, and weaknesses. Practicing your answers will allow you to make necessary changes and build your confidence.

Conclusion

Whether you’re dreaming of working in the ICU, ER, or in a surgical unit, you’ll need a degree from an accredited institution and the right hands-on experience. Preparing for your dream nursing job will involve a significant investment of time and financial resources and a passion for the work you’re doing.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Tips for Getting a Great Nursing Job When You Graduate," in Medicalopedia, August 4, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9123/tips-for-getting-a-great-nursing-job-when-you-graduate/].