What you can do?
No doubt if you are reading this, you have likely read other tips for finding jobs: be willing to relocate, clean up your resume, get more education, attend a job fair, smile, and so on. These are all ideas with merit, however, my hope is that the following suggestions will give you an extra edge.
Remember, you are interviewing the employer as well. Don’t be shy about advocating for yourself. You want a good fit as much as the employer does, and this desire for “fit” will come across in the interview. Ask them how many new graduates they already have, find out the turnover rate, the background of their leadership, and will there be opportunities for your advancement? Let them know that you are interested in a robust training experience because you will dedicate what you learn to give excellent care to their patients.
Consider nursing internships or residencies. This is a relatively new option (perhaps within the last decade or so). Some medical centers have these programs and you can move through the variety of settings within the hospital to broaden your experience base. Residencies may only recruit at certain times in the year, but will be valuable if you are able to secure a position.
Don’t let your valuable education sit idle while you are job hunting. Find opportunities to volunteer. Of course, the preference will be to volunteer in a healthcare setting, however, any opportunity to show that you are still active and part of a team will benefit you. Some examples may include taking vital signs or registering patients at a free clinic, greeting patients and orienting them at a large medical center. Not only will you have continuous activity on your resume, but you will also position yourself to improve your network and demonstrate your winning personality!
Stretch yourself and think outside the box to keep your mind active and build your resume. Look for out of the ordinary opportunities to create synergies for yourself. Submit articles for review and publication to a healthcare website/newsletter (www.rxeconsult.com is a good example). Consider leading a healthcare related book/journal club and invite your former classmates or the nursing staff at the local hospitals you would like to work. With a creative mind, anything is possible.
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