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How to Get a Job as a New Graduate Nurse

Nursing Jobs

Tips for Getting a Job in Nursing

And you won’t even need a 4.0 GPA or a ton of ‘leadership’ experience to do it! Landing a job as a nurse and as a new graduate isn’t easy and for many graduates, it becomes a difficult journey of taking any job anywhere and any experience anywhere before slogging up to where they actually want to work, department wise.

But it doesn’t have to be that way; savvy nursing students can actually end up precisely where they want to be right away and you can be one of them-if you plan things out in advance and take the time out necessary to job hunt, make connections, and follow-up. How can you land a nursing job you want when you graduate rather than years later?

Plan, Plan and Plan

And be realistic. Many schools in the States and Canada and elsewhere are simply cheaper and easier to live around than others. Does it mean you’ll have to leave your friends and family behind to attend? Quite possibly. But there is no point in drowning yourself in debt (school will do that quite nicely) for the sake of people you can continue to connect with online and over the phone (Skype video is a beautiful thing!) Figure out which schools give you the education you want in places you can actually afford to live in and go for it. This may also mean working in the place where you end up going to school, so get to know the place as you may be there for a while.

Once you’ve come to terms with that bitter pill, it’s important to figure out-over the course of your schooling of course-where you want to work. Do you want to work with children? Acute illness? Seniors? Pregnant women? Families? Do you want to specialize in working in a rural area or stick to a larger, urban center? The more you figure out during the school, the more you can tailor your job experiences towards meeting the demands of those jobs which means applying to work on the correct floors and getting to know the people who will determine whether or not to hire you before you even apply.

Get to Know the People in Charge

Obviously not in charge of the entire hospital, but it is a good idea to get to know the senior nurses on your floor, the hiring managers and other nurses during your schooling. Put yourself out there! Introduce yourself to the managers (bright smile, professional enthusiasm, etc) and compliment them on their floor, which shouldn’t be too hard as you ought to be experiencing where you want to work by now! Then start stalking them, after a fashion. Send out the occasional email to the manager thanking them for the chance at experiencing their hospital floor, expressing interest in working there and ask if you can apply directly to the manager instead of going through the HR pile. Show your personality before they even have to decide on who to hire and that way you’ll hopefully be at the top of the pile.

If you cannot take advantage of your clinical experience for job hunting, use Google to figure out how to reach out to people in the right floor of the hospital and then email them before you apply for the position, telling them you are interested in working in their floor and how you’d make a good fit (briefly and in a charming fashion of course!) Then when you do start applying and sending out resumes, hopefully you’ll be remembered.

Make Sure You Remember the Cover Letter!

It shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s being said: don’t forget to include a cover letter when you do start sending out applications and resumes. Cover letters show that you are actually interested in working at the place for which you are applying; it’s an extra touch that can put you above many of the other applicants. It doesn’t have to be a long cover letter, just something to state that you are interested in working in a given floor at a given hospital, why you’d like to work there and that even though you’re not licensed yet, you’d still like to make the connections. If you are licensed and job hunting, this is the place to do things like remind the hiring manager of your time spent in the hospital or simply to state how much you’d like working there.

By this same token, don’t forget to send a thank-you card to everyone you interview with and to follow up on your interview a week or two later to keep yourself in mind as they decide.

Finally, it’s important to be patient and to always work on adding something extra to your application forms. Take full advantage of everything your schooling has to offer in terms of networking, clinical work and getting to know others, make sure you go above and beyond the electrical application and be patient! It can take hundreds of hours of work to land a job, so the earlier you start, the better. Good luck and congratulations on all of your hard work in becoming a nurse.

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