RN Graduate! Now What?

So you’ve almost completed that nursing degree! Bet you never knew that two little letters could ever mean so much to you, huh? Sooo…school’s just about over; next stop- easy street! Right? Wrong! I don’t mean to sound harsh, but if you thought nursing school was a challenge, wait till you start the job hunt. It’s a whole separate challenge. Looking on the bright side, though, you will get through it. Especially once you read on and discover all the great ways you can help yourself land that coveted first nursing job.

Be Social

Shoulders back, smile on! That’s right, it’s never too late to establish those all too important relationships. After all, you never know who can open doors for you. Whether it’s clinical instructors, fellow scrubs clad students, or nurses you’ve worked with over the course of your schooling, make sure you have left a positive impression on all of them. You can even ask for recommendation letters. Every kind word goes a long way in the quest for a nursing position. Another key point? Introduce yourself. If you’re particularly happy during your clinical, make a point of marching over to the nurse managers and nurse recruiters and telling them so.

Volunteer, Volunteer, and Volunteer Some More

Start volunteering. Now! Before school is over. And keep it up once you actually finish school and are waiting to take your Boards. Volunteering looks fantastic on your resume, helps you forge even more connections, and can really give you an idea of which specialty you think you’d be interested in pursuing.

Flex That Attitude

The rule of thumb when it comes to the dreaded job hunt, is flexibility. That’s not to say you should throw all your well thought out goals into the nearest biohazard waste receptacle. Uh-uh! So you don’t like pediatrics, or obstetrics for that matter. That’s quite alright. How about geriatrics and the myriad of opportunities within that particular branch of medicine? Great, now be flexible within that specialty. It may mean you’ll have to give up your dream of working in a hospital for now. And it may mean searching for a job in a primary care practice or assisted living home, instead. If you’re given an opportunity within the vast realm of your particular interest, go for it. Remember, you have to get your foot through that door!

Set Up An Informational Interview

Here’s where it’s okay to do a little stalking. Research nurse recruiters and hiring managers and find out what you can about them. You basically want to be able to have a smooth conversation with them. So they like hiking. Perfect! Today, you love hiking as well. Now call them up, chat about all things hiking related and subtly ask for an informational interview. Bingo; you’re in! You’ll learn all about them and the field, they’ll learn all about you, and hopefully, (fingers crossed!) a job opportunity is within reach.

Breathe in. Breathe out. See, it’s not going to be too terrible. Let me know when you land that job. Best of luck to y’all!

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