I'm a nursing student and can't get a hospital job!

  1. I just lost my temp office job, and I'm looking into getting a job in a Houston hospital as a student nurse, nursing assistant, patient care assistant, etc. However, I've been trying for years. My instructors tell me that I'm brilliant and that hospitals are rooting for new grads, but I haven't even been asked for an interview for two years. I have been a nurse aide in a nursing home, I have done some home health, I'm graduating from an ADN program in May, I actually worked in a school that trains nurse assistants, and

    I'll call in to the nurse recruiting office, and they will immediately tell me to apply online. I do so, and submit my resume (which I have been told by my instructors to be excellent) which I tailor for each workplace. I'll call in a couple days later, inquiring if positions are still open and informing them that I am interested and submitted an application. However, I never hear back even if I call in every few days.

    Any advice?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   MBARNBSN
    You sound like you are doing all of the right things except one! You are not talking to a human on the floor that is hiring!! The humans you need to talk to are the Director and/or the Charge Nurse. That is how I landed a job on my floor as a tech while being a nursing student. In fact, I had the same problems you describe in your post, until I spoke to someone with power who liked me, made one phone call to HR, and hired me on the spot.

    How did I meet the person? By accident. I was called back for an interview regarding a position that I was considered to be over qualified and it gave me the chance to plead my case to the hiring manger. However, if I knew then what I know now, I would just knock on the door of the hiring manager and introduce myself. GL. :spin:
  4. by   GingerSue
    or try an agency, indicate where you would like to work,
    and when you're in there working then you will meet the
    supervisor (this is how I was offered a job by the unit
    administrator because she said that she liked my work)
  5. by   Patient_Care_Asst
    Contrary to poupular belief, HR is actually not the right place to apply for the job.

    In HR, you are 1 application among 100's of other applications.

    That's the problem. The best approach is to make an appointment with the charge nurse to "discuss the position." Don't come off like you are applying for the job or you will be told to make your way to HR.

    Just indicate you wish to learn more about the position and indicate you are seeking guidance about the specific "requirements" in clearer detail.

    That should get your foot in the door.
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    It doesn't hurt if it's a topic you have an interest in....I put in the fact that I managed people and have great "people" skills...and was almost hired right off the bat....
  7. by   danggirl
    I have to agree with the above responses. I worked closely as a charge nurse with my nurse manager in hiring and recruiting staff. The people we were most likely to hire were the ones who came up to the floor, stated they were interested in a position of some type, asked for details about the unit and suggestions. That approach gave us the opportunities to put a face on the mounds of papers!
  8. by   Becca608
    Great advice everyone! I wish this thread had been last week!!!!

    We had a recruiter in last week and some of us were told to write our names down and apply online when we expressed our interest. The 'whiners' in our class went to everyone that spoke/attended with the HR recruitment staff and gave their sob stories of being unable to find hospital employment as a student nurse (even though they had never looked and only came to see if the recruiter was offering $5K checks as rumored).

    End result--those of us with A's and B's that tried to play by the rules and go by our credentials are not employed by the hospitals. The whiney, self-centered folks (some of which are in danger of failing) now have student positions.

    Oh well...no one ever said life was fair. Lesson learned...stomp on others by acting like a silly little girl instead of an intelligent professional business woman may just get you anywhere you want while acting like the professional that you are training to be is inefficient and ineffective.

    Just my very-disgusted and disillusioned $0.02. :trout:
  9. by   AggieQT
    Hmmm I wonder what part of town you are in. I got called for a job as a tech at a hospital in north houston within 3 days of filling out the online application. I had NO experience except a CNA course I took and I had passed the state test and I had been accepted into a BSN program. When I went in for an "interview" there was no interview about it, it pretty much was like "when can you start?" and "Can you fill out this paperwork for new hires"

    You can PM me and I will give you more details if you are interested.
  10. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    Go to local nursing fairs or job fairs.

    Call, Call, Call....you have to harrass HR departments, otherwise you are just one of many.

    Get referrals from those professors who think you are brilliant! They could be your greatest allies!

    Go to your college career center.

    Everyone has to apply online, you are already doing the right thing tailoring your resumes to their job. Nurses must be assertive to survive, be assertive and in their faces (in a nice way) Let them know who you are, and get to know who the nurse recruiters are.

    You saw your fellow students as whiners, the recruiter saw them as wanting a job.

    Good luck on your job search,
    Maisy
  11. by   jjjoy
    One of the tricks of life is figuring out which rules need to be followed and which need to be broken. And you won't get it right all the time, which is frustrating if you're the type who takes pride in doing things "the right way." It's frustrating when someone who doesn't seem to be playing by the rules does better or is perceived as better. I also HATE hearing that I "should've" done something a different way. I get angry because I try to find out all I can ahead of time. If it were THAT obvious, I would've done it that way. If you're going to correct me, at least give me credit that I didn't do it wrong out of lack of effort to figure out the right way!! UGH!!

    So... in this case, lesson learned is that when it comes to getting job offers in many (not all) hospitals, you need to find a way to make direct contact with a nurse manager and inquire about their unit. Why doesn't HR just TELL people this and save them from wasting their time with the HR department? The reality in many places that things kept being done in the same inefficient manner because for all of it's problems, it must be working (positions are filled) and to try something else is a risk that some facilities would rather not take. For example, if HR started telling every applicant to contact NMs directly, the NMs might become inundated with calls of inquiry and then they'd complain to HR... and you're back to square one. Frustrating but true.
  12. by   ducksmom
    I"m having the same trouble PeachPie, But I recently found out that what the other posters are saying appears to be true. It helps to talk to a person as opposed to applying online. Going to give it a try myself. I've applied to a local hospital over the internet so many times that the website no longer accepts my application stating that "you have exceeded the number of attempts this facility allows". So bogus.
  13. by   abundantjoy07
    What worked for me was dressing professionally and having a stack of personalized resumes and cover letters in my bag. I started at 8am and went from HR office to HR office. Going in person, expressing an interest, and showing up like you are ready will usually do the trick. Every time I was able to get an interview same day and a tour.

    Going in person really helps. Just to prove my theory, I submitted 2 online applications and purposely never called or visited the hospitals. Of course, I never heard from those places.
  14. by   PeachPie
    Thanks so much for your advice! On Tuesday, I have a job interview for a student nurse at LBJ. Although I'm kind of wary about working for HCHD, I'm sure that I'll get a lot of good experience. I've also tried MD Anderson and Memorial Hermann, but I had a hard time actually finding the right person to talk to.

    Wish me luck on this interview!

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