Tips for getting a hospital job?

  1. Hi!

    I just finished my first semester of nursing school and I've been working as a CNA in a nursing home for almost 2 years. I've been trying to get a job in a hospital for several months now because I want to get more clinical experience and see a wider variety of cases. I keep getting interviews for these positions, but I never get the job. The interviews seem to go well, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I think part of it is the fact that I work in a nursing home and they're hesitant to hire me because I don't have hospital experience.

    Anyway, I just wanna know if anyone else has had a problem like this or if they have any ideas on what I could do to improve my chances of actually getting a job in the hospital setting.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   direw0lf
    Well..let's see. What do you wear on your interview? Scrubs or business-casual?

    How would you answer these questions:
    "What's your weakest and strongest assets?"
    "Why do you want to work for us?"
    "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
    "What area of nursing do you like?"
    "Why are you a good candidate for the job?"
    "Do you have any questions for me?"

    Do you say the name of the hospital? Do you know their mission statement? Do you say "um" and "like" a lot? Do you make eye contact? How is your resume-do you have any letters of recommendations from your nursing teachers?

    Even if you are on point, it's true you might not get hired because you've only completed one semester. You could to start as a patient observer to get your foot in the door. I did that at first. You can check policy, but for me I was allowed to do things for the patient such as wash their hair or help them to the bathroom. You can bring a deck of cards or magazines to engage the patient. You might really make the nurse for that patient happy when you occupy the pt yourself and who knows that nurse can tell the unit manager, and next thing you know you have a contact for a pca job.
  4. by   MikeyT-c-IV
    I'll offer my perspective.

    Nursing homes in my region are notorious for understaffing the facility. Often times these nurses and aides are overworked and eventually suffer from compassion fatigue, lack the time to complete duties, and must learn which corners can be cut. (Obviously this happens in the acute care setting as well) As a result staff may be stressed, develop poor attitudes with coworkers and the patient, and habitually provide substandard care.

    I'll give two examples. When I was a nurse manager I hired an experienced CNA who previously worked in a nursing home. Long story short I received numerous complaints in regard to her care. She was very rough with the patients and overall didn't perform very well. I was surprised by this given her experience. We basically attempted to retrain her and help her adjust to the culture. It didn't work and she had to leave.

    We had a very experienced RN who worked in a nursing home exclusively throughout her career. She wanted to learn acute care much for the same reasons as you mentioned. I'm sure she did great in a nursing home but in the acute care environment she could not adjust. There was a complete lack of critical thinking skills and issues that I would imagine as common sense... well, weren't so easy for her. She was extremely friendly, motivated, and kept a smile on her face but she just could not adjust to acute care.

    Some nurse managers may have a bias against prior nursing home employees with no acute care experience. Staff is very expensive to onboard and train. They must be very selective with whom they hire. I'm not saying that this is the issue but I have seen it before. I would make sure you present yourself as professional as possible with a nicely written resume and cover letter. I think what you are experiencing may be common.

    Keep your chin up and interview. If anything take time to reflect on your past interviews. Imagine if you were a hiring manager, what kind of employee would you want to attract and hire? Can you describe safety and quality of care and what you have experienced? How can you communicate your character, strengths, and morals? Do these qualities align with the hospital mission, vision, and values?

    That turned out way longer than I intended.... just some ideas. Good luck!

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