Northwestern Memorial Hospital Interview Process

  1. Hello! I have been a nurse for a year now and am looking to score a position a Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I have had the phone interview with HR, the personal interview with the managers on the unit I applied for, and have shadowed a nurse on the unit for 4 hours. I waited two weeks to hear from them after the shadowing. When they finally called, they said they were pursuing other applicants, but would like me to shadow on another unit (heart failure unit). Although, I am very glad I have another chance, I am not sure what went wrong on the first unit. I was wondering if any current or former employees know what they are looking for during the shadowing round of the interview process. I suspect this was the troublesome phase because they said I was a good fit for Northwestern, just not that particular floor. I would really appreciate any advice because I called the managers to ask for some feedback so that I can correct my mistakes, but I did not receive a response from them.

    Also, this process has taken over a month. Is that typical for this facility?
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    About JaimeeRN

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 2
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   BalmerRN
    I work at Northwestern and the "fit" comes from the unit manager and the people you shadow with. It is completely subjective. If they think you won't work with the unit but would work well elsewhere in the hospital, they'll have you shadow on another unit. Honestly, if they felt you wouldn't fit in on a unit, believe them--this saves you a lot of drama.
  4. by   fnazir
    Hi there,
    I was recently interviewed at northwestern and then asked to shadow. Overall I really enjoyed the unit and staff. I'm not sure if I will be extended an offer because as you said it is completely subjective. However, if I am, a major concern of mine is the training process for new grads. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about this? I read online that it was drastically cut and that new nurses are not prepared properly. During the interview I was told that it's split into four phases, in which the first phase you spend 90 hours with your preceptor. All the phases after that you're pretty much on your own. I feel that 90 hours is not enough to learn the ways of the unit, procedures, documentation, technical skills, etc. I find it a bit odd that they would only allow that much time directly under a preceptor especially since northwestern is a teaching hospital. I would really appreciate it if you would be able to provide any type of feedback. Thank you in advance!
  5. by   iurn86
    I may also have the opportunity to interview and shadow with the SICU at Northwestern. The recruiter explained the focus was on teamwork and overall fit with the unit. I am still unsure of what exactly I can do to ensure a good experience. My game plan is to be confident, ask question, offer assistance and be as hands on as possible.

    If anyone has any other advice about the process in general or specifically in the SICU I would greatly appreciate it.
  6. by   al_e135
    Hey guys!

    I have been trying to find online where new grads apply for Northwestern and I can't seem to find any postings on their website. Do you know what it is under? I am not from the area so I know very little about the process. I know its extremely competitive but I thought I'd apply anyway and see what happens.

  7. by   iurn86
    You need to go to

    Look for staff nurse positions. You are going to have to open each listing and see what the education/experience requirements are.

    Hope this helps.
  8. by   NeuroICU_Sara
    NMH dragging their feet in the interview process?? Not so shocking. I worked there for five years and still have many nursing contacts throughout the hospital. I did hear that they cut the orientation period for new grads which I find quite scary. It's not a bad place to work in comparison to other local hospitals.
  9. by   fnazir
    Thank you for your input... yes I find it quite scary too. Sadly there really aren't that many options in Chicago for new grads right now...
  10. by   netglow
    They are looking to maximize income and have been cutting staff. I have heard about the bad situation for new hires too. Looks like they are setting themselves up for some bad clinical outcomes pretty soon now.
  11. by   BalmerRN
    I want to be very clear on the "orientation" process at Northwestern. You get one day of hospital-wide orientation (HR stuff), one day of clinical orientation (pumps, high risk drugs, blood draw order) and then SEVEN shifts on your unit (84 hours). That is it. After that, you will work in the buddy system with your preceptors but they are carrying their own load of patients so it isn't like you can connect with them all the time for questions. Yes, you can reach out to other staff and they are generally responsive, but you are alone.

    I've been through this process and it is not for the faint of heart--I ended-up switching out of my ICU to a gen med/surg at my request. I left because, while they were trying to encourage me and get me excited, I just felt unsafe as a new grad: I just got this license and I don't need to get myself in a bad situation and lose my license.

    So, for new grads--and Northwestern is scooping them up by the truck load--think really hard about how much you want to work on that particular unit.
  12. by   fnazir
    Thank you for clarifying this topic. I didn't get the position in the HF/pulmonary unit, but to be honest I was relieved because I felt extremely uncomfortable with the training process. It's kind of shocking that they would be applying the same training process to an ICU setting for new grads. I'm glad you made the decision that was best for you
  13. by   JaimeeRN
    I got the job on the heart failure/pulmonary unit in January. The interview process was super long.. It was even longer than the orientation! There seem to be a good amount of new grads, not too many on my floor but lots on other floors. If anyone applies to NMH, beware that the orientation is quite short and stressful, but once you get acclimated, it's a great place to work. All the nurses are super helpful. Team work is a major theme on my floor. Love that this is the unit, I ended up on.
  14. by   cita
    I just had an interview on a unit at northwestern. I am a new grad that has about 11 years of military medical experience. The interview over the phone with HR and with the nurse managers felt as though it went amazingly well. They did not ask me to come and shadow though. Is it typical of Northwestern to ask a new grad to shadow before hire? Did I miss something? I am fairly pregnant right now, which always dampers any situation, I did disclose this information in the interview as I am very obviously pregnant, but hoped it would not affect my opportunity for employment. I'm guessing that it may have (or I am just being overly concerned). Any guidance from those who have interviewed and been hired would be greatly appreciated! I really want this position as it is my dream job. Thank-you!