Hello all this is my first post here and I am optimistic by nature as I find it is more effective than being pessimistic!
so fyi the following post is positive
if you want to be discouraged
look elsewhere please.
I live in Worcester, MA. I started in the profession as a CNA and worked my way through nursing school and have been working as an LPN in LTC/rehab & sub-acute for the past 3 yrs. I actually have 4 jobs at the moment and am in the process of trying to help my unemployed friend who is thinking of moving here from Boston because she has had no luck there. Given there are approx 58 nursing centers within a 20mi. radius of Worc. I am optimistic I can get her in somewhere. Most jobs do not advertise openings so that being said I would like to offer advice to job hunters out there, the following things have always gotten me a job.
1. Create a good resume with references of not only people you've worked for but also people you've worked with who can describe your work ethic. If your experience is not nursing (ie. new grad) try and emphasize skills you may have that will cross over. Sell yourself- (but don't give the impression you can pull off a position you know you are not qualified for ie. I personally am not management material, just not my strength.)
2.Make a list of every facility that could potentially hire you that is close enough for your commute. Call them and find out the name of the person who you need to send your resume to, make sure you ask them if they're hiring. If they are not hiring email them your resume with a cover letter addressed to whoever you with prior saying " I spoke with you on this date I am aware you have no staffing needs at this time I appreciated your time in reviewing my resume please keep it on file in case yours needs change." Most places keep resumes on file at least one year, and if they need staff will hire someone from within that pool. Your goal is that the hiring person remembers you as respectful and friendly.
3.If they are hiring say " I would like to come in and drop off my resume is there anyone available to meet with me today/tomorrow/this week, if so what day/time is convenient?". If they block you with "send us your resume no one is available", both mail and email your resume to the appropriate person and follow up in 3 days and re-attempt to get an interview. Be flexible- even if you need part or full time and they don't have that still offer per-diem. Almost all positions get filled in house so the important thing is to get your foot in the door.
4. Paperwork to have: BLS/CPR cert., IV cert always a plus, a copy of your vaccination records, a physical that clears you to work, the TB test they will do usually, and most important your LPN or RN license and ID.
5. On your interview dress nicely, not too sexy, you want to be relaxed but professional in demeanor. A good smile with eye contact plus a friendly firm handshake is very effective. Watch your language you need to sound professional, educated but not too stiff take your cue from their personality whether they are outgoing or reserved. It is equally important to be likable as it is to be qualified. Do your homework know something about the place are they non profit, are they affiliated with a religious group? Have they been recently renovated if so compliment it. Don't talk to much let your interviewer set the pace. After the initial small talk, they'll get into their needs be ready to explain how you can meet them. Decide before the interview your needs ie. pay and length of orientation. Don't bring those up until after they've "warmed up" to you and you can sense they are interested in hiring you. Ask their pay rate, if it is acceptable just smile and say that it seems fair to you. If it is too low say $19 mention your prev job paid you $25 they may counter with $23 and you should probably accept that. If you are inexperienced per diem is your best bet as per diem rates are usually set rates where as staff positions salaries are usually experience based. For orientation if you have 1 yr or more relevant experience you'll probably be fine with 3-7 days of orientation. If you are a new grad you will probably need at least 14 days of orientation. If they are stingy about it ask if at the end of your orientation if you could have it extended if need be by a few days. Ask about staff to patient ratio. Ie. on 11-7 you might have 45 patients, 2 CNAs and no other nurses. If this strictly LTC that might be just fine, if this is rehab or sub-acute that might be brutal. and At the end of this interview a lot of places will say pending your CORI checks out they would like to hire you and will set you up with orientation dates. If they instead say thank you for coming in we'll get back to you, be gracious, thank them for meeting with you. If they don't get back to you follow up in 1 week to see what happened. Unfortunately that interview is where most hires happen. If you do not get hired then likely you won't be. **but always leave them remembering you well- it's a small world nursing your reputation really travels**
6. So if you are still job hunting go back to your list from step 2. Keep notes on your list including who contacted and dates you spoke with them. It helps in follow up letters if you can say I spoke with you on such and such date about such and such. They get hundreds of resumes/ phone calls. You want to help them remember you. On your list mark off places as you contact them ie. not hiring/ resume sent, interviewed but didn't get position etc.
7. If you have no success with every single nursing facility in the area, try temp agencies. Take into consideration time of year. Very few extra hours are available before Christmas because people pick up extra time then. A lot of places have people going on vacation throughout the summer and are more likely to hire per diem staff in that time period and before it to cover those shifts.
**well as this post is an hour of my life that I can't get back
I hope that this is helpful to some of you**
good luck to all my fellow nurses!