Hiring Process for a Large Hospital

  1. 0
    Ok, here is the situation:

    I applied for my dream job online at a large-ish hospital about a week ago. A nurse recruiter from HR called me on Monday to set up an interview for me with the nurse manager. So, I go in for my interview the next day, the recruiter takes me to the unit and is told by the nurse manager that she doesn't need the recruiter to be there for the interview. The nurse manager and I have our interview, it goes great, she talks to me about the schedule and says she can't actually hire me, that HR technically has to hire me. Introduces me to people on the unit, gives me a little tour, and says she looks forward to seeing me again but that I'd hear from HR first.

    An hour goes by. I get the emails from HR saying the manager wants me to "continue on to the next step in the interview process" - that I need to complete a background check and drug screen, and a document about the dress code policy is included.

    Then I get a call from the recruiter telling me about the emails, and asking me if I have any letters of recommendation. Well, I had a couple nurses say they would write letters for me, but they haven't gotten around to it and I figured it wouldn't matter because I thought technically they'd end up calling your references anyways. So I told her I had some clinical evaluations and she said "oh that's great!"

    So my question: does it sound like I am being offered the job contingent on my drug screen, background and references check being completed?

    Or, am I still in competition with others at this point and HR will choose between us? You'd think if that were the case that HR would have sat in for the interview, right?

    I want to know because there are other jobs (at the same hospital) that I could be applying to, but I don't want to give them the impression that I'm still looking for something better (because there isn't anything better).

    Should I call/email the recruiter and ask? I don't want to bother her because I know they're busy anyways.

    Thanks!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I would not assume or count on anything until they make a formal job offer. Employers are funny these days -- it's often a long, rocky road to the point of actually getting a job, and lots of people who thought they were "in" end up disappointed.

    If I were in that situation, I would continue applying for other positions that interest me. Big employers are used to people applying for multiple positions. And I would not call the recruiter -- the employer has a process, and, however quickly or slowly they move, they're following their process.

    Good luck!!
    Meriwhen and ricki76 like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you so much for the advice! Actually, a few hours after I wrote this I found out that I did in fact get the job! So relieved...I am a new grad and this is my first experience with this whole process.
  5. 0
    Congratulations! I am also a new grad and went through a similar process as you, got a tour, was introduced, etc., but 2 weeks later they call me to say they decided to go with someone else. I was so sure I had the job because my interview went well and I thought I answered the questions intelligently; I was soooo heartbroken, and I still don't think I am completely over it. May I ask for pointers on what you did to land the job? Did you have prior experience as a CNA or LVN? It seems like a lot of new grads with some kind of hospital experience have more of an edge. I really want to start out in a new grad program, but at this point (almost 3 months of no work) I am willing to take anything RN-related.
  6. 0
    Hello ricki76 may i ask you wich state and hospital did you get an offer from?

    Quote from ricki76
    Ok, here is the situation:

    I applied for my dream job online at a large-ish hospital about a week ago. A nurse recruiter from HR called me on Monday to set up an interview for me with the nurse manager. So, I go in for my interview the next day, the recruiter takes me to the unit and is told by the nurse manager that she doesn't need the recruiter to be there for the interview. The nurse manager and I have our interview, it goes great, she talks to me about the schedule and says she can't actually hire me, that HR technically has to hire me. Introduces me to people on the unit, gives me a little tour, and says she looks forward to seeing me again but that I'd hear from HR first.

    An hour goes by. I get the emails from HR saying the manager wants me to "continue on to the next step in the interview process" - that I need to complete a background check and drug screen, and a document about the dress code policy is included.

    Then I get a call from the recruiter telling me about the emails, and asking me if I have any letters of recommendation. Well, I had a couple nurses say they would write letters for me, but they haven't gotten around to it and I figured it wouldn't matter because I thought technically they'd end up calling your references anyways. So I told her I had some clinical evaluations and she said "oh that's great!"

    So my question: does it sound like I am being offered the job contingent on my drug screen, background and references check being completed?

    Or, am I still in competition with others at this point and HR will choose between us? You'd think if that were the case that HR would have sat in for the interview, right?

    I want to know because there are other jobs (at the same hospital) that I could be applying to, but I don't want to give them the impression that I'm still looking for something better (because there isn't anything better).

    Should I call/email the recruiter and ask? I don't want to bother her because I know they're busy anyways.

    Thanks!
  7. 0
    Quote from ricki76
    Thank you so much for the advice! Actually, a few hours after I wrote this I found out that I did in fact get the job! So relieved...I am a new grad and this is my first experience with this whole process.
    Congratulations, and best wishes for your new adventure!
  8. 3
    thank you!

    @ mnf4ever: i got lucky in that the area i want to go into is med-surg, and i chose to do my senior practicum at the same hospital (though not the same exact floor) as the place i was offered a job. i do have cna experience however it was in long-term care, so while this factored in a bit i think it was mostly the fact that i was already familiar with the hospital and had received recommendation from the nurse manager on my unit from clinicals.

    i built relationships with every nurse i worked with and always mentioned to them my strong desire to work there after i graduated. they put in a good word for me to my nurse manager, and at the end of my rotation i went to her w/ cover letter, resume, and references in hand and asked if they would be hiring any time soon. (note that i did this while at clinical, in scrubs, it's generally not a great idea to cold-approach a nurse manager and "show up" unexpected). she told me they weren't hiring but would keep my resume and call me if something came up.

    so i got my rn, applied to jobs on every other floor at the hospital, and waited. a few days after getting my license i decided to email her and tell her i passed the nclex, got my rn, and would love the opportunity to come back and work for her if she had any openings. i also mentioned that i had applied to a couple other positions on the surgical floor and medical floor at the sister hospital and if she wouldn't mind putting in a good word for me to the other nurse managers. well, a few days later (one week after the job was posted) i got a call to come in for an interview on the surgical floor.

    so really a large part of my success probably had to do with making connections at clinicals, and realizing that even though i might not get a job on the floor i did capstone, by spreading the word around and putting that energy out there, i managed to get in to another floor at the same hospital.

    however, i did have another interview at a completely different hospital 2 days before this all happened and did not use any connections there. it happens to be a smaller hospital (114 beds) and all nurse managers review every single application (vs. hr at the other hospital goes through and screens before sending to the nurse manager). i will find out on monday if i got a job offer from the small hospital, but i have to say i had a great interview and it sounded promising there as well. so you might try smaller hospitals where it's more likely that an actual nurse manager would be reviewing your application, rather than hr.

    general tips:

    don't harrass or call nurse managers/recruiters too frequently. at my interview at the smaller hospital, the nurse manager told me she reviewed all 30 applicants for the job, however one applicant kept calling her every week to see if she received their application, she said after that she threw it out and won't even consider it. so be careful with this. i would recommend having nurses you worked with introduce you to nurse managers, if you haven't already. or find their email somehow. most nurse managers will appreciate email because it doesn't interfere as much with their busy time. however, the nurse manager did tell me that if the applicant had called once, that would have been fine, it was just the repeating calls every week that ruined their shot.

    other than that, it sounds like you had a great interview and were probably one of the top choices. i would make sure to ask at the end of each interview (unless they bring it up) "what is the next step in the hiring process" and "when should i expect to hear back from you?" "can i ask how many other qualified applicants you are considering?" this way you can know sort of where you stand. also, i would definitely take elkpark's advice in that even if an interview went well, don't wait 2 weeks to find out if you get the job, keep applying everywhere you can.

    also, of course, make sure you have a good list of questions to ask at every interview. what is the nurse/patient ratio, general things about the unit, but also ask about what educational/certification/professional development opportunities there are? are nurses involved in the quality care improvement process, are they encouraged to join committees? asking questions like this will tell the manager you are interested in becoming a part of the team and that you will go above and beyond as an employee.

    i never applied to any "new grad program" job, they simply don't have any in my immediate area. in fact, this might be harder to get into as a new grad, because you're competing with others who typically have the same resume as you. everyone has zero nursing experience so you have to find a way to stand out from other new grads. i've noticed that the hospital i got the job at tends to value "fresh blood." so i was competing with others who had way more experience than me, but it's the attitude that counts. if you have a nurse w/ 20 years experience who is burnt-out and wants to only do things their way, would you really choose them over a new nurse who is enthusiastic, excited to learn, and more excited about being a part of a team?

    lastly, i would definitely recommend sending a nice thank-you card via mail to the nurse manager / anyone else you interviewed with. not a reiteration of how amazing you are, just a quick little "thank you again for meeting with me on monday. i am very interested in the position and am so excited for the opportunity to join your team on the ___ unit. have a great week and i look forward to hearing from you!"

    just keep trying, you will get there! always believe in yourself and never give up. the job application process is a true test of patience and determination. don't take it personally if something doesn't work out, it just means it was not right for you and something bigger and better will come along. try to enjoy the time you can before you start working for the rest of your life, i know it's easier said than done. i wish you the best of luck!

    @nadz02rn: i got the offer at a local hospital in oregon in a smallish city. i would not even try getting a job in portland right now, there are six nursing schools and very oversaturated market of new grads. i'm lucky that the town i live in only has one nursing school, and i happened to graduate in december whereas they all graduate in june.
    shiuanshiuan, NRSKarenRN, and lei7 like this.
  9. 0
    Thanks for the info and words of encouragement...I will keep at it. I wish you luck in your new career; you sound like a fantastic nurse!
  10. 0
    Thanks for the reply Ricki76. The job market for new grads is tough everywhere. Congrats and good luck in your new career endeavors.
  11. 0
    Congratulations on your new job and thanks for posting those tips!


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