There seem to be so many "do's and do not's" when it comes to writing a resume and cover letter so I am wondering if anyone can help me with a straight answer? I am switching careers from a paralegal to a nurse and I just received my ADN 2 weeks ago. I am trying to sell myself to a Magnet hospital, which hires mainly BSN nurses. Because I already have a BS in Criminal Justice I am able to do a bridge program which allows me to "bridge" over from ADN straight to MSN (with a few BSN courses along the way).
In order for me to get the point across to the Magnet hospitals that I am planning on continuing my education to MSN, I want to put it on my cover letter. By doing so I am hoping that they do not automatically write me off as not having enough education for their organization. Is this acceptable?
It's tough trying to get this correct and really sell myself, especially with a career change and trying to get into hospitals that state "Bachelor's preferred" on their job postings. Any help or advice is appreciated!
Dec 23, '12
Yes it is entirely approprite to put in coverletter your plans for continuing education via MSN completion program.
Dec 25, '12
While many may view your desire to further your ed to an MSN as admirable, some may consider it a negative. They may view you as one who will be priortorizing your school activities as your PRIMARY focus and that your job committment is secondary. Like, are you really not feeling well or did you have some school activity to address because you called out/cancelled a sched shift???
And down the road, will your facility have any Master positions avail for you or will they be expecting you to up & leave for greener pastures as you approach school's finish?
While they CANNOT legally question you about your family responsibilities pre-hire, they CAN THINK about it. And not knowing how you will be able to juggle job, school and family may leave them questions.
If I can think of these issues, a recruiter certainly can also. In fact, I've read these concerns expressed here on AN in various other posts. Nothing new.
You've got a touchy situation here. Maybe if you're very, very, very careful how you word your future plans, you'll be OK. Personally, I think further education is a positive, but in today's job market...
Dec 26, '12
I'm in the same boat and I've included my future plans for a MSN in my cover letter. Just be careful how its worded!
Dec 27, '12
I'm with amoLucia -- this is a dicey situation. Wanting to further your education/knowledge/skills is generally considered a good thing, but you don't want to give the impression to a potential employer that you are just "passing through" on your way to someplace else (i.e., you don't want to talk about an education/career goal that is not what they do). Also, it's a good idea to talk about further education as a vague, longer-term goal, rather than something you're going to be doing now, at the same time you're working for them, because they can easily decide they would prefer a candidate who isn't going to be dividing her/his time and priorities between the job and school. Tread carefully ...
Feb 9, '13
Thank you all for the feedback....it is ironic that the responses validate my question exactly! Basically, I have concluded that there is no yes or no answer to this question. I have just started sending out my resume & cover letter so I have not had the chance to determine if including the continuing education desire has hurt or helped.
It is stated, "I am very eager to advance my nursing career with (insert name of medical system). I also aspire to earn a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, which can promote your team’s continued growth and enhancement."
Again, I did not want to sound like I wanted to work for the organization for my own personal gain, although it is a perk! This specific medical system is extremely large and, if hired by them, I plan on being a "lifer". I would easily be able to relocate to different areas within the same organization. Therefore, even though continuing my education would ultimately benefit me, I also have no desire to "job hop" after the fact.
Thanks again for the feedback!!
Feb 11, '13
The fact remains that there are relatively few MSN-required positions in acute care nursing other than in management roles. Hiring managers would be very reluctant to hire someone that did not appear to be worth the training investment that is required for new grads. Clinical managers have to cope with enormous stress on a continuous basis - a large portion of it is due to financial constraints. They would definitely not be interested in using their department's labor budget to 'prep' a nurse to advance into another department, even if it is with the same organization.
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