Which experience would a hiring manager find more appealing from a new grad?

  1. Hello, I am in my last semester of nursing school and have found myself in an interesting situation. Upon graduating, I will be moving to a large city as part of a relocation for my spouse's job. Great for him, but that market is saturated with graduate nurses. It would appear that my chances for immediate employment after graduation may be bleak.

    We are coming from a small town, where I have had 320 hours of experience as a student extern at a regional hospital in a level IV ICU performing direct patient care, able to participate in codes and all.

    For my senior preceptorship, I need to complete another 180 hours. I have two choices: 1) continue to work in the Level IV ICU, or 2) I have also been given the opportunity to work at a much larger teaching hospital with a level I unit...but in hemotology/oncology. They are nationally recognized in oncology, but I am not interested in that specialty. And while it may seem that level I is obvious, I have compared my experience with students from level I and I have found that my experiences/skills set have a wider range at the smaller hospital...

    I loved the ICU, but at the end of the day will it make a difference if hiring managers are unimpressed by my having worked at a small institution?

    So back to my original question, as I don't have much longer before I must decide on a unit: Small level IV hospital's ICU, lots to experience (everything from critical setting, total care patients, codes, postmortem care, etc.)


    Large level I teaching hospital's hemotology/oncology unit

    Any advice is welcomed. It may be that it is more obvious to the outsider, which is why I decided to create this post. No one else seems to want to sway me in any particular way. I want sway! : )

    Also, I am ACLS and PALS certified, Sigma Theta Tau inductee, and a state nursing association board member. What else can/should I do to get my foot in the door of a larger hospital in a saturated market? I'll do it!
  2. Poll: Where should I work for my preceptorship?

    • Small, Level IV, ICU

      100.00% 2
    • Large, teaching, Level I, Hemotology/Oncology unit

      0% 0
    2 Votes
  3. Visit okranurse profile page

    About okranurse

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 78; Likes: 19


  4. by   okranurse
    UPDATE: so now I am waiting on a different potential preceptorship for the level I institution. Apparently, my potential preceptor in onc. will be on too long of a vacation for me to complete my hours there by deadline. Instead, as luck would have it, I will be moved to a critical care unit. That answers that then. : )

    Ummm, altho I am pretty curious about the disinterest in my topic. I genuinely needed advice. : /
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from okranurse
    Ummm, altho I am pretty curious about the disinterest in my topic. I genuinely needed advice. : /
    Your post received approximately 74 views over the past couple of days.

    I would not perceive the lack of response as a lack of interest. Perhaps many people did not know how to answer your question because not every nurse has gone through a preceptorship. Personally, I have never gone through one as a student or as a nurse, so I would not have been able to advise you. However, this does not mean that I was uninterested.

    Good luck to you!
  6. by   CrufflerJJ
    I work ICU, so, of course, I chose to vote ICU.

    The title of your post is "
    Which experience would a hiring manager find more appealing from a new grad?"

    If you were applying for an ICU slot, then externing in an ICU would be great experience that might give you a "leg up" on the competition for an ICU job.

    If, however, the large hospital (offering a Hem/Onc preceptorship) will be hiring lots more nurses when you graduate, you should probably take the 320 hours ICU time that you already possess, and move on to any sort of position in the larger hospital.

    In a tight job market, some hospitals will not consider "external" candidates for job openings. By doing your preceptorship in the larger hospital, you might be able to make contacts (even in other departments) that could help you land a job. If you could work as a part time extern in the larger hospital, that would be even better. That way, you've got experience as an employee in that hospital.
  7. by   tewdles
    As a hiring manager I am interested in the assessment skills of the nurses I hire. I am looking for nurses who can think critically and practice autonomously.

    There are a variety of practice backgrounds that I would consider in hiring a new nurse.
  8. by   okranurse
    Thanks to you all for providing the feedback. I waited patiently for the new unit assignment at the level I institution, but it was taking way too long--we are supposed to be starting next week. Instead, I called my old contacts and have opted for the level IV ICU. I am looking at this in a positive way, since I will have 500 total hours of direct patient care in an ICU before graduation. Hopefully, that will help in applying for jobs?

    Luckily, I opted for the backup, because I recently found out that all remaining preceptors had been assigned to smaller nursing programs! So I could have been left with no one. Not very professional of the hospital to potentially put me in this position, but I see it as a win for me, since I know I will be happy in my current unit.

    Thanks again!