How To Get a Job As a New Grad Nurse - page 2

by hakunamatataRN 140,800 Views | 54 Comments

Alright new grads, I am a straight shooter and a bit of a cynic (I like to call myself a realist, personally) – but that is possibly why I scored myself an RN job with a residency, before I graduated, on the floor that I wanted... Read More


  1. 1
    enlightening article, thank you for sharing i shall pass it along to those new grads. i come in contact with....aloha~
    jtmarcy12 likes this.
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    I agree with everything this article says and have been trying to tell my cohorts the same thing. I'm graduating in mid June and have had my profile up with all of the major hospitals in my area since March, attaching cover letters and recommendation letters to it and applying for everything that even closely matches what I am capable of doing probably since spring break. But I also know that in the current economy and culture of BSN, BSN, BSN, I have to do whatever it takes to stand out...including busting on up into nurse managers offices armed with a resume and big smile!

    I've been using this time not so much to secure a job, but learn what managers want and learn what positions I can realistically secure. For example, because I cold called a nurse manager in the ER of the facility where I am doing my spring practicum, I found out that its a waste of my time to even apply to ER jobs without having either experience or having gone through their internship program...that kind of information isn't listed in the job posting and continuing to apply and getting rejected because a computer automatically kicks me out due to having an ADN instead of a BSN is just mental torture. So I'm focusing on the areas and managers that I think I have the best chance with...MED/SURG!!! This is where new grads should begin and where I know I have the best chance of getting a job...I've been pulling in favors from old coworkers, past classmates, and even current instructors because I don't have the luxury of being picky. Like the author, I have also been living off of student loans and just want to get out there and do what I know I am called to do...be an excellent nurse!! It only takes one manager who believes in me, likes me, and is willing to take a chance on me for this to happen...but it takes me putting myself out there and selling what I have to offer first!
  3. 0
    wish i read this sooner! i was one of the ones that sent out hundreds and hundreds of online applications. generic cover letters..etc.

    in the end, it worked out for me. but it was tough. landed some interviews but nothing pulled through until 1 month ago. finally landed a job!

    this advice was great though. some of the best advice yet!
  4. 1
    Quote from acp0041
    So I'm focusing on the areas and managers that I think I have the best chance with...MED/SURG!!! This is where new grads should begin and where I know I have the best chance of getting a job.
    Smart cookie! You're on the right path. This is exactly what I did too. When I started nursing school I really wanted to work in the NICU after graduation, but by the time I was finishing up I realized that (1) it might not be too wise to specialize so soon, (2) I started to like my med-surg clinical in my last semester, particularly in the sense that I could see how much of a foundation I would get as a new nurse, and (3) I needed a job ASAP, and this was my best chance of getting one. I know I won't be in med-surg forever (then again, one never knows) but I can invest 2 years at least in my hospital before moving on elsewhere. That's my plan.
    SlightlyHumerus likes this.
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    Wow! This is such an informative post! Thanks for bringing this up... Now I'm enlightened to exert more effort with my job hunting... I got my RN license Dec. 2011, I've been taking things slowly...which I think is a bad idea! Because as days go by it made me realize that it's tough out there especially for nurses without experience. Good luck to all new grad nurses!
  6. 0
    I love this post! You are a go getter, like I like to belive of myself as well! I will be done RN school in Nov, and definitely already have my spidy senses up about employment. I am one of those L&D lovers, so I will be laying it on thick when we hit that floor, but I am keeping the options way open. I feel like go for what you want, as my computer background reads, "Choose to Shine." Thanks for the tips
  7. 1
    Thanks for the advice, I found it very useful, now to see how well it works
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
  8. 2
    thank you for this article!

    I am currently preparing to apply to accelerated BSN programs (already have a BA), and currently work as a social worker. My job is to assist unemployed or underemployed people find work...

    and this article basically sums up all the suggestions I give my job-seeking clients.

    Finding work is a full time job and there are some age-old tips that truly never fail, all of which you have mentioned here:

    1. Network - talk to your professors, mentors, classmates, clinical coworkers and insructors

    2. Volunteer - for many nurses or son-to-be nurses this "volunteer" experience may come in the form of clinicals, but if you have time, try to branc out into another area that offers volunteering. Currently I volunteer for Hospice, which is a great opportunity to hone bedside manner

    3. Follow Up - As the author mentioned, you absolutely CANNOT just send your resume out into the ether and cross your fingers. Make contact with the specific person in charge of hiring, or have someone put a word in for you. Once you do make contact, continue to follow up with your new contact, as the author spectacularly described (thank you notes, little emails here and there and drop ins to say hello!)

    4. Finally, STAY FOCUSED. The author did a phenomenal job of setting specific goals. Check out the "SMART" goals method, if you need help organizing your employment plan.



    Again, thanks for the article from a nurse's perspective. Being a prospective nurse and a current "Job Developer/Employment Specialist," i wholeheartedly agree
    parker86 and Irinauer like this.
  9. 0
    Thanks for the post! I'm still amazed at the number of my classmates that are shocked when I tell them that its going to be difficult getting a job when we graduate. This is especially disturbing when you look at the amount of work we have put in, not only to get into the program, but to stay in the program. I tell them that they need to start looking now and I just receive a bunch of blank stares. I tell them that they NEED to be working in HEALTH CARE, just to get the experience and to have a foot in the door. I then realized that I should quit trying to motivate them, as they could end up being my competition. May the most proactive nursing student get the job!
  10. 3
    Another idea - for those of you in saturated job markets - let your school know of the problems you are having in getting a job. Contact the administration especially. Perhaps they should not be graduating so many nurses when those before them aren't employed?
    JeanettePNP, jtmarcy12, and nstudent16 like this.


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