If you haven't heard anything within a week of applying, you should be contacting them asking them what the status of your application is. For all you know, there was a technical problem and they never received your application. Making sure they received it is a "nice" way to establish contact and get a little of their attention. While you have their attention, ask them what their timetable is so that you can know when to expect their next communication.
Whenever you have contact with someone filling a job ... always end the conversation with a plan for your next communication. Clarify what the next step is and when you can expect to hear from them. That keeps the conversation open -- or forces them to tell you that the process is finished and they won't be contacting you further.
Thanks so much to both of you for your replies. I haven't applied for a job in over 10 years and just started applying as a new grad at the end of September. I will probably call a few places to follow up. Thanks for the advice!!! It is so frustrating out there!
The hospitals that hired me, all called me less than a week after me applying. Other took months before calling. One place called me about a position, in a different specialty than I applied for. Definitely follow up and show your continued interest.
So you guys think its ok to follow up? I have been wondering about this, b/c it seems like most of the hospitals I've applied to specifically ask you NOT to call or follow-up!
Unless I was specifically told NOT to follow-up (and to be honest, I've never had that happen in many years of job hunting both in and out of nursing), I would call/e-mail once...but once only. I think one attempt to follow-up is OK, but IMO to do it more than that would change your status from "possible candidate" to "pest."