I am nursing student in southern New Mexico and will graduate on December 15, 2012. I am looking for an entry level position in L&D and am starting to apply to the local hospitals. Most of the hospitals in the area have online applications but I plan sending/handing in a personalized cover letter and my resume directly to who-ever is responsible for hiring the nursing staff.
I was told to contact the 'Director of Nursing' in my desired unit. Is that correct? Is the Director of Nursing of each unit in charge of hiring new nursing staff?
Also, how do I find out who the director is? They are not listed on the website and I am apprehensive about calling the hospital switchboards (When you call the switchboard and ask for L&D, they transfer you to the reception desk).
Please, help! I would like to seem like I have some idea of what I am doing when I contact my prospective employer.
Thank you in advance your input!!
Nov 27, '12
Hello, and welcome to Allnurses!
Most hospitals hire new grads into special new grad programs or internships, especially for highly specialized areas like OB and L&D. You really needed to start applying for these back in early October, because in many areas across the U.S., a new grad program is the only way most hospitals will hire new grad nurses.
Nurse managers go by different titles: unit manager, director of nurses, chief nursing officer, director of clinical services, etc. To ensure your letter gets to a somewhat appropriate person, I would make it attention to the 'nurse manager in charge of women's services.'
Good luck to you!
Nov 27, '12
I really wish you well. It is tremendously hard to apply for a job these days.
Used to be you walked into HR (Personnel) and filled out a paper application, got to have an interview on the spot with the hiring Nurse Manager (Head Nurse of the particular area you wanted to work in). LOL
Now HR holds all the power. Usually, you must fill out your app online and do that from home or a public computer if you don't have a home one. HR will then tell you, if you call to follow up a few days later, that they don't have the time or manpower to check the status of your app, they will call you if you are needed, and basically you should go take a hike.
One HR person actually admitted that she holds app back when she gets "too many" for any position! She will give to the hiring Nurse Manager only those applications falling inside a certain time frame- like, for instance, the ones received in November 1 - 15, (and containing the magic words chosen for this particular position).
Maybe other people don't find the process overwhelming, daunting, and fraught with so much ^(**+=_(&@@#$% that they are tempted to just go fishing. I hope you have a nice easy time of it and get to work in your dream area.
As far as writing a letter, just call the ward and ask for the name of the Nurse Manager and then write away!
Nov 28, '12
good luck its possible! former grad from my class got a position in L&D, therefore i know its possible keep applying and networking!
Nov 28, '12
I an a fairly recent CNA and Phlebotomy grad. After numerous contacts with HR and being told that I lack the clinical experience (how do you get it without working, hospital or LTC) I applied for a position as a radiology transport staff. When my wife was in getting a CT scan, I asked the person at the front desk who the hiring manager was for the department. I got the name. I contacted him and asked how the hiring process was going. He told me he hadn't gotten any apps from HR. I gave him my name and number and he said he was going to have my app pulled and get me in for an interview. This was a day ago and I will be following up in a day or so.
Got to the floor/section where you want to work and ask for the name of the hiring manager for that unit and call them and let them know you applied. You can't count on HR to get your app in front of them. I honestly believe that they are more impressed with someone who makes the effort to contact them personally than just waiting or the call.
Nov 28, '12
Kooky is correct - the only 'door' into hospital employment these days is through HR, and that is most via on-line applications. There are a number of reasons for this. In the current environment, the amount of nursing applicants vastly outnumbers the actual jobs available. HR departments are coping with fewer staff - just like all other departments. However, they are still responsible for complying with Federal laws that govern the hiring process in the US. (They have to keep detailed records of their employment processes & turn in annual reports that indicate their compliance with all the Federal regs.) It is just physically impossible to manage the huge volumes of nursing applications by hand - - so for most employers, an online system is the only feasible way to manage the application process.
Despite how widespread the "on-line applications only" practice is, most of these applications are just C**P!! I know how awful they are to navigate & how frustrating it is to spend (literally) hours trying to figure out how to apply for multiple positions or attach your cover letter/resume. YEEESH! If you find this to be true, make a call to the HR department and talk to them about it. There may be something wrong with the system that they didn't know about.
For goodness sake, do not do any 'cold calls' on hiring managers - trying to just drop by and give them your resume. They can get into real trouble if they do not adhere to HR rules... because failure to do so puts the organization at risk for Federal law violations. They are also super-busy and don't have the time to stop and socialize. If you try to do this, you will only come across as someone who has an inappropriate sense of your own self-importance/entitlement... guaranteed to turn off the hiring manager.
I wish I had pearls of wisdom that would be more helpful.
Nov 28, '12
Thank you all for your input!!
Nov 28, '12
so what do you all suggest? continue filling out online apps that just go straight to a pile of other apps that are never seen? i've been doing that for a few months now to no avail. i am a new grad, graduated in august and have yet to even land an interview bc my apps are just stuck in the dustpile with everyone else's.
do you suggest CALLING nurse managers? what can we do to get a leg up from all these applicants? it seems hopeless.
Nov 29, '12
Some of our successful applicants were really impressive during their clinical time. Others have connected with us through our professional organization or from one of the certification classes that we offer. I agree with HouTx that you run the risk of coming across the wrong way if you visit a manager or director who doesn't know you.
These are tough things to think through. It's stressful and very easy to become discouraged. I wish you the best of luck though!
Nov 30, '12
By finding out the managers name for the unit (radiology transport) I applied to just to get my foot in the door, I have an interview on Monday. It's a per deim position but its better than sitting on my rear and getting nowhere. I agree with not dropping in on them cold but if a phone call is made and introducing yourself, it shows some interest on your part. I did a follow up call and found out the recruiter has been out for 2 weeks and hasn't done anything with any apps for the position. the manager found someone in HR that got him the info he needed and called me in. Old school techniques combined with the modern era of applying work. You have to be persistent to get the position you want.
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