What can I do to be more appealing to recruiters?

  1. Hi, all. I've been frequenting this site for some time now, 1st time poster... I am 30 years old and a first year nursing student. (Took a few years off to enjoy my babies.) I have been studying pregnancy and childbirth on my own for several years now and love it! I understand the argument that it is better to have med-surg experience before going into OB, and I'm willing to do that if need be, but what can I do right now to make myself more appealing to an L&D or OB/GYN nurse-manager when I graduate? I am trying to get into the L&D dept as a nurse intern at the hospital I currently work at but the chances are slim-to-none. Are there any professional organizations I should join ?AWHONN? Should I get certified in NRP or fetal monitoring ahead of time, or is that generally done after someone is hired? I thought about getting my doula certification, but my time is very limited already with being a wife, mom, student, employee...Thanks in advance for all the advice.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   bubbly
    Hi! I just graduated in May and while I am not an L&D nurse, some of my classmates were able to get into that nursing field. My only advice is that while in nursing school, try to keep your grades up (3.0 is the standard GPA recruiters look for although some hospitals don't care) and keep trying to get a spot as an extern in L&D while in nursing school. You can try talking to the L&D nurse managers at the hospital you currently work at. Another good idea is trying to get connections during your L&D clinical rotations and making a great impression on the L&D nurses so that they remember you and can give you advice in getting in or make recommendations for you. Certifications like NRP are usually done through the hospital after you get hired so I wouldn't recommend taking it now. Getting hired usually comes down to the interview process. Most new grads don't have experience working in specialty areas like L&D. I think recruiters will like you based on your enthusiasm and passion to work in L&D. Make sure to start applying to these hospitals early in your last semester of school and try to get a chance to go to all the career fairs where you can personally talk to the recruiters and hopefully L&D nurse managers. Good luck with school and balancing your family and work at the same time!
  4. by   CEG
    I am a new grad who got an L & D job with no real issue. I have doula experience, got certified in NRP, and am completing lactation educator certification. I was able to put all of those things on my resume and I got several calls for interviews in L & D and my choice of jobs (of course I do live in a major metro area with a lot of options).

    My GPA was around 3.5 but to be honest I didn't put it on my resume, nor did anyone ask what it was. One hospital did ask for a transcript but I don't know how much it matters.

    I expressed enthusiam, flexibilty (ALL of the jobs were FT nights, so to say I only wanted days or PT would have counted me out), and was somewhat aggressive- I e-mailed nurse recruiters, called them, got myself introduced to them in the hospitals where I was doing clinicals, got to know the nurse managers, etc. If there were no jobs listed in L & D I applied for mother/baby, maternal child float pool, nursery, etc. I then made a point in my interview to say that I was open to cross-training in L & D. Also, go to all the career fairs you can. Get to know a recruiter now and tell them you will be applying in May of XX. Get their card and e-mail them a couple of months before you apply to see what is available.

    Also, I would stress applying early. I graduated in May and I started applying about the middle of March. I was one of the earliest to apply in my class- but I also got called back by almost everywhere I applied. Many of my classmates waited and all of the new grad positions were full by the time they were applying.
  5. by   Miriam57RN
    I aspired toward L&D during nursing school and did an independent study which included some clinical work in L&D. When I applied at a large urban medical center, I didn't apply for L&D... however I did tell all who interviewed me that it was my goal. In this hospital, GYN, Peds, NBN, NICU, and L&D were all part of a service (for Woman and Children) separate from other areas of the hospital... so they put me in GYN which had medical (especially GYN oncology and PID cases) and GYN surgical patients. I worked there less than a year then transferred to a peds unit, where I worked for a year and a half. Meanwhile, I got to know the L&D nurse manager and was given a transfer there. This L&D hired new grads also, but I was the one who always took on the high-risk patients which included diabetics, asthmatics, hypertensive patients, sickle cell, etc. It was a tertiary level center. I stayed on that unit for close to 5 years. So one idea is to get your foot in the door through one of these other units, while making your goals known.

    After a while when I wanted to vary my experience, I worked on a med-surg unit and also in ICU, and other types of nursing later on. While I was working L&D, I applied for and was accepted into a CNM program, but shortly after my husband and I were expecting a child so I put it on the back burner. Years later, I no longer have an interest in becoming a CNM but have other goals now. But I know that L&D/ midwifery fever.. believe me. I think a lot of it got out of my system when I had a wonderful home birth... one of the pinnacles of my life in fact... and it was a VBAC.
    Last edit by Miriam57RN on Oct 8, '07
  6. by   aspiringcnm
    Just want to thank you all for the encouraging advice!
  7. by   PattonD
    From what I have learned in a short amount of time doing research in L&D it's not getting a job that is difficult, it's keeping one.

    If the rest of the crew doesn't think you are pulling your share of the work load they will force you off the team.

    I would stress the fact that you want to learn from others. Be sure you don't come across as a know-it-all.

    Be willing to work on your days off to help out the unit.

    When asked to doing something, MOVE IMMEDIATELY and QUICKLY. Nurses really really hate lazy co-workers.
  8. by   eandgsma
    I'm in my last semester of RN school and I have aspired to work in L&D upon graduation since before starting RN school. I just went (today!) for my second interview for a New Grad position in L&D. I first went to doula training 9 years ago. Then I got my CLE (Lactation Educator) and worked in that field at a local women's hospital for 1.5 years. Decided to go to RN school, 6 years later I'm graduating. In January I applied for an RN extern position and was hired for the High Risk OB floor. In June I transferred to the L&D extern position where I remain. From what I'm told...externs are 99% of the time hired for New Grad positions. I would look at L&D intern/extern positions NOW. You might want to apply for an OB Tech job if you can't get an intern/extern position. Anything to get your foot in the door. Call the RN recruiter, find out who the manager is and forward your resume to keep on hand. Anything to get your name in there.

    Good luck!

    - N
  9. by   MamaMadge
    Definitely OB tech or OB intern is a great way to get your foot in the door. Also, do you speak any second languages? In No. California, we have a very diverse population, so being bilingual has always given me an advantage. I think enthusiasm and persistence will go along way as well! Good luck!

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