Strategizing how to become a new-grad Oncology RN. What am I missing?

  1. Hello,

    I'm new to the board and starting nursing school on Monday. I'm very aware of the crazy competitiveness for new-grad positions, and the lack of jobs for new nurses in general. I'm passionate about nursing though and I am not daunted by this. I'm sure it will turn around at some point. I wanted to pursue nursing after personal experiences with cancer in my family. I REALLY want to do whatever it takes to be competitive for new-grad oncology positions.

    Anyways, here are my thoughts so far for becoming the best new-grad Oncology candidate:
    ~Get the best grades I can in school, work incredibly hard and pass the NCLEX.
    ~I've already joined ONS as a student member
    ~Try to get a preceptorship in oncology
    ~Apply for a student oncology scholarship from ONS
    ~Volunteer on an oncology unit (might not be able to w/ my school + workload)
    ~I know I need to network, but that's hard because I don't live in Southern California which is where I want to relocate to after school. Any suggestions for networking/making an impression long distance???
    ~Maybe attend an ONS conference, or see if there are any local ONS chapters in my area??

    Am I missing anything? Are there any certifications or extra classes I could be taken to make me stand out? I know it will be a while before I'm really looking for a job, but I'm strategizing now b/c the job market is so volatile...

    I've been looking at some programs in the LA/Southern California area. University of Southern California, City of Hope, Hoag Hospital seem to have some great new grad oncology programs. Maybe Cedars-Sinai? If anyone has any suggestions regarding good units in LA/Southern California that would be great!

    I look forward to your advice, and thank you in advance!
  2. Visit werkinit profile page

    About werkinit

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 77; Likes: 51
    New Graduate RN Resident; from US
    Specialty: Pediatric Oncology/BMT


  3. by   KeLsRN
    I got into oncology because they were one of the only departments hiring at my hospital. It's really challenging, so you see a lot of turnover in nurses as they burn out, particularly at an inpatient level. That said, it is also very rewarding and a way to learn a lot of skills quickly.

    Your plan sounds good, but I would try to touch base with any and all contacts in CA that you have now, see if you can volunteer on breaks or shadow a nurse, because the job situation in CA is cutthroat. Otherwise, consider alternative locations with the plan of moving to CA after you have a couple years under your belt.
  4. by   werkinit
    Thanks for your response Angie!