May 25, '12 by not.done.yet Guide
L&D has one of the lowest turnover rates of any specialty. As such, available openings to a new graduate nurse are few and far between and highly contended for.
The times that internships post usually are twice a year with start dates in January and June. This means they post in March/April and October/November respectively and in the DFW area most are filled prior to graduation happening. I have seen where an internship opening posts for only a few hours due to the massive number of applications recieved. The only places I have seen post L&D internships in the last year are Baylor (BSN only), Parkland and THR in the HEB area. These followed the traditional January/June start dates. Obviously the start dates for June are already filled.
Commonly these high demand placements are filled by applicants who already worked in the hospital through school or by someone who has a connection on the inside. Getting attention as an online unknown applicant is nigh to impossible. There are only a few things that will make your resume stand out:
1. Working as a tech in women's health through school.
2. Leadership positions, such as class officer or officer of a nursing related club, such as the Student Nurse Association, either at local, state or national level.
3. GPA. For a few places this matters. UTSW would not consider applicants with less than a 3.0. For most places, however, it doesn't matter at all or is pushed aside when someone has an inside connection. The power of a personal recommendation by someone who matters to the person doing the hiring (meaning coming from someone they know and whose judgement they trust) cannot be overstated. Employers want someone who is a good fit to the team and who is likely to stay and not waste their resources. Thus even someone with a poorer GPA will be chosen over a star studded student if the poorer GPA person has been tagged as a "good investment" by someone in the know. You'll hear a lot of "unfair!" outcry over this practice, but when looked at logically it makes sense. You can't grade someone's ability to get along with others.
Do not waste your time applying only to L&D positions. Apply everywhere. You will have a far easier time getting into your specialty of choice if you have a year of acute care experience under your belt. The longer you remain unemployed the less employable you become. You have picked a specialty in which literally hundreds are also wanting to go into. In this economy few actually get to. I wish you the best of luck.
Last edit by not.done.yet on May 25, '12