There wasn't a ton of current information on here back in November when many of us were wondering what the New Graduate Nurse Day entailed, so I wanted to add something for next year's participants to use.
First, here was the schedule for the day:
9-9:15: arrive in the Lombardi Center Lobby and meet-and-greet with other applicants and nursing leaders (coffee and tea were served)
9:20-10:30: various briefings in the Gorman Auditorium. These included remarks by the Chief Nursing Officer and information on characteristics of a GUH nurse, benefits, educational opportunities, and introductions of nurse leaders for each clinical area.
10:30-11:30: we broke up by unit and went to our respective clinical areas for a tour and Q&A session
11:30-1:00: lunch at the Leavy Conference Center (a new nurse who started the program last fall sat with us and answered questions)
1:00-5:00: back to the unit for interviews (you leave when your interview is over, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be there until 5:00)
Each participant was officially allowed one interview only, in a clinical area that had to be selected prior to New Grad Day. I would estimate there were probably 150 interviewees total, and the most competitive units seemed to be L&D, peds, and SICU. My nurse leader didn't know how many available slots she had on her floor, but other units apparently did (or were able to estimate). I would say it's really important for a future candidate to carefully weigh which clinical areas have the best odds. If all you care about is getting a job at GUH, research the least popular units. If your priority is clinical area rather than hospital, arrive knowing the competition is stiff and prepare as such.
For the actual interview, it depended on the unit. My interview consisted of sitting in the nurse manager’s office and chatting—no pressure, really pleasant. According to other candidates, though, other units did the panel interviews with questions. I would definitely recommend preparing a lot of behavioral/situational answers (such as “Tell me about a time when you had to make a split second decision” and the like). Think of scenarios for every possible “Tell me…” question so you don’t have to sit there and hem and haw while you think. A good technique for answering such questions is the STAR-L format: tell them the SITUATION, tell them what your TASK was, tell them what you did (ACTION), tell them the RESULT, and finish by telling them what you LEARNED. Even though I didn’t have any of these questions, I prepared using this method and went feeling really confident. It helped calm my nerves to prepare for the worst-case interview scenario. J
I did notice that many of the other attendees participated in the 10-week summer internship GUH offers for nursing students. This year it is June 10th-August 4th, but the application window closed back in December. As someone who did not participate in this program, it was intimidating to see how well the ones who did participate knew the hospital, the nurse recruiting staff, and the nurse leaders. I knew of at least one candidate who, just because she participated in the summer internship, was offered the opportunity to conduct TWO interviews. Apparently she picked a very competitive unit for her first interview, and nurse recruiting called and said she should also interview on a different unit because “it would be such a shame” if she didn’t get a job just because she picked a competitive unit. That seemed really unfair, but I guess that’s life. Networking and connections are everything. I have to work through my summers to make it through the school year, so there is no way I ever could have afforded to take 10 weeks off and work for free while paying D.C. rent. It seems to target a population that CAN afford to do this. I do think it gives candidates a leg up, so do it if you can.