Nursing student looking for a job at a hospital. Any advice?

  1. Hello all,

    I have officially finished spring semester of nursing school. At this time next year I will be graduated from nursing school with my bachelors in nursing. I am excited, but also nervous at the same time. I do not feel at all prepared (nor do I expect to feel prepared since this is all new). As the summer is approaching I have been looking for career opportunities in the hospital as a nursing assistant. Several nursing students at the college I go have found nursing assistant jobs at local hospitals, however, I am struggling to find one. My problem is I waited too long because I was so determined I would get the externship I applied for. I went on three interviews and I really thought I would get a position. Unfortunately, I was a little over confident. Since I did not get the externship I have been applying for nursing assistant jobs day by day. I have not received any callbacks, so I am not sure what else to do. I really wanted to gain some experience in the medical field and I thought this was the best way to do so. It seems like a lot of the hospitals I have applied to don't leave a number I can call to check on the status of my application (another problem I am having). I am not sure if I should just continue to apply, or if I should call human resources..? I don't want to be annoying, but unsure of what else I should do. Any advice? Has anyone else experienced the same problem?

    Thank you!
  2. Visit nursingstudentx96 profile page

    About nursingstudentx96

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 22; Likes: 9
    from NY , US

    10 Comments

  3. by   brownbook
    Have you only applied at acute care hospitals?

    You may need to apply at skilled nursing facilities. It isn't acute care hospital nursing, but you will learn a lot about the basics of patient care.
  4. by   nursingstudentx96
    Quote from brownbook
    Have you only applied at acute care hospitals?

    You may need to apply at skilled nursing facilities. It isn't acute care hospital nursing, but you will learn a lot about the basics of patient care.
    That's good to know, thank you! I think I've only applied to acute care facilities.
  5. by   Kristy96
    Do you have a CNA certification? I've been experiencing the same problem and I'm not sure whether i should obtain the certification or not since some people have told me that 2 semesters of nursing school can be enough for a CNA to work in a hospital??
    I'm at the point where I'm just trying to work in a hospital, whether it be a front desk assistant or a greeter!! haha
  6. by   direw0lf
    I would continue to pursue the externship position until you are given an answer. Two of my friends did this, one got the job the very next day and the other was told she was not right for the position, but at least she knew. Do you have any clinical professors you may contact to ask about this or any other jobs?

    You can also apply for patient observer positions. It's not always exciting, but you'll have your foot in the door to make it easier to get a PCT job. If you want to work in acute care as an RN, I would keep pursing a position in acute care instead of LTC.

    I applied for acute care PCT jobs where I was rejected but I applied again and was able to land a job there. I think some may like when you don't give up maybe. And again, contact your teachers and clinical instructors for any advice or help they can give you!
  7. by   peachy512
    If you DO end up pursuing an LTC facility, keep in mind that your patient load may be higher and the skills you learn will be different that what you learn at a hospital. It's not to say it's not valuable, it's just different. If you have your heart set on working at a hospital, keep working at it! Over the course of several months, I applied for 18 different jobs at the hospital I currently work at as a CNA (and have for the last 2 years) and I didn't know ANYONE... knew LTC was definitely NOT for me and this was my dream hospital, so I didn't give up. Now I'll be joining their New Grad RN residency in July. Don't listen to people who say you have to "know" someone to get into the hospital because it isn't always true -- it can just make it easier. My advice is to keep working at it. Are you on good terms with ANYONE in the healthcare field? This world is rather small and people know each other. It can be a classmate, relative, friend, or your teachers and instructors. If you're not having any leads on your own, I recommend speaking to the people you have good connections with and seeing if you can get the name of a manager within a certain unit in the hospital. They can then pull your resume from HR. Also, if you have anything relevant to the job (I emphasized my customer service experience and how I can hold a conversation with anyone) put that out there and discuss it in the interview.

    Also -- be sure the person recommending you can speak positively of you, and that they also have a good work ethic. It's not a guarantee at a job offer, but it helps you get in for an interview.
    Last edit by peachy512 on Jun 11
  8. by   Samm06
    When I originally applied for my current position, I didn't hear about about a possible interview for about 3 weeks. In that 3rd week I called HR and checked on my application and they informed me that at the time they already hired the staff they needed. I was really bummed but I have my original job (a retail position) anyway. So, because of the open communication with the HR recruiter, when another spot for my current position was available, the HR recruiter decided to call me first since we had been in contact with each other. My best advice, call in after about a weeks time to check in on your application and see what they say. If they are unable to provide you with an interview, just thank them for the opportunity.
  9. by   nursingstudentx96
    Quote from Kristy96
    Do you have a CNA certification? I've been experiencing the same problem and I'm not sure whether i should obtain the certification or not since some people have told me that 2 semesters of nursing school can be enough for a CNA to work in a hospital??
    I'm at the point where I'm just trying to work in a hospital, whether it be a front desk assistant or a greeter!! haha
    No, I do not have a CNA certification. Honestly, I didn't realize there was a difference until I started doing research. I have been applying to nursing assitant positions that do not require a certification. I guess it's just really competitive, and that's why I'm also struggling to find something! I know several of my peers have found nursing assistant jobs. I was unsure if I should get a certification too, but there are some positions that will say "certification, or completion of nursing fundamentals course in four year nursing program." Those are the kind of nursing assistant positions you should look to apply to! I don't know if I want to receive a certification since next May I will already be graduated with my bachelor's degree. I am currently looking for a per diem position so I don't have to stress as much during my last year of nursing school. But that's also a good idea. One of my friend's mom worked in a hospital as a receptionist her last year before graduating from nursing school and she actually landed a job at that same hospital. It's good to get your foot in the door! Best of luck to you!
  10. by   nursingstudentx96
    Quote from direw0lf
    I would continue to pursue the externship position until you are given an answer. Two of my friends did this, one got the job the very next day and the other was told she was not right for the position, but at least she knew. Do you have any clinical professors you may contact to ask about this or any other jobs?

    You can also apply for patient observer positions. It's not always exciting, but you'll have your foot in the door to make it easier to get a PCT job. If you want to work in acute care as an RN, I would keep pursing a position in acute care instead of LTC.

    I applied for acute care PCT jobs where I was rejected but I applied again and was able to land a job there. I think some may like when you don't give up maybe. And again, contact your teachers and clinical instructors for any advice or help they can give you!
    That's a good idea. I didn't even think of it! Does that stand for "Patient Care Technician?" I am pretty sure I have seen those job listings as I have been searching for nursing assistant jobs. I do have one clinical instructor who I was close with. Maybe I should ask her what she thinks. Thanks for the ideas!
  11. by   nursingstudentx96
    Quote from laurbee
    If you DO end up pursuing an LTC facility, keep in mind that your patient load may be higher and the skills you learn will be different that what you learn at a hospital. It's not to say it's not valuable, it's just different. If you have your heart set on working at a hospital, keep working at it! Over the course of several months, I applied for 18 different jobs at the hospital I currently work at as a CNA (and have for the last 2 years) and I didn't know ANYONE... knew LTC was definitely NOT for me and this was my dream hospital, so I didn't give up. Now I'll be joining their New Grad RN residency in July. Don't listen to people who say you have to "know" someone to get into the hospital because it isn't always true -- it can just make it easier. My advice is to keep working at it. Are you on good terms with ANYONE in the healthcare field? This world is rather small and people know each other. It can be a classmate, relative, friend, or your teachers and instructors. If you're not having any leads on your own, I recommend speaking to the people you have good connections with and seeing if you can get the name of a manager within a certain unit in the hospital. They can then pull your resume from HR. Also, if you have anything relevant to the job (I emphasized my customer service experience and how I can hold a conversation with anyone) put that out there and discuss it in the interview.

    Also -- be sure the person recommending you can speak positively of you, and that they also have a good work ethic. It's not a guarantee at a job offer, but it helps you get in for an interview.
    Oh wow, that is wonderful. Congratulations!!! I know it is difficult sometimes because I am surrounded by a bunch of my peers who say they "have connections" since they know family and friends who work in the medical field. I am actually the first one in my family going to college for nursing, therefore, I do not know anyone who is involved in the medical field. I will keep looking and applying. I am trying to stay positive and maybe I will find something when I least expect it. Thanks so much for your advice!
  12. by   nursingstudentx96
    Quote from Samm06
    When I originally applied for my current position, I didn't hear about about a possible interview for about 3 weeks. In that 3rd week I called HR and checked on my application and they informed me that at the time they already hired the staff they needed. I was really bummed but I have my original job (a retail position) anyway. So, because of the open communication with the HR recruiter, when another spot for my current position was available, the HR recruiter decided to call me first since we had been in contact with each other. My best advice, call in after about a weeks time to check in on your application and see what they say. If they are unable to provide you with an interview, just thank them for the opportunity.
    Oh I am sorry to hear that, but that is wonderful you have kept close contact with the HR recruiter. That is such a big help! I was thinking about calling the human resources department in a few days to check on the status of my application. I actually just applied to two other nursing assistant jobs earlier today. I ended up getting an email from one of the hospitals I applied to last week letting me know the position is filled. Although I was upset, I am happy that they ACTUALLY got back to me. So I ended up applying for another open position I saw. In the email they also said they would contact me if another position I am qualified for becomes available. Good luck on your job search! I am currently working in retail as well (it isn't easy haha). But eventually we will be nurses!

close