How To Get a Job As a New Grad Nurse

The tale and advice of a brand new grad on how to stand out and score yourself a job as a new graduate nurse. I was the first in my class of 50 to score a job, and after giving out a lot of solicited advice, I've decided to write it out and share with other hopeful and passionate new grad nurses.


You are reading page 2 of How To Get a Job As a New Grad Nurse

wish i read this sooner! i was one of the ones that sent out hundreds and hundreds of online applications. generic cover letters..etc.

in the end, it worked out for me. but it was tough. landed some interviews but nothing pulled through until 1 month ago. finally landed a job!

this advice was great though. some of the best advice yet!


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.
acp0041 said:
So I'm focusing on the areas and managers that I think I have the best chance with...MED/SURG!!! This is where new grads should begin and where I know I have the best chance of getting a job.

Smart cookie! You're on the right path. This is exactly what I did too. When I started nursing school I really wanted to work in the NICU after graduation, but by the time I was finishing up I realized that (1) it might not be too wise to specialize so soon, (2) I started to like my med-surg clinical in my last semester, particularly in the sense that I could see how much of a foundation I would get as a new nurse, and (3) I needed a job ASAP, and this was my best chance of getting one. I know I won't be in med-surg forever (then again, one never knows) but I can invest 2 years at least in my hospital before moving on elsewhere. That's my plan.


4 Posts

Wow! This is such an informative post! Thanks for bringing this up... Now I'm enlightened to exert more effort with my job hunting... I got my RN license Dec. 2011, I've been taking things slowly...which I think is a bad idea! Because as days go by it made me realize that it's tough out there especially for nurses without experience. Good luck to all new grad nurses!

Specializes in OB, GYN, PEDS, Urgent Care.

I love this post! You are a go getter, like I like to belive of myself as well! I will be done RN school in Nov, and definitely already have my spidy senses up about employment. I am one of those L&D lovers, so I will be laying it on thick when we hit that floor, but I am keeping the options way open. I feel like go for what you want, as my computer background reads, "Choose to Shine." Thanks for the tips


25 Posts

Thanks for the advice, I found it very useful, now to see how well it works :)

Thank you for this article!

I am currently preparing to apply to accelerated BSN programs (already have a BA), and currently work as a social worker. My job is to assist unemployed or underemployed people find work...

and this article basically sums up all the suggestions I give my job-seeking clients.

Finding work is a full time job and there are some age-old tips that truly never fail, all of which you have mentioned here:

1. Network - talk to your professors, mentors, classmates, clinical coworkers and insructors

2. Volunteer - for many nurses or son-to-be nurses this "volunteer" experience may come in the form of clinicals, but if you have time, try to branc out into another area that offers volunteering. Currently I volunteer for Hospice, which is a great opportunity to hone bedside manner

3. Follow Up - As the author mentioned, you absolutely CANNOT just send your resume out into the ether and cross your fingers. Make contact with the specific person in charge of hiring, or have someone put a word in for you. Once you do make contact, continue to follow up with your new contact, as the author spectacularly described (thank you notes, little emails here and there and drop ins to say hello!)

4. Finally, STAY FOCUSED. The author did a phenomenal job of setting specific goals. Check out the "SMART" goals method, if you need help organizing your employment plan.

Again, thanks for the article from a nurse's perspective. Being a prospective nurse and a current "Job Developer/Employment Specialist," i wholeheartedly agree ?

Thanks for the post! I'm still amazed at the number of my classmates that are shocked when I tell them that its going to be difficult getting a job when we graduate. This is especially disturbing when you look at the amount of work we have put in, not only to get into the program, but to stay in the program. I tell them that they need to start looking now and I just receive a bunch of blank stares. I tell them that they NEED to be working in HEALTH CARE, just to get the experience and to have a foot in the door. I then realized that I should quit trying to motivate them, as they could end up being my competition. May the most proactive nursing student get the job!

hope3456, ASN, RN

1,263 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

Another idea - for those of you in saturated job markets - let your school know of the problems you are having in getting a job. Contact the administration especially. Perhaps they should not be graduating so many nurses when those before them aren't employed?

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, ER, Peds, Family Practice.

44 years ago when I graduated from a 3 years nursing program things were not that easy procuring a nursing position. Yes folks 44 years ago. I was broke and living with my parents after graduation. No internet. I walked into what they called then the personnel office. No there were not hiring nurses without experience! Leave and application and we will call you. Well my parents had a phone and they barely answered it. I went from hospital to hospital. There was a nursing shortage back then .

I finally opened my mouth to someone in the personnel office and said " how do I get experience if no one will hire me." Guess someone had a epiphany and said just one moment and got a nursing supervisor. Guess what she interviewed and I got hired. I could have stayed and been hired on at my nursing school but I did not want to live on the South side of Chicago. So I ended up at Cook County Hospital ER and then transferred to trauma. Wow did I get experience fast.

So I totally understand what it means to spend the time and talk with people. I did not go to the floors as they would not let strangers on the floors at the time . So I was limited to the personnel office. So strange the semantics have changed but the process of trying to get hired and the stress is the same. We did not have intern programs back in the day but they were to start soon. I just had to post as the story reminded me of my struggles back in the day. I respect all of the new grads that are trying to start your careers. Best of luck


4 Posts

You are right on hope3456! I live in Massachusetts and getting a job as a new nurse is very difficult, yet the schools keep pumping out new nurses. I graduated from nursing school with a BSN the spring of 2011. I worked as a PCT on a medsurg floor in a hospital for 3 years during school, prior to graduating, and then another 6 months as a PCT on the same floor after graduating before being hired into a New Grad Program at the same hospital. Even once I was hired, the pay was very low for the orientation period. Once I was off orientation, the pay was increased but still not good. The economy has new grad nurses over a barrel. :(

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,978 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Heck, I'm nowhere near a new grad but will be seeking employment in a hospital after years as a school nurse...and I am even going to take these tips to heart. Good ideas.


8 Posts

I'm a new grad (April 2012) and I've been offered 3 jobs and have officially accepted an offer. . I have no nursing or medical experience. I tried getting in somehow by being a PCT but had no luck. How did I land a job? I took job searching very seriously. I spend hours upon hours perfecting my resume and applying to hundreds of jobs each day and receiving rejection letters each day. I was not picky on what floor or facility and I was willing to commute up to 1 hour for a job.

Yes it's hard to find a job as a new grad. I've been aware of this ever since nursing school. I kept applying and thankfully a small hospital hired me for their medical unit and this hospital is only 30 mins away. Bottomline dont' give up, keep applying, once you land the interview be prepared for it, and eventually you will land a job. Be persistent and don't give up.