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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Is this an uncouth way to land a job?

Nurse Beth   (1,387 Views 2 Comments)
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Dear Nurse Beth,


I have been volunteering in a community hospital ICU for 6 months (4-6 hours/week). I will graduate in a couple of months. I want to introduce myself to the unit manager in the hopes that she will consider me for hire even though they usually do not hire new grads onto their unit outside of their new grad program in July.

Would it be uncouth to knock on her office door? Also, what should I try to hand her (e.g. resume, cover letter).

Thank you in advance and I love your book--best $10 I've spent in nursing school!


Dear Graduating Soon,

Congrats on your upcoming graduation! I'm so glad my book (below) helped you, that was exactly my intention when I wrote it.

You have been very smart to volunteer in ICU while a student. By doing so, you have made yourself known to the staff and established a reputation. This helps when you apply for a position because, all things being equal, nurse managers would rather hire a known applicant over an unknown applicant.

I absolutely would knock on her door and introduce myself. This helps you to stand out in her mind when she is making hiring decisions.

Here's some tips:

Be brief. Have an elevator speech ready. Nurse managers are busy. Mondays and Fridays typically are days with fewer scheduled meetings so you are more apt to catch her in her office.

Be mindful of her response. She may be welcoming or appear distracted, but either way, you make an impression with your initiative. Even if she is chatty, again, keep it brief as this is a drop-in visit.

Give her your resume and cover letter in a folder. Ideally, include a card with your name, contact info and picture (do not put a picture on your resume or cover letter). This gives her an image to recall. She most likely has many, many applicants.

Thank her for you volunteer experience. Express your interest in an ICU position.

Have an ask or call to action. "Can we meet at another time to talk further?"

I would not make it my goal to be hired outside of the residency program because you will miss all that a residency offers- months of support, ongoing educations, specialized training, the benefits of peers in a cohort.

If this is the ICU you want to work in, see if you can make the July date work for you. Good luck!

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!



Edited by tnbutterfly

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I agree with what Nurse Beth wrote ... but here is another idea to consider.

You might want to set up an "informational interview" with her. That is simply a meeting during which you ask her for advice on what you could be doing now to possibly working in that unit as an RN after graduation. You express and interest and ask for advice: she gives you advice: you take the advice -- and she then looks favorably on your future application. Also, by setting up an official meeting with her, she will have set aside some time to talk with you.

Read up on "information interviews." They can be helpful sometimes.

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