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Landed a New Grad Job!

I am so happy to have started following this forum prior to entering nursing school. The advice and support is amazing. I have officially landed my first RN (new grad) position at a local hospital and wanted to share my experience.

There is hope out there for all of us new grads, stay positive and persistent!

Hx: I graduated May 2012 with my BSN. I took my NCLEX early June and found out I passed shortly there after. I received a job offer about a month out from graduation.

Landing the job:

After graduation I looked up local hospitals and kept their career/recruitment website pages saved on my toolbar. Each day in the morning I took the time to look at each of the hospitals' job postings (making sure to do a thorough search- not just using "new grad" in the keywords). I applied to ALL of the available positions I qualified for, even the ones that said experience "preferred". After about 2 weeks of applying (yes I know this is a short period for today's economy) and tons of applications submitted, I did not receive one bite. I felt frustrated and depressed. Not a call... sometimes not even a denial email even though the position had been filled.

I decided it was time to be proactive and do more than just submitting an application online... that would eventually be in a pile with hundreds of other qualified applicants. When this specific position was posted on the website I was highly interested. I contacted the Nurse Manager. I ended up having to call her more than once to reach a live person and not her answering machine. I asked her if I could bring in my portfolio to her office when she would be on the unit. She said yes, and a few days later I met with her face-to-face to hand her my portfolio. About 2 weeks later I got a call from HR for an interview with the Nurse Manager... & now I have accepted the position :)

Tips from my experience:

-The most important thing I learned from my experience is to do more than just submitting an application online. With so many qualified applicants these days it is extremely important to go above and beyond... or else you're just waiting on luck. If I had not contacted the nurse manager and walked in my portfolio I bet I would have not had the chance to interview.

-Whenever possible get in touch with the Nurse Manager of the hiring unit. They are ultimately the one (usually) that picks the candidate. Sometimes you have to go farther than contacting HR/Nurse Recruiter. If you don't know who the manager is, try calling around (the hospital operator, HR, the unit). If needed, go directly to the unit to find out the information you need. Many people are scared that doing this would be too much or would bug the manager... and maybe some NMs will think this... however many will see it as persistence and determination. Whenever possible get face-to-face interaction. Simply calling and following up may not be enough. Putting a face to your name is a plus!

-Make sure to be prepared and to look professional at all times. Even when dropping off your portfolio know what you want to say and how you want it to come across. That small interaction can be a game changer.

-Have a neat, organized, and complete portfolio. Take time (and a little bit of extra change) to make it look nice. You want to sell yourself. Print your cover letter and resume on quality paper and utilize a nice portfolio binder. Include copies of your transcripts, licenses, certifications, references, and letter of recommendations.

All of these things helped me land my interview.

As far as interview tips:

-Research common nursing interview questions (I used the John Hopkins Interview Guide I found on google). Think about your own personal scenarios that you can apply to a number of questions. Recalling a clinical event can be the hardest part of an interview because of nerves and limited time to think about past experiences! Be prepared!

-Dress professional. A nice women's suit will make a positive statement.

-Research the organization. Know the mission, values and any extra interesting facts. Know why you want to work at THAT SPECIFIC hospital and be able to answer a question about it.

-I had critical thinking questions in my interviews... so if you've been out of school for awhile refresh (ABCs/critical pt versus stable pt/prioritizing/time management, etc)

-If your interviewing for a renal unit skim over common renal nursing interventions... if your working on cardiac look up cardiac stuff... etc. You will probably have one or a few focused questions depending on the type of interview.

P.S. I apologize if my formatting, grammar, and spelling are not correct!

Goodluck to everyone on the job hunt! You chose nursing for a reason... remember that. Stay positive and be persistent. Go above and beyond and you'll land an interview somewhere!

nursingilove

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Med surg.

Congrats and thanks for sharing

Congrats and thanks for sharing your experience with us!

I am so happy to have started following this forum prior to entering nursing school. The advice and support is amazing. I have officially landed my first RN (new grad) position at a local hospital and wanted to share my experience.

There is hope out there for all of us new grads, stay positive and persistent!

Hx: I graduated May 2012 with my BSN. I took my NCLEX early June and found out I passed shortly there after. I received a job offer about a month out from graduation.

Landing the job:

After graduation I looked up local hospitals and kept their career/recruitment website pages saved on my toolbar. Each day in the morning I took the time to look at each of the hospitals' job postings (making sure to do a thorough search- not just using "new grad" in the keywords). I applied to ALL of the available positions I qualified for, even the ones that said experience "preferred". After about 2 weeks of applying (yes I know this is a short period for today's economy) and tons of applications submitted, I did not receive one bite. I felt frustrated and depressed. Not a call... sometimes not even a denial email even though the position had been filled.

I decided it was time to be proactive and do more than just submitting an application online... that would eventually be in a pile with hundreds of other qualified applicants. When this specific position was posted on the website I was highly interested. I contacted the Nurse Manager. I ended up having to call her more than once to reach a live person and not her answering machine. I asked her if I could bring in my portfolio to her office when she would be on the unit. She said yes, and a few days later I met with her face-to-face to hand her my portfolio. About 2 weeks later I got a call from HR for an interview with the Nurse Manager... & now I have accepted the position :)

Tips from my experience:

-The most important thing I learned from my experience is to do more than just submitting an application online. With so many qualified applicants these days it is extremely important to go above and beyond... or else you're just waiting on luck. If I had not contacted the nurse manager and walked in my portfolio I bet I would have not had the chance to interview.

-Whenever possible get in touch with the Nurse Manager of the hiring unit. They are ultimately the one (usually) that picks the candidate. Sometimes you have to go farther than contacting HR/Nurse Recruiter. If you don't know who the manager is, try calling around (the hospital operator, HR, the unit). If needed, go directly to the unit to find out the information you need. Many people are scared that doing this would be too much or would bug the manager... and maybe some NMs will think this... however many will see it as persistence and determination. Whenever possible get face-to-face interaction. Simply calling and following up may not be enough. Putting a face to your name is a plus!

-Make sure to be prepared and to look professional at all times. Even when dropping off your portfolio know what you want to say and how you want it to come across. That small interaction can be a game changer.

-Have a neat, organized, and complete portfolio. Take time (and a little bit of extra change) to make it look nice. You want to sell yourself. Print your cover letter and resume on quality paper and utilize a nice portfolio binder. Include copies of your transcripts, licenses, certifications, references, and letter of recommendations.

All of these things helped me land my interview.

As far as interview tips:

-Research common nursing interview questions (I used the John Hopkins Interview Guide I found on google). Think about your own personal scenarios that you can apply to a number of questions. Recalling a clinical event can be the hardest part of an interview because of nerves and limited time to think about past experiences! Be prepared!

-Dress professional. A nice women's suit will make a positive statement.

-Research the organization. Know the mission, values and any extra interesting facts. Know why you want to work at THAT SPECIFIC hospital and be able to answer a question about it.

-I had critical thinking questions in my interviews... so if you've been out of school for awhile refresh (ABCs/critical pt versus stable pt/prioritizing/time management, etc)

-If your interviewing for a renal unit skim over common renal nursing interventions... if your working on cardiac look up cardiac stuff... etc. You will probably have one or a few focused questions depending on the type of interview.

P.S. I apologize if my formatting, grammar, and spelling are not correct!

Goodluck to everyone on the job hunt! You chose nursing for a reason... remember that. Stay positive and be persistent. Go above and beyond and you'll land an interview somewhere!

Was there anything else that you added in your portfolio?

What state are you in Caliheart RN? I am in the DC are and i have submitted more than 100 applications and not even one interview with the hospitals. I think i will do what you did and just walk in the hospital.

i have nothing to lose. thanks for all your tips. btw i graduated in Dec 2011 and took NCLEX and passed in March so i have been looking since then. Very frustrating.

DevinNoelle

Has 1 years experience.

Congrats!

Thank u for the advice!! I agree that your so much more likely to get an interview by showing up in person. Congrats on the job and good luck!!!

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