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May 2020 Grad- Job Hunt

Students   (328 Views | 7 Replies)

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Hi everyone,

I am currently in a 4-year Bachelor's program and should be graduating in May 2020 (Less than 6 months!). I feel like my life is kind of all of the place and would like some guidance before graduation.

Whats the earliest that you would recommend getting started on job applications? I know that it's months ahead, but I would really like to get a step ahead on finding a job. Should I go ahead and start my job hunt or wait a little? I am not sure where I will be living, but some areas that I am considering include DC/DMV, South Florida, Atlanta, Houston area. Is anyone familiar with hospitals and facilities in these areas? I would also love to hear about any residency programs. The specialty that I am most interested in at this time is ICU as I would like to build a good foundation for my skills.

Also, how soon is too soon to ask for recommendation letters from instructors? I would prefer to catch them earlier rather than wait for the craziness at the end of the semester/school year. Would it be okay to just get some general/non-specific letters of recommendation that I can use to apply to any job?

And please feel free to share anything that you wish someone would've told you before you finished nursing school.

Thanks!

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,128 Profile Views

You can get started on job applications starting in late April and early May. In the meantime:

  • You can determine where you'd want to live
  • Research specific hospitals that you'd like to work in/residency programs that you're interested in.
  • Slowly start preparing your answers for interview questions (but don't sound rehearsed/scripted!)
  • Begin building up a resume and peer editing/asking your university's career center for help (I suggest building a LinkedIn profile, as well)
  • Slowly start preparing for your NCLEX, so you can take the NCLEX earlier in the summer

I don't live in those areas, so, unfortunately, I can't offer any advice/information about that aspect.

I would say to get general letters of recommendation for your portfolio, and when the time comes that you have a job interview requesting for recommendations, then ask your recommenders to fill out the hospital's recommendation format. For example, in my most recent interview, HR asked to list the emails and phone numbers of 5 people. They each received an email that included a survey they needed to fill out. After I received my offer, HR will be contacting those references for reference checks. Of course, let your recommenders know that you're interested in listing them as a reference prior to your interview and will reach out to them in the upcoming days/weeks.

Something I wish I knew before graduating/for the job hunt:

1. Nursing Portfolios! I needed to search for documents everywhere and it took some time. 

2. For in-person interviews, you can meet with as many as 5 people at a time: Nurse Managers, Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Educators, HR, etc.

3. Figure out how the interview process is like in your area. In my area, when you apply for a position, a Talent Acquisition Specialist will call you if you're applicable and then schedule you for a phone interview (which usually consists of: what is your clinical exp, why nursing, why this hospital). If you did well, you may meet with HR in person (which I'm not 100% sure what they would ask, but probably the basic: tell me about yourself, why nursing, why the hospital, strengths/weaknesses, how do you handle stress/conflict). Afterward, you will meet with the Nurse Manager who will most likely ask you more scenario questions/behavioral questions (how do you handle this, describe a time when...).

 

Hope this helps!

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3 Posts; 75 Profile Views

Wow, thank you so much for all of the insight! I will be sure to keep these tips in mind over the next few months. Thank you again.

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,128 Profile Views

2 hours ago, nursenancy98 said:

Wow, thank you so much for all of the insight! I will be sure to keep these tips in mind over the next few months. Thank you again.

You're welcome! Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with. I will try my best 😊

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1 Article; 164 Posts; 3,824 Profile Views

I had a May graduation date last year as well and most people in my program had jobs by Spring breakish/early April. This means February-ish is when you should have your resume completed, already have your Letter of Rec, and been practicing potential interview questions. 

Please note if you live in a metro city (like myself), you will probably have multiple hospital systems coming to visit your in your last semester of nursing school. Because of this, it's great to have questions ready and know what they are offering ( starting pay, stipend, residency, etc.). I would also ask professors right now if you they would be ok with being your reference so they know to plan ahead and not asked last minute. 

 

a big thing that many friends (and me) missed out was Job "Open Houses" for New grads because we either had school or doing our own separate clinical capstone. Honestly, this is where hospitals hire mostly all their new grads from so I would suggest either skipping class (senior year is useless anyways lol) or asking your capstone preceptor to schedule you a different day. Go to all the open houses if you want to stay where you are at . I am from a big city so yeah it was very competitive and luck .I had friends with all A's in nursing school get chosen after those with C/B's. 

Edited by carti

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,128 Profile Views

11 hours ago, carti said:

I had a May graduation date last year as well and most people in my program had jobs by Spring breakish/early April. This means February-ish is when you should have your resume completed, already have your Letter of Rec, and been practicing potential interview questions. 

Please note if you live in a metro city (like myself), you will probably have multiple hospital systems coming to visit your in your last semester of nursing school. Because of this, it's great to have questions ready and know what they are offering ( starting pay, stipend, residency, etc.). I would also ask professors right now if you they would be ok with being your reference so they know to plan ahead and not asked last minute. 

 

a big thing that many friends (and me) missed out was Job "Open Houses" for New grads because we either had school or doing our own separate clinical capstone. Honestly, this is where hospitals hire mostly all their new grads from so I would suggest either skipping class (senior year is useless anyways lol) or asking your capstone preceptor to schedule you a different day. Go to all the open houses if you want to stay where you are at . I am from a big city so yeah it was very competitive and luck .I had friends with all A's in nursing school get chosen after those with C/B's. 

Oh that's awesome that you had many hospitals come for your Open Houses! My university had a job fair as well, but it was focused for "Healthcare" in general, so only one hospital's nurse recruiters came 😞

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9 hours ago, _Cecilia_ said:

Oh that's awesome that you had many hospitals come for your Open Houses! My university had a job fair as well, but it was focused for "Healthcare" in general, so only one hospital's nurse recruiters came 😞

We had those too. But you should probably see more nursing recruiters from hospitals coming in towards the middle of your last semester of nursing school, at least mind did. 

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,128 Profile Views

4 hours ago, carti said:

We had those too. But you should probably see more nursing recruiters from hospitals coming in towards the middle of your last semester of nursing school, at least mind did. 

Nope, my Nursing school only had a Job Fair for healthcare fields in general. 😞 

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