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New Graduate RN - Tips for Applying?

by NurseK.94 NurseK.94 (New) New

Hey guys!

I'm fairly new to the site, but it seems like there's an amazing community here. I graduated in the summer, and recently passed my NCLEX. I'm now in the process of applying for jobs, and feel like I have no idea where to start.

I have reached out to two of my preceptors from consolidation for letters of recommendation, but I'm having trouble writing a resume that doesn't scream, "I have no experience!"

If anyone has resume, cover letter, or general application tips, it would be greatly appreciated!

- K

Lots of old threads about this; one tip I would add though is buying a notebook just for job applications. You can keep your references organized on one page, addresses/phone numbers for old jobs, and then devote a page to each organization you apply to. You can put down the date you applied, company culture, recruiters names, log in info, etc. which will make it easier to stay organized. Good luck!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Don't worry about your inexperience showing up in your resume.... because you ARE inexperienced in terms of nursing job history. That is the normal situation for a newly licensed nurse. It's OK. We all started off the same way. Don't try to fluff up your resume.

But - be sure to include relevant information that can help potential employers get a sense of your qualifications that are not related to nursing experience. For instance, if you've held jobs with heavy customer service or time management demands... these skills are very relevant to patient care. Have you had volunteer experiences that illustrate your commitment to public service &/or community involvement? Again, that's relevant. Do you have hobbies such as photography or marathon running? These would reveal your creativity and ability to dedicate yourself to achievement of goals..... yep, relevant to your nursing job hunt.

Don't sell yourself short. Hiring managers like to get a good sense of the whole person. They want someone who adds value in terms of personal characteristics as well as nursing skills. As a hiring manager, I have always been more attracted to resumes that contained interesting information about the applicant... and looked forward to meeting that nurse who volunteered her time to raise puppies for their first stage of service dog training. BTW, she turned out to be an wonderful addition to my staff.

Every new grad is inexperienced, so don't worry! I've been a nurse for a little over a year. I remember I put my nursing assistant experiences and also my clinical experiences (hospital, unit, start date to end date). I asked two of my favorite clinical instructors and they were all happy to be references. I think instructors expect students to ask and are glad to help. I also asked the supervisor, charge nurse, and other nurses I've worked with to be my references. Hope that helps!