New RN grad - thinking about calling nurse recruiter, but what should I say?

Nurses General Nursing


I graduated from school on Sept 24th, and passed boards on Oct 14th. I am SO thrilled to finally be an RN! I have been applying for RN jobs left and right. Almost all online, I've send a few hard copies to a couple of unit managers.

My question is, would it be a good idea to call the nurse recruiters at the hospital so I can talk to them and maybe make myself stand out? I have my AAS in Nursing now, and I have a B.A. in Psychology. My work history is very weak, though. My ex-husband was in the military, so most of the jobs I had were shorter term, and then I was a stay-at-home mom for the last 10 years. So my resume looks good education-wise, but my work history is from about 10 years ago, and not that great. However, I am very outgoing, mature, have an excellent work-ethic, and I feel like if someone would talk to me directly, I would stand out as a good candidate. My dream is to do ICU or ER/trauma, but I'm willing to start anywhere if it gets my foot in the door at a hospital.

What do you think? If I call nurse recruiters, what would I say? I've already applied online at the hospitals around most of my online applications (which I'm sure go to HR), my cover letters were addressed directly to the unit managers already. I want to stand out without being pushy.

Thanks for your help!!!

I'd say give it a shot if you are so inclined. But dependent on the "personality" of the facility you are calling, you may never get a return call. It's a buyer's market and most just don't care for NGs right now. Also know that if you try going direct to the floor, you might get very rough rebuke. But as I've said, it just depends on their attitude.

Specializes in Emergency Room.

The reality is recruiters for the most part do not have much to say in the hiring process, they have to submit all qualified applications to the managers. The manager then tell the recruiter whom to call back for an interview. Recruiters get many calls daily from desperate new grads, you will just be another new grad to them. My suggestion is to volunteer at a hospital to get your face in front of charge nurses and managers. Be patient and do not give up it may take a while. It took me a year to find my first RN position.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Employers are not using recruiters to fill staff jobs. There is no sense in paying them to find applicants when there are people beating down the door for available nursing jobs. Unfortunately, if you are 'signed on' with a recruiting firm, it may even cause an employer to bypass your application because they would have to pay the recruiting firm even if you found the job on your own. Do not pay anyone to help you find a job - these are scams. Legitimate recruiters are paid by the employer, not the applicant.

In my experience, hiring managers do not put much consideration to any pre-nursing jobs so I wouldn't advise you to put too much emphasis on them. It may only come back to bite you if the interviewer gets a sense that you are trying to claim that you are better than other new grads - which could indicate a lack of ability to identify with or get along with co-workers. They aren't looking for anyone who brings a lot of baggage to the workplace.

Good Luck with your job hunt.

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

It depends on your locale - if you are in an area that has several nsg schools the unit mgrs have already been 'contacted' by new grads up the wazoo. You are only going to stand out if you can get some kind of job in the hospital like the pp mentioned. Or relocate.

It has been my experience that NM's look at work experience more than education. If you are appying to ICU/ER you are going to be up against some stiff competition - that is where all the new grads want to go.

and to directly answer your question - I would ask a nurse recruiter if they are interested in talking with new grads - state you understand they are getting alot of applicants from them but ask when they might be hiring new grads again or if they know who might be. Ask them for advice.

I would call or actually visit the nurse manager of the units where you would like to work, cover letter and resume in hand. I've seen the stack of apps that our nurse manager has to go through. It is inches thick!! Anything that will float your name toward the top of the stack is a good thing. Even though you send in an app online, it may never make it out of HR.

Most of the new grads that I know, got their first job at a unit where they precepted during nursing school. They handed the nurse manager a resume before the preceptorship even ended. Even if the nurse manager says there are no positions currently, if you impressed your preceptor, you have an edge over the hundreds of online, faceless, apps!

Who did you graduate with? Are they working? Will they pass your resume to their NM and give you a good recommendation? Same question about any RN's you worked alongside during your clinicals. If you made a good impression on them could you ask them to do the same? Work your contacts. If you know someone you're probably going to have an advantage over the masses of incoming resumes.

Thanks, everyone. When I said "nurse recruiter," I mean the ones that are actually employed (as HR) at the hospitals themselves. I will keep looking and try to be patient.

Thank you to everyone who left input here, it's appreciated

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