Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a foreign medical graduate who migrated to the US about 10 years ago. I practiced in my country but never practiced in the US. I did not get a residency position and accepted an offer to teach medical assisting because frankly, I needed to support myself and my children.
My focus initially was to settle here in the US and to get my daughter through college without having student loans. After teaching for all this time my passion for healthcare has called and I just completed an accelerated BSN course. I am now sending out applications and only got 1 interview. My question is: should I remove medical school from my resume?
Dear New Grad,
Congrats on completing your BSN!
Your medical degree does not actually add value to a nursing resume, as the roles are different, and it was over 10 years ago. But that doesn't mean it is the culprit.
If you live in a competitive area, it could just be a matter of numbers. However, time is of the essence in landing a new grad residency position. Residencies typically accept new grads for one-year post graduation.
New grads often find they have to submit many applications in order to land interviews. That makes it even more important for your
application to stand out.
Make sure you optimize your resume by highlighting skills that make you stand out. If your GPA was high, (> than 3.75), list it. Are you proficient with Cerner or Epic? Individualize your resume to each facility by familiarizing yourself with their mission, values and service lines. Use keywords from the job postings, which also helps with applicant tracking software (ATS).
If you gained any customer service skills in your teaching position, such as AIDET training, include it as these are important soft skills in the industry.
Did you hold any leadership positions in school, or participate in any community volunteer activities? Some hospitals use a point system to stratify applications, with additional points awarded for volunteer work, or an employee referral.
Make sure your resume is pristine, with bullet points and sufficient white space to be visually pleasing. Recruiters will discard applications with mistakes as a means of whittling down the prospective candidates.
Consider re-locating if you are able since the market is geographically variable. Finally, don't be afraid of bold moves. An example of a bold move is to "cold call" a hiring manager, as described in my book. There's a right way and a wrong way to do this. I myself have landed several jobs through creative bold moves that helped me to stand out from the others.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!