Foreign Medical Graduate Turned BSN Not Landing Interviews

  1. 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?

    Please help.



    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.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Sep 18
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,571; Likes: 4,711
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho

    7 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Also, if you have not passed the NCLEX, your applications will likely garner less interest. Once you can work as an RN, you are a more attractive candidate. Not sure if the OP has passed the NCLEX, but it wasn't mentioned - just completing a BSN.
  4. by   twinsmom788
    I'm thinking the OP is referring to a medical residency. Maybe not, but if that is the case, I believe that she is fortunate to have gotten a BSN. I have seen this situation in several resumes, and I believe that obtaining a foreign medical degree is a plus for the applicant. Of course, passing the NCLEX is a must.
  5. by   Leader25
    Sign up for LinkedIn,many jobs posting there,plenty!
  6. by   Workitinurfava
    Career builder is a great site as well.
  7. by   booter512
    I don't know if you are married and your husband has a good job there, but if that isn't the case, consider moving. I know it can be hard on the kids, but they adapt quickly. Virginia has a severe shortage of nurses. I'm sure you could get a job here. They also have good schools for your kids. Other states are in the same position. We have Filipino nurses, a Peruvian nurse, Nigerian nurses, Indian nurses and more. Make it exciting for the kids. Get a map. Let them help choose the area of the country you're going to move to. Moving isn't all that bad. Some places even help with moving expenses.
  8. by   Tommy5677
    Oh these times they have changed. This in the midst of a crisis known as the nursing shortage. I'm sorry but someone needs to enlighten me on how this makes sense. Let's see, I'll go and spend thousands on a BSN, which used to be seriously marketable, only to struggle to get a job. I just don't see the logic. Can anyone give me an explanation that makes sense?
  9. by   elkpark
    Quote from Tommy5677
    Oh these times they have changed. This in the midst of a crisis known as the nursing shortage. I'm sorry but someone needs to enlighten me on how this makes sense. Let's see, I'll go and spend thousands on a BSN, which used to be seriously marketable, only to struggle to get a job. I just don't see the logic. Can anyone give me an explanation that makes sense?
    Yes, I can give you an explanation -- there is no nursing shortage. Last time there actually was a shortage, every state opened up a bunch of new nursing programs, everyone and her/his brother bought the "nursing shortage/unlimited job prospects" propaganda and decided to go to nursing school, and now there are a kazillion nursing programs across the country cranking out waves of new grads every year. It benefits the schools to keep pushing the "nursing shortage" line, and people don't do their own research.

close