How to Get Hired When I Graduate

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    How are you doing? I am a second year nursing Student studying at a University in Australia. I was wondering, apart from my studies what else can
    I do to improve my chances of securing a graduate year position.


    Dear How to Get Hired,

    Congrats on being in your second year and in a beautiful country that I hope to visit one day.

    I'm thinking a graduate year position means an entry-level job when you first graduate, what we call "new grad"?

    I don't know much about the job market for graduate nurses in Australia, but I do know about strategies to land a job, having landed several myself and having hired hundreds of nurses.

    It is important to stand out, especially when you are competing with other applicants. The trick is to stand out when you have no experience.

    Networking as a student during clinicals is very important. Think of it as a job audition and purpose to meet the charge nurses and managers. Build a contact list and keep it - your preceptor today may be a manager by next year.

    Here's an excerpt from my book:

    Work as a Nursing Assistant or PCT

    If at all possible, work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or patient care technician (PCT). It goes without saying that you have been a reliable, hardworking, team player extraordinaire during your audition, I mean, tenure as a Nursing Assistant.

    Nursing students who work as CNAs or PCTs have home-field advantage.

    Voila! You have thus made yourself a No Brainer Hire for the nurse manager. As a matter of fact, they will love you for making their hiring job easier. By hiring you, they have reduced their risk. They already know that you fit in and that you deliver outstanding patient care. It's a beautiful win-win.

    Shine During Your Clinical Rotations

    Clinical rotations are a job seeker's dream! In what other jobs do you get a chance to see and be seen time and time again before you apply for a job? Meet and impress the nurse managers and/or charge nurse during clinical rotations.

    How to do that?! Look for opportunities - they will present themselves.

    It doesn't matter that you're not on your Dream Unit. Hate Stepdown? No worries. Later on, when you apply to work in the Emergency Department (ED), Stephanie, the stepdown unit manager, will speak favorably of you to her BFF Jessica, the ED unit manager. Jessica WILL snap you up!

    Write a Note to the Manager

    Write a note to the nurse manager after your clinical rotation. By write, I mean use a pen, and by note, I mean paper and envelope. Here's an example.

    "I learned so much during my clinical rotation on your unit. The staff were all so supportive and helpful, especially Beth Hawkes. This is exactly the kind of nursing team I'd like to be a part of someday. Thank you for the experience."

    Or semblance thereof. Sign your name legibly and prominently. Stop by a week later to see if he/she got your note. Wait! there it is! Pinned on the wall above the nurse manager's desk! Because everyone appreciates a personalized, handwritten note!
    You have set yourself apart.

    Tip: Make sure your name is legible. You want them to remember your name.

    Check out my book (link below) to learn how to stand out from the other applicants.

    I hope these tips helped you, and best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Dec 1, '17
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,415; Likes: 4,225


  3. by   Froggybelly
    Nurse Beth offers solid advice. Additionally, if you live near a metropolitan area, your local hospital systems might periodically hold hiring events or open houses. These events are an excellent opportunity to get some face time with hiring managers and recruiters. This can make a huge difference in your chances of getting hired if you do not already have a strong healthcare background. Don't forget to inquire about residencies and internships for particular specialties you're interested in. Good luck!
  4. by   sunny time
    having every certificate up to date. be humble not a know it all. research the patients diagnosis on that floor. in other words, if the floor is a medical floor ,know about respiratory infections, AIDS, diabetes, cardiac diseases. if it is surgical floor learn about assessments specific to surgeries, i.e. DVT, fat emboli, neurological impairments from anesthesia, clean vs sterile dressing changed, IV sticks and the way you give report to the M.D.. when scenarios come up in the interview if you don't know what to do refer back to the charge nurse. just say I don't know but I would give O2 set the patient up and call for help for respiratory distress. taking a class in telemetry reading know the medications such as the differences in insulin, blood pressure medication, etc. this sounds daunting but after working for 3 months on the floor you will know more that you do now. obvious, but you will be more confident. the last thing you should know is "how long will you have a preceptor"? your preceptor should give you the information you need to know to give you the confidence you need to be the best darn nurse you can be.
  5. by   mircats
    As a fellow Aussie, go to the open days of the facilities you're interested in. Your uni should be able to give you help with interview skills, even if you don't think you need it - they can do mock interviews then figure out where your weak points are. There's also a nursing expo in all the capital cities every year, which has the grad co-ordinators from most facilities. Don't rule out non-computer match facilities.