Dear Nurse Beth,
I'm a new RN graduate. I haven't found a comprehensive info about steps in applying for nursing jobs through the new graduate residency program. From what I've researched, most hospitals state that new RN grads are automatically enrolled into the program if with less than 6 mos of exp or no exp at all.
What are the steps (guide) in the application? Do I apply to the residency program first and I will be directed into available positions?
When I get accepted into the program, does it ensure a hire?
I'm assuming job postings that states "no RN experience required" are new grad position? In this case, do I apply for that?
I somewhat got a gist of what happens during the whole process from all the shared experiences posted here, but I wanted to make sure I'm not missing or skipping any crucial steps in landing a job as a new grad and with no experience.
I feel so hopeless.. it seems like the program is competitive and is very selective of its applicants. I am eyeing two new grad positions at 2 hospitals from different states, so I feel like I'm going to miss out on great opportunities by weighing my options from both positions, location, hospital etc... if I don't get accepted at 1 place and lose the other... Maybe both will be taken by the time I apply.
Dear Feels Hopeless,
Congrats on graduating!
You need to start applying right away. Residency positions are competitive and time-sensitive. Typically once you hit the one-year mark, you are no longer eligible. You are already behind in that many applicants start applying in their last semester.
You will be asked what unit you prefer during the application process. Residency programs vary in length, from 8 weeks to 16 weeks with a preceptor, and many extend up to one year for supportive elements. Yes, being accepted into a residency means you are hired to the facility. And yes, job postings for "no RN experience required" are targeting new grads. You may be asked to sign a contract that you will stay for 2-4 years or be assessed a financial penalty if you break the contract.
To overcome your feeling of hopelessness, you need to do two things. Take action and educate yourself. Take action by jumping in and applying. You will learn by doing. Educate yourself on the skills needed to write a compelling resume, prepare for situational interview questions and stand out from the crowd. Do you know how to individualize your resume and cover letter to each facility? How about how to answer "Tell us about yourself" and "What's your greatest weakness?" There are right ways to answer these questions and wrong ways. You must know the difference.
Honestly, the book I wrote below is for new grads exactly like you
- it gives you all the insider tips you need to get hired, as well as comprehensive step by step instructions. It's the best way to educate yourself quickly, with real-life examples, from a hiring manager's point of view.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!