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Content by tokyoROSE

  1. tokyoROSE

    How I Got My Dream Job!

    I have been waiting to post this for a long time! I hope this information will help anyone looking for a job. Some background info - I graduated with high honors December 2011, got licensed February 15th. I had applied to a couple places before getting licensed, but did not seriously look for a job until I got my license. I must have done 20 applications, getting no response and/or rejection letters left and right. This is nothing compared to how many applications some of you have done, but nonetheless I was down and hard on myself because it seemed like most of my classmates have gotten jobs. I kept on thinking, what is wrong with me? I graduated almost near the top of my class! I volunteer! I (think) my resume and cover letter rocks! Then one day, I read a post on allnurses.com that absolutely changed my life... I got a job!!!! BOO-YOW! In this post, the author details all the strategies they used to score six job offers, and they are not "conventional" methods. I learned that I must get out there and make something happen for myself because sending in the good ol' resume does NOT cut it anymore! Read the post because the strategies are outlined very well there. I will share with you how I personally used those strategies here. On the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, I went about getting information and sending out emails. The key is to contact the director of nursing (DON)/nursing supervisor/nurse manager of every unit in every hospital you want to work at. 1. Search for Contacts I started out just searching for names and emails. Google became my best friend. This strategy works best when the hospital is well-known and has many publications on the internet. I got tons of information on the largest hospital in my state just by reading their annual nursing report, going back 5 years. Lots directors, supervisors, and managers were on there. 2. Search for Names and Phone Number If I could not locate them on the internet, I would call the hospital switchboard and ask for the unit. I would ask the unit clerk, "Can I have your DON's name and phone number?" I didn't want to be transferred because the NAME was most important to find their email address. Luckily the unit clerks often gave me the full name. Sometimes they would give me the first name and phone number. I didn't want to sound like a stalker, so I thanked them and carry on. I would call the number during lunchtime on the weekends (none of the DON's were in their office!) so it would go straight to voicemail. The voicemail will say, "Hi, you've reached so and so..." Sometimes I had to call two or three times to make sure I got the right name. I would verify that this was indeed the right person by, again, Googling them. I got 90% of DON names this way. The large hospital was easy, the smaller facilities are a bit tricky. There was this one facility that only gave me the first name and the DON was sitting right there so she picked up the phone. I panicked and hung up! But don't think that was the end of that (ha!) I Googled her first name and the hospital name together. I did not get the DON's full name but I did find that my clinical instructor, with the same first name, works at that facility as a charge nurse. SUCCESS! I email her and ask her to forward my info to the DON. It helps that I was very successful in my clinicals and she basically turned into another reference for me. 3. Search for Email Now that you have the DON/supervisor/manager's name, you need to find their email. This part can be tricky if you are not familiar with the organization's email system. With the well-known organization, it was a piece of cake because I knew how their email worked. For the ones I didn't know, I scoured their website to look at examples of emails. You can also google it. Some formats that I ran across for "Jane Doe": doej@hospital.org, doeja@hospital.org, jdoe@hospital.org, janedoe@hospital.org. Taking it one step further, you can use Verify Email Address Online - Free Email Verifier - Free Email Address Verification to verify your email. Keep in mind that this is not 100% accurate as it did give me false negatives and positives. **If you have access to the hospital database, use it! I volunteered at a hospital and didn't think to get in there and look up the emails until after I had already done this detective work. I did verify the info I had with the database, however. It showed that my detective skills were ON POINT! Hehe. 4. Contact by Email Once I had their email address, I wrote a short but precise email about how I'm interested in working for their hospital and unit. The format is almost like a cover letter. You must SELL yourself. I attached my cover letter, resume and a couple letters of recommendation. One thing to note about resumes is that I believe you should keep it to ONE PAGE. But that's just me. Remember, I did this on the weekend. On Monday, I received THREE replies! One said that she did not have a position open, however, the other two said they will work with the nurse recruiter and schedule an interview. I was too excited. Throughout the week, I got various replies, from "I suggest you apply with HR" to "I anticipate an opening in the future and will keep you in mind". IMPORTANT: No matter the reply, you must send an email thanking them. You never know what they can do for you now or in the future. Then on Wednesday, I got the THREE calls from HR to schedule interviews. I scheduled two interviews that Friday and one the following Monday. It is so important to be prepared for your interview. Study the organization's vision, mission and values. Practice answering questions. Some questions I got were: Tell me about yourself. Strengths/weaknesses Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What kind of patients do you like? Name some interventions you've carried out. I got scenarios of patients and how I would react. For example, you walk in to Mr. X's room and see him collapsed on the floor, what do you do? The most difficult questions are "Tell me a time when you..." You must study these questions beforehand because they are difficult to come up on the spot. Luckily they are quite predictable questions. One's I got are, tell me a time when you.... made a mistake, went above and beyond for a patient, have conflict with coworkers/classmates, how you manage stress. The key to this questions is to be positive. When you tell them the mistake you made, tell them how you learned from it and moved on. The worst is to tell them that you've never made a mistake. Be honest! Talk about your passion for nursing, how you are a patient advocate and will put them first. Come prepared with at least 10 questions. Asking questions show that you are beyond "interested in the job". You need to know if you would be a good fit for the organization and for the unit. My interviewers were very impressed at what questions I threw at them. Make sure you have the questions memorized, it does not look good when you have to glance down at your paper to read off the questions. Other interview tidbits is to be on time. I cannot stress this enough. If you are not familiar with the hospital, you must go there extra early. Parking and walking to the hospital/floor can take up quite a bit of time. You could even do a test drive the day before so that you are 100% sure where you will be the following day. Dress professionally and conservatively. I put my hair up, used minimal makeup, minimal jewelry (pearls), black pants, black blazer (this looks sharp on everyone), and 3" pumps (nothing more than 3 inch, seriously, wear those when you are going out, not at a job interview). I brought extra resume's in a black leather folder and left everything else in my car. After the interview, I wrote thank you letters to everyone that interviewed me. I wrote different letters to everyone on the same floor. You don't want to look lazy using the same message. Results I got "the call" on March 19th, two weeks from when I started contacting the DONs. I received two offers that day and another offer a couple of days later. I officially accepted an offer today and learned that it has a $3,000 sign on bonus. Say what?! I am so, so blessed. I don't know where I would be if I had not stumbled on that original post. I'd also like to add that I was turned down by a nursing home and home health position. I was praying every night that something would happen. This was my answer. I always had faith that God has a plan for me. I firmly believe I got turned down because there were better opportunities out there. God is good! :loveya: Tips on Nursing Job Interview Mistakes (added by staff)... [video=youtube_share;C9zHPGT8RrQ] seeking-work-email-letter.doc how-i-got-my-dream-job.pdf
  2. tokyoROSE

    How I Got My Dream Job!

    I posted this two years ago and I apologize for not returning any sooner to answer questions. Life as a new grad definitely kept me busy! Anyway, I'm so glad to hear that my story is still helping you guys in your job hunt. :) Everyone who has asked for my DON letter: It is an ATTACHMENT at the end of my very first post. It gets lost in there because things are all jumbled, but I swear it's there. @ nc12: Complete your application with HR, then send the email to the DON. @ Loque: YES email the floors you're interested in. This is exactly what I did since my hospital has the nurse residency for new grads. I don't know if it is annoying to them to get emails on top of hundreds of new grad apps, but clearly it didn't matter because I got responses the next business day! That is better than sitting around waiting...and waiting...and waiting. @ Maddox: I did not apply to any hospitals with no active job listing. If you're actively job hunting, I don't see why you should limit yourself only to organizations with active job listings. I wouldn't say that I would focus on it, but I wouldn't give up hope either. If a manager is impressed with what they see, they may keep you in mind for future positions. @ Mr Cooper: YES!! Email your DONs ASAP no matter the deadline!! It does not hurt to show them your qualifications ahead of the game.
  3. tokyoROSE

    ICU to OR

    With everything else equal, one year ICU experience should definitely help you get into the OR. It just depends on who you are up against and what kind of applicants the OR is looking for. I had 1.5 years of tele experience and a BSN. I got an interview over a charge nurse with 4+ years of med/surg experience and a ADN.
  4. BSN: 21. FNP: 23. Will be done (hopefully!) by 25.
  5. tokyoROSE

    Nursing jobs with a sign on bonus question

    My sign on bonus was paid half up front and the other half at the end of my first year. Congratulations on the offer!
  6. tokyoROSE

    night nursing and healthy snacks

    I bring fruit and protein. Currently I'm loving edamame or beef jerky. Both are low in calories and packed full of protein. I also drink soy milk or skim milk. If I'm craving something sweet, I have sugar free chocolate pudding or make hot chocolate with soy or skim milk. I stash a few protein bars in my bag too, they come in handy wherever I go.
  7. One word: EBAY. Great place for deals, but you must work for it-- be on there as the bidding closes to be the highest bidder. They have great customer service too.
  8. tokyoROSE


    I got around the same score as you on my med/surg hesi. For exit hesi, I just used a NCLEX review book. Nailed the hesi easily.
  9. tokyoROSE

    Is it hard, time consuming, or both?

    It is both, and I graduated magna cum laude. The hard part was learning how to answer those NCLEX-style questions. I didn't fully get it until the end. (I should have bought an NCLEX review book my very first semester. It would have made a huge difference.) As for the rest, Me-erThanMe assessment is dead on about how time consuming it is. My girl friend who failed a class failed because she couldn't figure out how to answer NCLEX-style questions. I didn't have time to be nosey or have a FB account during nursing school so I don't know the circumstances of how other ex-classmates failed.
  10. How does everyone feel about going to NP school full time and working full time? I am single with no children and toying with this idea. In nursing school, I knew a few people who went to school full time, worked full time and had children. Sure they did not have much of a social life, but they got through it. I am starting the process of looking at schools and programs but finding it hard to decide between going full time or part time. Any thoughts?
  11. tokyoROSE

    Do you have a lot of Debt to pay off

    I had a nice amount of money in the bank when I graduated at 21 from a state college. Scholarships, working, parents, and being creative with money allowed me to be in that position. I'm quite surprised that so many people learn to critical think in college, yet when it comes to finances, they are clueless. Wake up people! Money isn't everything to me but it sure is nice to not worry about debt! My family is solidly middle class, but we are financially responsible and do not owe a cent on anything. It is not that hard and my parents didn't even go to college (didn't have the opportunity, sadly).
  12. The one I had was no different than the American textbook. It was hard cover and brand new, $100 cheaper.
  13. tokyoROSE

    Worried About Accreditation

    Not in a million years would I gamble away years of hard work and money to a non-accredited school.
  14. tokyoROSE

    Seriously, difference between HESI and NCLEX?

    In my experience, no. The questions are very similar. I felt that taking the exit HESI twice (program requirement) really prepared me for NCLEX. Compared to test questions in, let's say med/surg, NCLEX/HESI questions were a lot easier :)
  15. tokyoROSE

    Help? Any suggestions that will help me

    Get a CNA job at the hospital. This will help you IMMENSELY in your job search when you graduate.
  16. tokyoROSE

    Keep my Micro book?

    I barely had to pay for any books during NS. Reason: I sold ALL my books that are current editions because those are top money and I would basically recoup the cost of the book. I then repurchased books I knew I would need (only book was med/surg) but in an older edition. Worked like a charm. I did not repurchase an older A&P book because with the amount of reading bestowed upon me, I didn't have time to reference any book. My professors would talk about A&P in class and provide notes if it was pertinent to the lesson. If I really needed something though, there was always Google.
  17. tokyoROSE

    Online BSN program while doing ADN program

    What you are looking for is a traditional BSN program
  18. tokyoROSE

    Full time NP school and full time work?

    Thank you all for the replies. Luckily, I do work 12's and I can self-schedule my shifts to be on weekends. I'm now leaning towards part time from this feedback. It seems as if I would almost kill myself to work and go to school full time when I don't need to. I'm 22, no rush to get married or have a family.. The only reason I toyed with the idea is the thought of going to school for 3 years part time seems more painful than 2 years full time. I figured it would be stressful either way, and I can just knock myself out for 2 years and get it over with, rather than dragging it out for 3 years. Silly, I know
  19. tokyoROSE

    How I Got My Dream Job!

    panpan, I am a minority and I wouldn't be surprised if that article was on to something... unfortunately, racism is well and alive today. Thankfully my director gave me a chance and I was able to show them what I was capable of bringing to the table. To other minorities looking for a job, don't take no for an answer. Keep kicking those doors down and you will get what you want. movingforward12, You can read the email I sent to directors attached to my first post. Introduce yourself, show that you have researched the job/organization and tell them how you can contribute. If that still doesn't make sense, look up cover letters. Essentially, this is a cover letter. lifeisgood2012, Please read my first post again. I touched base on this. I had trouble with smaller facilities so in this case you would have to call. Read what I had to go through to get the name, and it wasn't even the director's name but I got lucky anyway. The hospital that released nursing reports is the largest organization in my state, hence they have the funds and need for them. Smaller facilities do not. Everyone, I have enjoyed reading your comments and answering questions. However, I noticed I had to repeat myself a few times... please read my first post over before asking a question. There really is a lot of info in there. :)
  20. tokyoROSE

    Refusing the Influenza Vaccine

    Is the search function broken? This has been discussed ad nauseam. To sum it up, you have the right to refuse the vaccine, they have the right to refuse admission.
  21. tokyoROSE

    S#!% Nursing Students Say

    I am only four months out from nursing school and this video gave me the chills. How did I survive that?!
  22. I was hoping to get a car (still searching), but ended up having to pay for my dog's tumor removal surgery with my first pay check. It was worth every cent.
  23. tokyoROSE

    Working during a BSN program...Yes no maybe???

    In my class, the majority of people worked and we all did fine. I worked because I like to make money, not because it was a necessity (my parents supported me). It was nice that I graduated with no debt and >10k in the bank. I feel that the long days and nights were worth it because now I can enjoy my life without worrying about my finances.
  24. tokyoROSE

    I wonder if allnurses is...