6 Resolutions for the Nursing Job Seeker

Are you ready to get out of the job search rut and find something you love? Check out these six resolutions if you're ready to find your dream job in 2023.

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  • Specializes in Workforce Development, Education, Advancement. Has 25 years experience.

Being a nurse has been more challenging than usual over the past few years. All the stress, staffing shortages, and high acuity patients might make you wonder if you're in the specialty or job that fits you best. Or, you might be ready to find a new job that better aligns with the new skills and education you gained in 2022.

Whatever the reason for looking for a new nursing job, the start of 2023 is a great time to do it. Not only does a new year give you time to look to the future, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to think back over the last 12 months and reflect on your accomplishments to include in your resume. And it's no secret that the first three months of the year are considered the best time to find and start a new job because healthcare organizations are looking to the future too, and likely starting a new fiscal year.

So, how do you set yourself up to find your dream job in 2023? You can start by exploring these six resolutions to find a new job you'll love!

Grow Your Network

A healthy and active network is an excellent way to start looking for a new job. You can use an online career platform like LinkedIn to nurture an existing network or to start from scratch. To make new connections and boost your chances of connecting with interesting people who can help you find a new job, try the following:

Find connections

Research people in the field or specialty you're interested in on LinkedIn. Invite them to connect. You can also join specialty groups to find top professionals in the specialty and local areas to follow. 

Build Rapport

Strike up public conversations in groups or post directly to your page about the type of job you're looking for. Respond promptly and thoroughly if someone responds to your post or sends you a private message. If you send messages directly to those you're connected with, ask them questions about the specialty and let them know you're exploring and looking for a new job. Ask them if they'd be open to connecting in person or virtually to help you understand the best ways to find a new job. It's best practice to thank them in advance for any guidance and support they might be able to give.

Update Your Resume

Nothing says nurse job seeker like a well-written, polished, and organized resume. So, dust off your latest version and update it by adding all your most recent jobs. Update the format by searching for a current template that keeps your resume looking clean and fresh. If formatting and writing aren't your strong suit, consider hiring a nurse or healthcare resume writer to do the work for you.  Be sure to have a few trusted friends or family members review your resume for typos and flow before sending it to prospective healthcare employers. 

Practice Interviewing Skills

Interviews can be unnerving if you're not prepared. Do an online search for common nursing interview questions and practice how you'd answer each one. Even if the interviewer doesn't ask the exact questions, you'll feel more comfortable providing information about yourself and your skills. 

Interviews are an excellent time to ask questions about the job and the company. Prepare a list of questions to ask. A few of our favorites include:

  • How would you describe the culture of the company and nursing unit?
  • What are the 30-60-90 day orientation and training goals for this role?
  • Does the company offer any tuition reimbursement or training benefits?
  • How would you describe your leadership style? 
  • How might I know if I'm performing well on the job?
  • When do you plan on making an offer for this job?

Boost Relevant Skills

Looking for a new job is a great time to take a look at continuing education courses that align with any new positions you plan to apply for. Complete the courses and list them on your resume as "Training and Continuing Education" to showcase your skills. 

Follow Up with Interviewers

Always send a follow-up email to interviewers within 24 hours of your interview. Thank them for their time, and let them know if you are or aren't interested in the job and the company. You should also follow up with them a few days after the date they provided as the goal offer date in your interview if you haven't heard from them. A quick email letting them know you're still interested and asking if the job has been filled works great. 

Take Your Time

Finding a new job takes time. You may be tempted to rush the process or get frazzled when it doesn't go as quickly as you'd like. Remember that it takes time for applications to be reviewed, interviews to be set up and completed, and offers to be made. Be patient, but plan on six to eight weeks of searching and interviewing before putting in your notice. 

What other rules and guidelines do you use when applying for a job? We'd love to know more about your best practices and how well they work for you when leveling up your career.

Melissa is a registered nurse with over 23 years of experience. She loves workforce development, training, and operations. Challenging the status quo and accomplishing stretch goals keeps her getting up in the mornings. She is a lover of all things apple - pie, cider, streusel, and more! When she isn't doing nerdy work things, she is outside with her husband and dogs hiking or exploring local parks.

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Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

I really think that nurses and nursing students shouldn't hang all their hopes on a so-called "Dream Job". It seems, from all the reading I've done over the years, here, that too many folks are salivating to work ICU, NICU, and other high-tech-type Nursing Jobs, wanting to jump right into their dream. Dreams aren't reality, and nightmares can happen unexpectedly.

But, nursing is different now from when I graduated. I wanted to get a wide range of experiences, so I wouldn't be afraid if something new to me occurred. For a while I worked through an agency where I could do staff-supplementing on occasion, but not all the time at one facility. And when I did work for a facility as their employee, I requested to be a float, so I could get the wide range of experiences. My 'dream' was to learn as many things as I could get under my belt, to improve my skills all around. 

Just my opinion.