Jump to content

Still in school - What can I do now to be a better candidate as a new grad?

Posted

I am currently in my maternal child rotation in school and have fell in love with it. I've been on the L&D unit and the NICU, and really liked both. I will be in the nursery and postpartum in these upcoming weeks. The hospital that I plan to apply for does a residency program for new grads. I am interested in applying for the L&D/postpartum residency program (however, there is also a NICU/Peds program that I would love to do as well). Is there anything that I can do now to better prepare myself or make myself an outstanding candidate when I graduate?

Thank you for the advice!

P.S. I will graduate May 2016. :)

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Join AWHONN. Most professional organizations have a substantially discounted rate for students. Not only will it look good on your resume, but try to attend local chapter meetings if you can and network. You'll stand out as a student with genuine interest who takes initiative. If you cultivate sincere relationships, some of those nurses might even write you reference letters. I'd join ASAP; the closer you get to graduation, the more it will look like you're doing it at the last minute to fluff your resume. Or join NANN specifically for neonates.

Volunteer as a doula!! It's a great way to clarify if L&D is your passion. Again, it will look great on your resume, and it's a great way to network with current L&D nurses/managers (i.e. potential future employers). A bunch of my nursing school friends (now L&D nurses) did this and LOVED it. If you can't get the certification done in time, consider volunteering on Mother/Baby instead/in the meantime.

Consider getting Neonatal Resuscitation Protocol (NRP) certified (especially helpful if you do become a doula).

All of the above will demonstrate an interest in and commitment to maternal/neonatal health.

During school, I had to interview a nurse leader for a class. I interviewed nurse managers on the NICUs I was interested in. It was a great way to learn about the unit, demonstrate and interest, compliment the unit/manager, and gently mention my interest in working there eventually (followed up with, "Thank you so much, I am so impressed with your unit. I'd love to work here some day; would you mind if I send you a follow-up email after I submit my application in February?")

Congrats on finding your calling :) L&D/Mother-Baby are the only units in the hospital where you spend time with patients on one of the best days of their lives instead of one of the worst (most of the time, anyway).

Edited by adventure_rn

That is so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write all of that. I am currently researching AWHONN :) I wonder how I might be able to get in touch with a nurse manager to interview? Great ideas!

Try to get you senior practicum/preceptorship/capstone in L&D or Mother-Baby. I got my senior preceptorship in Mother-Baby and that helped me get my job as a Mother-Baby nurse at a hospital in a different city. But i know many of my classmates were able to get a job at their preceptorship sites because they built rapport with the nurses and got to know the nurse manager

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

That is so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write all of that. I am currently researching AWHONN :) I wonder how I might be able to get in touch with a nurse manager to interview? Great ideas!

One way to get to know managers is simply by networking with current L&D/Mother-Baby/NICU nurses at local events (like the ones I mentioned in my first post). If you meet nurses at conferences or events and get their contact info, then you can reach out to them and say "I really enjoyed meeting you. I have an assignment in which I have to interview a nurse manager. Is there any chance you could put me in touch with your manager?" You can also do this via nurses from your maternity rotation, your maternity clinical instructors, or your capstone (if maternal-neonatal related).

I am currently in my maternal child rotation in school and have fell in love with it. I've been on the L&D unit and the NICU, and really liked both. I will be in the nursery and postpartum in these upcoming weeks. The hospital that I plan to apply for does a residency program for new grads. I am interested in applying for the L&D/postpartum residency program (however, there is also a NICU/Peds program that I would love to do as well). Is there anything that I can do now to better prepare myself or make myself an outstanding candidate when I graduate?

Thank you for the advice!

P.S. I will graduate May 2016. :)

Hi! I'm actually glad you made this post. I graduate May 2016 as well and hope to go into OB or NICU. I have been searching allnurses for ways to boost my resume and increase my chances of landing a job in one of these specialties. I only plan to apply to residency programs as there are several in my area.

I have formulated a plan based on the advice given to you, and other information I have gathered throughout my research. Within the next 6 months I plan to join AWHONN, as well as get ACLS, NRP, and Basic Fetal Monitoring certified. I currently have 100 volunteer hours--50 in the nursery and 50 in L&D. And of course, I hope to to precept in one of the areas.

That's my plan before starting my job search. I hope that will be enough to land an interview because I would absolutely love starting out in an area I've talked about since middle school.

Good luck to you!

Mumto4

Specializes in L&D, mother/baby.

All of this is very good advice.

One of the things I did is whenever we had the option to do research projects in school, I always centered them around L&D. I also did clinical rotations at a small hospital where our instructor allowed us to float a lot. I spent more time in L&D and mother/baby than the majority of my classmates. And on top of everything else, I didn't allow my desire for L&D to be a secret....there is no hiding true passion. Good luck!