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  1. hakunamatata

    How To Get a Job As a New Grad Nurse

    Alright new grads, I am a straight shooter and a bit of a cynic (I like to call myself a realist, personally) - but that is possibly why I scored myself an RN job with a residency, before I graduated, on the floor that I wanted and chose. This is geared for people that know how to get down and dirty, will be great new graduates, and know that a little hard work can go a long way, and aren't scared to put some effort into the job search. Not for those of you that are halfway through nursing school and still "hate" giving bed baths (buck up!)... Come to terms with reality and what you have to work with. My boyfriend of three years lives in SF, and I went to school here in the Midwest because it was much more economical; I simply couldn't afford to live the CA lifestyle while in school. Therefore, I of course set my sights only on getting to the Bay Area while in nursing school. And then...my sights started getting set on anything in California...and towards the end of school (and after a few close nabs at a CA residency spot, dangit!), I realized if I wanted employment right out of school, it would mean having to stay here in the Midwest to get some experience. And I have to, because I don't have a roof over my head if I don't have an income, I was living off loans through school. No rich mommy and daddy to hand me things here. Note though, that I am in a pretty big urban city that is still quite competitive - so this article is definitely applicable, I wasn't handed a job in some Kansas farmtown. Anyways, this is sort of a new grad analogy to the first step in AA...come to terms with what you have and things will start to be more realistic! It is 100x easier to get a job where you are going to school. Be flexible, but have some goal ideas as well. Just like a diet or exercise plan, it's a lot easier to gets things accomplished when you have specific goals. I started to realize during clinicals that I was flexible, but really didn't have interest in OB or Peds (which is great, since these are so popular...not sure why, hehe). I really liked working with older populations, I liked more acute and sick populations, and I liked roles where there was a lot of teaching involved (I like to get up on my soapbox and preach about diet, nutrition, and mind-body health...yay, Medicine floors!). From here, I picked a few specific floors and went from there. Stalking time! No, not really. If you're going to only read one part of the article, read this. But this is where new grads dip out and no one steps up to the plate. Like, out of 50 classmates, I was the only one that did this. I have no idea why because managers for the most part were very receptive of it. So how to do this? If you are lucky enough to do any kind of clinical work, even for a day on the floor, introduce yourself to the nurse manager. Ask your nurse if the manager is there, and have them introduce you, or if you are courageous like me - walk right in the office! Put on a big smile, extend your hand, and start telling them how great your experience is on this floor and that you would really like to work here in the future. There are definitely weirdos and crappy management out there, but for the most part, nurse managers are going to love this. It's a win - win really. If you have the personality and showed them, you're putting yourself ahead, AND you're making a future hire easier on them. They don't have to sort through 50 applications of new grads when they know that you are genuinely interested and you have the great personality, open attitude, and readiness-to-learn that you have showed them, face to face. Don't have a clinical? Start using Google. If you don't know how to, you're SOL on this one, no internet tutorials here folks. But, yes, Google! Start with the specific floor and then also enter "nurse manager". This doesn't work ALL the time, but usually you can find some linked website, LinkedIn profile, or something else that will show the nurse manager's name, and if you're lucky, their e-mail address. My advice is to e-mail them a few months before you can formally apply for the position. Tell them you are specifically interested in their floor, and just use this as your shot to voice out. Don't make it too long (like this article) - they don't want your life story. Be charming and honest! Convince them why you'd be a great investment. How I got my job, in a paragraph: introduced myself first day of clinical to manager of a floor I knew I was interested in. Confirmed interest over 7 week clinical. Re-introduced myself to manager last day of my clinical and asked for a business card and said very directly "I love this floor. I would really to like to work here when I graduate. Can I shoot you an e-mail when I apply, so I'm not just in the giant HR pile?" Nurse manager thought I was funny and said "please do". E-mailed her midway during school to tell her that I was getting great experience on other units but I still just loved hers, how it ran, complemented her staff, etc. It was true, and she appreciated. It was my way of holding onto her as a contact. E-mailed her again when I applied months later, referring her back to our e-mail chain so she was reminded who I was. HR called me out of over 500 new grad applications and I got an interview the next week. Then scored the job. It was a bit too easy. But why? Cause I stepped my game up. Oh, and sent a hand-written thank you card after your interview! Duh. Hiring managers are not looking for new grads with 4.0 GPAs and who were the president of their school and NSNA. If they are, they're missing out on a lot of great hires. They are looking for someone that is a positive person (SMILE BIG), a professional, and most importantly: can easily integrate into their team, is honest about their strengths and weaknesses as a new nurses, is accountable for their actions, and genuinely has a strong desire to learn much more everyday than they were taught in nursing school, to build their nursing foundation, and genuinely is compassionate and wants to truly ease the suffering of their patients, and help better their lives and health. I myself got into nursing after dropping out of undergrad to help a very sick parent and the rest of my family deal with the illness. I got into nursing because of this; I have an innate desire to really serve sick people and their families, and it naturally shows. Write a cover letter. Put effort and thought into it and don't make it too generic. Don't believe people that tell you not to waste your time writing a cover letter. You need to write a cover letter. Have a great resume. Make it different, somehow. And not with hot pink paper or Comic Sans font. Always be ready to be a professional and meet someone. Always. Look for networking everywhere you go. Use your nursing school contacts to help you get a job. Tell people you know that the nursing economy is rough for new grads and you are trying to step up to the plate early. While you may have to wait until you're licensed to formally apply, you do NOT have to wait to make connections. If you are quiet, don't like doing all the above stated advice, it's time to balls up. Lastly, realize that getting a degree as a nurse does not guarantee you a job (not matter what Yahoo! News tells people). Not even close, in this economy. I graduated in May and more than half of my classmates didn't get jobs. Guess what? Those were the people that sent in their applications online...and that's all they did. They sent out a generic electronic form and resume into some electronic world. They didn't get in touch with the people who really make things happen. If you think you are going to get a job because you have a BSN; have a previous Bachelor's in Biology, Psychology, whatever; graduated with honors, etc. - THINK again. Know that I tried VERY hard and spent literally weeks worth of hours to try and get a job in California, and all over the rest of the country. I am estimating I put in at least 500 hours of work during nursing school that was dedicated to my job search and researching the market. Be willing to work very hard, and something will happen for you. Looking for a job? Visit allnurses Jobs Is It hard to get a job as a New Grad Nurse? how-to-get-a-job-as-a-new-grad.pdf
  2. Nurse Beth

    It's Complicated- Help!

    Dear Nurse Beth, I'm returning to practice after a 10 year absence due to medical disability. This is raising all sorts of issues when it comes to filling out applications, submitting resumes, and writing cover letters. I really hope you can give me some solid advice. I recently took a RN Refresher course and I don't know where to include this on my resume. I've seen it listed on some resumes under Professional experience and on others under Education or even Licenses & Certifications. My gut says listing it under Professional Experience gets rid of that initial impact of seeing my last nursing job was 10 years ago. Thoughts??? Is it appropriate to address my ten year absence from nursing in my cover letter? And if so, how do I best do this? I'm thinking in very general terms explain what happened, state I'm now in excellent health and able to return to nursing, this is what I learned from the experience and these are the qualities I can bring to your organization because of my experience. One last question, when filling out job applications it asks reasons for leaving positions and/or gives options. I worked for one organization my entire career but was on FMLA/STD for longer than anticipated and when I was unable to return due to my doctor not releasing me medically I was "let go". How do I address that? I was rehired by the same organization a few months later when I was medically cleared. And then eventually had to leave again when I became permanently disabled. How do I address that? I'm sorry I know it's all complicated but I don't want someone to take a look at my application/resume/cover letter and immediately trash it. (Although I realize the chances of that are pretty high.) Thank you for your help! Dear Complicated, Congrats on your return to health. It is important how you frame your 10 yr absence from the workforce, but you cannot control how employers receive it. Under exactly which heading you choose to include your RN Refresher Course is not going to change the fact that your last nursing job was over 10 years ago. You are over thinking this a bit, although the most appropriate section is under Education. As far as your work history, list the dates of employment from hire date to termination date (not date of medical leave). Do the same with your second round of employment with the same employer. It speaks to your performance that the organization re-hired you. Your cover letter should briefly include that you are returning to the workforce after an extended health-related absence that is now entirely resolved. The reason for including it is that leaving it out only for the employer to discover later will not benefit you. The key is to be brief and immediately segue to the positive, focusing on the skills you bring to the table. You have a unique challenge in that many employers will not be willing to train a nurse with a lengthy absence. Here is where sheer determination comes in. That means you have to persevere, apply to multiple organizations and keep your eye on the goal- to land that first job back into the workforce. Not your ideal job- your first job 🙂 Activate your network and ask for letters of recommendation from your Refresher Course instructors. Have you asked if they help with placement? Some of them should have ties to hiring facilities. Finally, desperate times call for desperate measures and bold moves. Read about these strategies in my book below, for example, How to Successfully Conduct a Cold Call. Good luck, and keep us posted. Best wishes, Nurse Beth Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  3. anathames

    Nursing Job Cover Letter

    Nurses' job is to take care of the patient, help the doctors keep a track of the history of the patient, administer medicines time to time, etc.The duties and responsibilities of a nurse depends from clinic to clinic. In hospitals the job description differs and they might have to perform emergency first aid, do some cleaning, keep a note of which medicine has been bought from the hospital stores, check the insurance policies and make the entries in their records, etc. What to Write in Nursing Resume Cover Letter? The content of the letter has a typical format and things to include. The first is the introduction. Introduction to your self and reference to the job opportunity, i.e. how you found it, etc. If you have any recommendation or reference to give, please do so in the letter. The body of the letter can be personal in nature written in formal language. The length of the letter can be around 450 words. You may tell the employer your strengths and special skills relevant to the job. Something that convinces the employer or recruiter that you are the right candidate for the job, is welcome. If you have some personal reasons for choosing that particular place of work, be it the location or the job profile, or if you like the perks they give their employees, you may mention these factors as well. It gives a good impression and most importantly, a sincere one. It shows that you have invested time in finding out about the employer. Cover Letter Example for Nurses Nathan Streeter 712 Atha Drive Bakersfield, CA 93301 E-Mail Address - nathanstreeter@ mail.com Contact Number - 661759 5839 04/30/2012 Jerome Riley Hiring Manager Super Nursing Agency Bakersfield,CA 93301 Dear Mr. Riley, This is with respect to the employment opportunity you have posted on your web site. I am interested in taking up the position of a Nurse and I fit into your requirement criteria too. The reason why I am so keen in being a part of your organization is that your agency has the reputation of having good loyalty program for the employees who stay for a considerable period of time. Given my experience in this job profile I do not think you will have an issue with hiring me. You can expect prompt and efficient service from me. The recommendation letter attached herewith will state the same. Thank you for your time Sir. Sincere regards, (signature) Nathan Streeter Hope these tips and information given in this article help you draft your personal letter to different employees. Remember that customization is the key to make your cover letter work.
  4. Look at your RESUME!!! I've been reviewing resumes this May 2012 for open positions in my department and can't believe the resumes I've received: misspelling, words crossed off, no cover letter, including personal information about family life. Please don't send a resume if you have NONE of the job qualifications, unless your cover letter has explanation e.g. enrolled in education program etc. [Resume sample attached below] Also, agree with our members that calling facility and finding out who is department manager, then forwarding your resume to them along with HR is great idea. Facility Telephone Operators on second shift are great at helping me spell the name of Manager of 2nd floor Med Surg ...Telemetry or ICU unit "so I can respond to their voice mail with a thank you card." I work in a smaller organization than a hospital, but it has taken me over two months to get open positions advertised and three weeks to get resumes sent to me...those that are sent to me directly have interview scheduled the same week. When 300+ persons responded to ONE position online, I can't possibly screen that many candidate. HR is always overwhelmed with applicants to our online Kenexa job application program so quicker for me to review those applying for my occasional 1-2 open positions. Some online application programs have the ability to screen for key job words based on application summary or position description built into it. Visit: Job-Seeker's Glossary of Key Job-Hunting, Career, Job-Search, and Employment Terms Create your resume in a Word document using standard fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, with Century Old Style used most for business positions). PROOF READ two times before cut n' pasting material. Previous jobs should have language in past tense while current jobs have present tense used to describe work activities. If attaching a resume and cover letter, it is best to have file saved using your name and date so I can find it again if I download to my computer. Make sure your cover letter is for CORRECT FACILITY, not employer in the next state. (Yes, I received application for NJ hospital while I'm with a PA home care agency--quickest way to hit the recycle bin. Because I had an extra minute that day, I called RN and informed him of this error--before it hit deskside recycle bin.) 🙂 Acceptable examples Skywalker_Luke 5-20-12 Skywalker, L 05-20-2012 Skywalker, L Resume Not recommended my resume; updated resume L; ?X old style; lukes bio; peters bio (yet first name listed as Luke ????) With focus on facilities going to electronic medical records (EMR), don't forget to list "Computer skills" as heading after work experiences. Under computer skills, list those you have experience with, especially if at intermediate or advanced proficiency. You might want to include any computer course work taken. List any experience moderating websites, etc. All these skills are what facilities need and looking for today. Example As hiring manager, I look at length of time at positions and job progression along with experiences applicants state that would transfer to a healthcare environment. I'm always skeptical of someone changing jobs every 3-6 months without explanation in cover letter due to cost of hiring and training --need someone to be with me at least a year to recoup my investment in new employee. If job changes are due to working for temp agency, better to list temp agency as employer, then companies and skills obtained/utilized underneath that heading. Consider joining the most often used social media site for the business community: LinkedIn.com. As of March 31, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world's largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Members post professional bios and resumes online, can connect with persons in similar positions, or reconnect with lost colleagues creating networks -- recruiters often search this site. You can look to see if anyone in your network is connected to someone who works at the company you're applying to. Depending on who the connections are, you could possibly: ask for background information on the job, ask for a proactive referral or introduction, or ask directly for an interview. This advice also applies to job postings within your health system. A college acquaintance I kept in touch with over the years as they ascended the Nursing ranks, called me out of the blue one day to discuss the posting for our Education Director as they had no home care experience. I knew they had taught in a BSN program, served as editor for a nursing publication, worked as Nursing Supervisor and with 20+ years nursing experience, were vastly qualified. As we chatted, told them about online home care CEU articles one could read and what this new position entailed. Next day, as I passed VP Patient Services in the hallway, mentioned phone call and recommended person's resume be looked at IF they applied. Three years later, they have totally transformed our home care education, developing a department with 5 educators! Network freely as a student and later in your career with your instructors, unit Nurse Managers, Preceptor's, colleagues, nursing assistants, house keepers and security guards--anyone you might know that works within a facility; You may someday need to contact them for the scoop on unposted jobs, reference letters or advice on facility "politics" as one tries to climb the nursing ladder. May the force be with you in creating an individualized resume and cover letter highlighting your skills to land the position YOU desire. For advice on interview skills, visit Nursing Interview Help Get Started AACN Brochure: What Nursing Grads Should Consider When Seeking Employment Resume Writing Resume Tips for Nurses Sample Resume for a Nurse Final Cut: Words to Strike from your Resume Cover Letters For The Resume The Basics of the Cover Letter: Vault Sample Cover Letters - a step-by-step guide of what goes on a cover letter done in the format of how the letter should appear. Tips For Submitting Online Applications How to Stand Out When Applying for Jobs Online Letters of Recommendation Asking for a Letter of Recommendation Writing a Letter of Recommendation nurse-resume-sample.docx