tips on finding a job


does anyone have any tips for a new grad trying to find their first job? i have no previous health related experience.

what was your experience like and how did you land your first job?

Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

5 apps per week landed me a job in a matter of weeks after finishing nursing school. That first job wasn't a good fit and didn't last long. So I put in 5 job apps per week again and landed a new job in less than 2 months.

I've been at this job for about 8 months.

I did have my resume redone by a career counselor at school and my cover letter was very professional.

I also had Cna experience. This is what worked for me!


206 Posts

I have been putting in mine as well. I had my school do mine as well. I honestly think that I need to redo it myself.


22 Posts

I applied literally everywhere. Got my first job about a month after I got my license at a SNF working PRN. It was definitely not ideal, I worked many double shifts, but about 3 months later I landed a job at the VA hospital on a med surg floor.


33 Posts

I am not only a new nurse but I am middle aged. I decided to change careers when I was a month away from 40. I went to CNA class first, then became a CNA. Got into LPN school that spring. Graduated in Aug, passed NCLEX in Sept, started looking the beginning of Oct. Turned in about 15 resumes. Got an interview in an interesting job with very little hours but they hadn't done my background check just said they were extending the offer. While waiting for them to call me to do my finger prints I got a call from some place I had looked at that looked interesting. Interviewed, offered the job that day, waited for my back ground to be completed and started orientation yesterday. The other place took too long to get back with me and I couldn't make both work anyway. The place I got a job at is so far amazing. So far people are great, it is not for profit so all the money gets put back into it. Amazing benefits both like insurance all the way to a gym at the location. Sometimes it takes a while because the right place is waiting for the right time. I know the wait is hard. I had that happen to me when I was laid off of my last career. But everything happens when it is supposed to.

scaredsilly, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,161 Posts

First: Use your connections. Go and speak to preceptors from your clinicals, and ask them if they would put in a word for you for any openings on that floor. If any of your instructors work at hospitals, speak to them as well.

I think your location will make a big difference. What worked for me apparently does not work for people on the east coast. Most of my classmates (myself included) figured out that online applications were being discarded without a human ever seeing them, so we bypassed the online applications and HR and took our resumes into nurse managers. At last count, around 25 of us got jobs that way. It seems that the online applications process has built in filters that just discard apps without former RN experience and walking into an HR department usually gets you nothing more than the evil eye-but NMs in many cases will take your resume and offer you an interview if you are a good fit.

If you are located in a city where hospital security blocks you from doing that, then the next best suggestion is not to limit yourself to hospitals. LTCs, SNFs, clinics, etc. are easier to get hired into than hospitals in most cases.


186 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

In my area, and in my experience, knowing someone is key. Despite a stellar academic record and receiving awards for my clinical practice, I couldn't get the time of day until a friend who works for the company emailed the recruiter for one system saying, "unicoRNurse applied for x job, and I just wanted to let you know that she would be an excellent addition to the team, yadda yadda." Even then, it was over a week past my follow-up email (which I sent a month after my friend's referral email) that I got a call. I did eventually get hired (for a different position), but haven't started working yet.

The only other people from my class who have jobs (who didn't already work as MAs or PCAs for the systems that hired them) are people who had friends give their resumes to NMs, totally bypassing the recruiter/HR. That is how a LOT of hiring seems to happen.

Full disclosure, I only applied for jobs I wanted (FT hospital positions, with two hospital systems only), and I actually did end up getting a call from the system at which I did not have an "in," a couple days after I got hired at the other system. Had I applied for LTC/SNF, home health, or other systems, I may have been hired sooner than late October, but I have a good job that permitted me to be a little more selective.

Good luck in your search!