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What do employers look for when hiring a new graduate?

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I was hoping to get some insight from some nurses. I will be starting nursing school in the fall and was hoping to get some answers here. I am most worried about finding a job after a graduate (which will be in three years) and I was wondering what you all think is most important in terms of what employers look for when hiring a new grad. For example, does where you went to school weigh more than your experience? Or the level of your nursing degree?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

We definitely look at GPA - it is the best indicator of how much efforrt you put into your nursing education. We tend to hire new grads who did clinical practicums in our facilities because we already know how well you work with others, and that's a very important characteristic. If the new grad has been working well for us as a tech, he/she usually gets first consideration because we have a pretty good idea of your potential.

Our hiring managers tend to avoid non-traditional & direct entry program grads based on negative prior experiences.They favor those schools with programs that have 'more than minimal' clinical experience. Two of our favorites are BSN programs that include a synthesis experience in the final semester; students work full shifts 3 days per week and function as staff nurses, including leading teams & delegating to UAPs.

The prestige (cost) of a program really doesn't matter. Everyone takes the same NCLEX. Does that help?

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

My hospital's perspective may not be exactly the same as the previous poster's ... but it's similar. We look for maturity, experience, committment to the specialty, etc. We want people who have a high chance of success -- and that is easiest to see in new grads who has worked as a CNA, extern, etc. or in one who went to a school where they did a senior year synthesis experience of some sort in a related specialty.

We look for high achievers who also have "people skills" that come through on their resume and in their interactions during the application/interview process.

We also tend to be a little dubious of some of the "accelerated" program grads, MSN-enty level grads, and other unorthodox programs unless we have specific experience with that program and/or know that it did not scrimp on the education (both book-learning and clinical practice). We've had some bad experiences and are a little more skeptical now. Someone who comes to us without having "touched all the bases" of a traditional nursing education will have to give us a reason to give them a chance.

We definitely look at GPA - it is the best indicator of how much efforrt you put into your nursing education. We tend to hire new grads who did clinical practicums in our facilities because we already know how well you work with others, and that's a very important characteristic. If the new grad has been working well for us as a tech, he/she usually gets first consideration because we have a pretty good idea of your potential.

Our hiring managers tend to avoid non-traditional & direct entry program grads based on negative prior experiences.They favor those schools with programs that have 'more than minimal' clinical experience. Two of our favorites are BSN programs that include a synthesis experience in the final semester; students work full shifts 3 days per week and function as staff nurses, including leading teams & delegating to UAPs.

The prestige (cost) of a program really doesn't matter. Everyone takes the same NCLEX. Does that help?

YES! That most definitely helps. I am currently deciding between two nursing programs. A private in Oakland and a state school in LA. I am from SF, so I was hoping to work somewhere up north after I graduate. I am leaning more towards the program in LA, bc the cost of tuition is MUCH cheaper, but I am worried that I will have a tough time finding work after I graduate... Any insight?

My hospital's perspective may not be exactly the same as the previous poster's ... but it's similar. We look for maturity, experience, committment to the specialty, etc. We want people who have a high chance of success -- and that is easiest to see in new grads who has worked as a CNA, extern, etc. or in one who went to a school where they did a senior year synthesis experience of some sort in a related specialty.

We look for high achievers who also have "people skills" that come through on their resume and in their interactions during the application/interview process.

We also tend to be a little dubious of some of the "accelerated" program grads, MSN-enty level grads, and other unorthodox programs unless we have specific experience with that program and/or know that it did not scrimp on the education (both book-learning and clinical practice). We've had some bad experiences and are a little more skeptical now. Someone who comes to us without having "touched all the bases" of a traditional nursing education will have to give us a reason to give them a chance.

Thank you for your response!! How do accelerated or entry level MSN programs "scrimp" on the education? I can see why you would be more skeptical of accelerated programs... do EL-MSN students experience less clinical hours than BSN students?

sMoLsNurse

Specializes in Med-Surg, Ortho, Subacute, Homecare, LTC. Has 5 years experience.

I would say a willingness to learn, you don't want to come off sounding like you know everything, but you also want to show you have a strong base education to work off of.