When to apply for jobs? And what jobs should I go for?


Hey everyone,

I'm set to graduate with my BSN, RN in May of 2020. It feels so close but SO far away. I was wondering when I should start submitting applications for RN positions? I know there will be a TON of new grads in May and I don't want to be too late in the game to land a good position.

That being said, I do hope to go to CRNA school in the future and would love to get into an ICU. Obviously, it's not likely for me to land a position in the ICU right out of nursing school- but is it worth a shot? or should I try on a step-down unit and transfer after a year?

Rionoir, ADN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health. 638 Posts

Where do you live? It seems like the answer to this question is different depending on where you live. In Wisconsin most nursing students can have an externship one or two semesters before graduation, which usually leads to an RN position on the same unit after graduation. New grads can get ICU positions too. But I'm sure somewhere like California it would be another story.


gere7404, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Services, Cardiac Step-Down. Has 5 years experience. 646 Posts

The hospitals in my area opened up applications for their new grad residency programs in April, and started making offers for jobs in May to my cohort graduating in June. We got to select the three departments we were most interested in working in, and if the department liked your application, they invited you to interview. Slots for interview were first come, first serve, so by the time a lot of my cohort applied the floors they wanted weren't accepting any more interviews, so it was beneficial to have your resume ready to go.

Departments like the ICU and ED required new grad applicants to do their practicum in those units, so if you didn't do the last couple quarters working on them your application wasn't even looked at. We got to request our areas of interest before clinical practicum, and they tried to accommodate when possible; most of the people who were vocal about wanting to be ICU nurses found themselves doing their practicum in the ICU, but your mileage may vary as your program might do things differently.

Like Rionoir said, a lot of students end up getting hired to the floor they do their senior practicum on. Something I've read that stuck with me was "practicum is the longest job interview you'll ever have." If you like the unit you're doing practicum on, show them exactly why they should hire you.