Four Tips for Recent Nurse Graduates

by Lindsay Wilcox

Nursing graduate interviewing for a jobTrying to get a job as a new nursing graduate? While most companies (including RNnetwork) require you to have least one year of clinical experience before they’ll hire you, there are several things you can do now to make yourself more marketable and find a job as a nurse.

Revamp your resume. List jobs that are relevant to the healthcare industry, such as working as a CNA at a nursing home, in chronological order. Don’t have much healthcare experience? Jobs at fast food restaurants or in retail can show your work ethic and demonstrate valuable leadership skills. Additionally, use active verbs to describe the specifics of each job, such as “assisted elderly patients with eating and bathing.” Include numbers where you can (e.g., “taught weekly fitness classes to more than 40 residents”), and be sure to list your university and all of your certifications on your resume as well.

Volunteer at area hospitals. One of the best ways to get experience — and network with people who can help you find a job — is volunteering at a hospital in your area. Though you won’t be able to treat patients as you did during your clinicals, there are opportunities to interact with visitors, assist patients’ families and even run community classes. Volunteer work will look great on your resume, and you’ll meet doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who can let you know when positions open up. Plus, you’ll already know your way around the hospital and be familiar with schedules and routines, so you’ll have an advantage over other applicants.

Find a mentor who can help. Stay in touch with your teachers and the nurses and doctors you worked with during your clinicals. They can introduce you to hiring managers or make recommendations on hospitals and facilities that may have open positions. You can also ask them for letters of recommendation or have them as references.

Apply for jobs everywhere. While the hospital you’ve dreamed of working at might not be hiring new nursing graduates, the urgent care clinic just 10 minutes away might be. Be sure to apply at doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes and home health centers. Some offices provide on-site clinics to their employees and need nurses to staff them, so check out opportunities in these settings as well.

Good luck with your job search! If you have tips for new nurses, share them in the comments section below.

About Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a healthcare writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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