5 Tips for Being a More Marketable New Nurse Grad

November 7th, 2011


By , BSN, RN

Despite the Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction that registered nursing is the occupation with the largest potential for job growth over the next six years new nurse graduates report trouble finding jobs. With the difficult economic times we are experiencing many nurses are staying in jobs to compensate for spouses who have lost theirs, retirees are back at work to supplement their pensions and/or social security and many facilities are cutting back on expensive internships and residencies in favor of hiring experienced nurses.

There is no obvious end in sight to these difficulties. So, the question becomes what can a nursing student do to maximize the chances for finding a position after graduation?

  1. Get a job– Consider being a nursing assistant. Look at the message boards at school and check out your local hospital and nursing home personnel offices. You are likely to find jobs specifically geared toward nursing students.
  2. Volunteer-Whether you volunteer at a hospital, with your church, local school or community center helping with health screenings or go on medically based mission trips the experience is irreplaceable. It also demonstrates to potential employers you have a passion for and commitment to your future career path.
  3. Join up-Get involved in organizations. Participate in your school's chapter of the National Student Nurse Association. It will provide opportunities for networking; the national convention is a great way to meet representatives from employers all over the country and a way to network with other nursing students. If your grades are high enough and you are invited, become part of Sigma Theta Tau. Most specialty nursing organizations like AMSN (Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses) and AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses) and the like have student memberships available. The magazines alone are worth the price of membership. They offer insight into the latest issues in the chosen specialty, often have advertisements on job availability.
  4. Keep your grades up-Good grades count. They show commitment and attention to details.
  5. Be prepared-Have an up-to-date resume with correct grammar and spelling. Have an interview suit and shoes clean and ready-to-wear. Have a watch and be on time, whether volunteering, working or attending an event—people notice. If offered an interview, accept no matter what the job. Interviewing is an art and it gets easier with experience (and make sure your cell phone is on mute). Shake hands, say please and thank you and follow-up with a written thank you note. Anything that makes you stand out in a positive manner makes you memorable and gives you a greater chance of being hired for that coveted position.

There is now and will always be a need for nurses; the number of jobs available will fluctuate. Right now the need is high but the economic resources are low. Be patient, this too shall change. Be open to alternative employers like schools, camps, public health clinics, rehabs or local health departments. Stay positive, nursing is a great career and your chance will come.

One Response to “5 Tips for Being a More Marketable New Nurse Grad”

  1. Nursing Still A Good Career Option: Just A Little Slow Right Now | Notes from the Nurses' Station Says:

    […] tips to up her hireability (I know that’s not word but you know what I mean) and they were good tips but again, it really got me […]

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