It’s clear that the journey to receive your bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is no easy feat, especially if you take a moment to reflect on all the prerequisites you have undertaken. Over the last four years, you exercised how to properly administer medications, insert nasogastric tubes, perform bed baths and how to conduct patient assessments. With each clinical rotation, you learned more about the field, what specialty areas of nursing appeal to you the most and what opportunities lie ahead. Not to mention, preceptorships have served as a taste of what a 12.5 hour shift might look like as a practicing nurse.
Needless to say, graduating nursing students have performed the necessary duties to proudly sport their scrubs. One question follows after passing the National Council Licensure exam and officially holding the title as a registered nurse: How do you ensure that you’ll nail the interview?
5 tips to help you land your dream job
You have the nursing credentials. Now you need the guidance to land the jobs of your dreams. Randstad Healthcare shares tips to make your nursing career a reality.
1The power of networking
The phrase, “it’s all about who you know,” still rings true today when making real-life connections. Take advantage of connecting with the career development services at your alma mater to stay up to date on job fairs, career opportunities and alumni organizations.
Reach out to staff nurses with whom you connected with during your clinical rotations and ask if they would serve as a reference should you apply for a position at their hospital. Use additional techniques to network with healthcare leaders such as leveraging social media, subscribing to newsletters from prospective employers and navigating job boards.
2Resumes are not one size fits all
Recruiters look at a resume for only a few seconds on average. With such a short window to impress, how can you make your capabilities standout from other applicants?
Job seeking nurses should tailor their resumes from top-to-bottom with a professional summary, recent and relevant experience as well as keywords such as self-possessed skills that are also mentioned in the job description. As a novice nurse, you will want to highlight any additional competencies and health care experiences to make you stand out against your peers.
3Make the first impression count
Typically the first conversation you have with a hiring manager is a phone interview. How do you convince the interviewer that you’re worth meeting in-person?
Have your resume in front of you, questions prepared, a fully charged phone and a quiet, receptive location to take the call. If you land an in-person interview, carry yourself confidently. Your body language has more power than spoken words to indicate your trustworthiness, likeability and competence.
4Pack on the personality
Show enthusiasm and interest in the role you are interviewing for. Emphasize your compassion and effective communication skills, which is crucial to the success of daily operations.
In addition to demonstrating your ability to collaborate among coworkers, express how you can positively impact your patients. Future employers want to see that you are passionate about the position and genuinely want to contribute to the team’s reputation of upholding honesty and integrity.
The value of “soft skills” are commonly overlooked by job applicants, but are just as crucial when adapting to a new environment and integrating with the existing culture. There is a notable shift in the market to improve patient outcome care and soft skills are fully coming into play to strengthen patient satisfaction. Find opportunities to hone in on your ability to be flexible, handle difficult situations and work with others to build upon greatly sought after soft stills.
5Remain receptive to opportunities
Job hunters that are flexible with location, specialty unit, shifts, and temporary work are bound to receive more opportunities. Have a plan for your career path, understanding that you will need to work in entry level nursing positions to gain the necessary experience to take the next step toward your ideal position.
Seek out advice from night shift nurses or those who work contingently to learn how different paths have served as a good experience. Travel nurses, for example, have perks such as greater pay, professional growth and residing in new and exciting locations. The average length of a travel assignment is 13 weeks, but can range anywhere from four to 26 weeks.
A final tip
You most likely went into the nursing field because you want to make a difference by helping others. You’ll be happy to know that among the 22 ranked professions, nurses have ranked as the number one most trusted profession in the country for 15 consecutive years.
This honor speaks volumes and should give current and incoming nurses confidence in the career path they chose. Despite positive reports, current and incoming nurses should always work to improve patient support. The first step to providing exceptional care is being a valuable member of your internal staff.
According to surveys and reports, some of the most notable gaps reported by healthcare leaders included work ethic, relevant on-the job experience, soft skills, communication and cultural fit for the job. Medical errors can occur when there is lack of communications, gaps in values and attitudes. This creates a divided staff and a lack of work ethic which can ultimately stunt the flow of the facility altogether.
Medical facilities are only as good as the nurses they have on staff and you can be the addition that creates a positive ripple effect to the team. Our final tip, keep the same fervor you have now even after you land the job. The core of any profession is to stay passionate and dedicated as if every day were the first day. With this mindset, any nurse is capable of providing the best emotional and medical support that creates a cohesive work environment.
About the author:
Since 2015, Abigail Tremble leads Randstad’s healthcare staffing practice, leveraging her expertise in positioning organizations for scalable growth to capture marketplace opportunities that exist within the $15B U.S. healthcare staffing market. Most recently, Abigail served as executive vice president of national operations, in charge of more than 500 Randstad US commercial staffing retail and on-site locations. Abigail is responsible for overseeing sales, recruiting, employee development and business process improvement. Abigail received her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia.