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4 Skills You Can Transfer to a Nursing Career

4 Skills You Can Transfer to a Nursing Career

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

Grace Under Pressure

Healthcare organizations are usually overjoyed to employ people with military backgrounds. Veterans who have been on the front lines of a war or conflict have undoubtedly accumulated skills transferable to a fast-paced, high-stakes healthcare job. “Obviously time is of the essence, and they’ve had to quickly think on their feet,” says Douglas C. Ansary, Arizona regional director of recruiting for Banner Health’s Talent Acquisition Group. The consequences are far less dramatic in most jobs than in the life-or-death setting of the battlefield – or emergency department. However, people with experience working in other pressure-cooker settings where their adrenaline is regularly pumping – like the stock trading floor – probably have a leg up when it comes to managing the stress of a healthcare environment.

How to Showcase Your Transferable Skills

Once you’ve identified your transferable skills, you still need to impress potential employers with them. You’ll catch the eye (and prevent an employer’s online application system from weeding you out) if you use keywords on your resume that showcase your transferable skills and that match the keywords in the employer’s job posting (such as “effective listening skills”).

Then, expect open-ended behavioral questions in an interview, since healthcare employers today generally identify behaviors important to a specific job and then try to ascertain through interviewing where and how job candidates have applied those behaviors in other jobs or through past experiences. Take advantage of the opportunity to give thoughtful answers referencing the skills and strengths you gained through previous jobs, volunteer work and life experiences that will help you in your new line of work.

Healthcare hiring managers know that if job candidates have “demonstrated behaviors in the past they will do it again in the future, and their behaviors would be applicable from one industry to the other,” Ansary says. “It doesn’t matter where they’ve come from as long as they’ve shown the same aptitudes they’re going to use in healthcare.”

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