Finding Nursing Jobs in the Recession
What are your tips and tricks for finding a job in nursing?
Kathy Quan | NursingLink
Get a Recommendation
Don’t be afraid to go back and ask your nursing school professors to give you an actual letter of recommendation that you can reference or submit with your resume. Preceptors and nurse managers on the units where you did your clinicals can be of great help in either pointing you towards openings in their hospitals or in writing or providing an oral recommendation for you as well. Student nurses should begin to collect these recommendations as they proceed through school.
Ask them to focus on your strengths, such as your ease at dealing with problem patients, family members, and physicians, or your ability to learn quickly, and work reliably with little supervision.
Do You Need to Relocate?
You may need to broaden your search and accept something that may not be your ideal nursing job at your dream hospital, but one that can be used as a stepping stone towards your goals. Look beyond your geographic scope as well. There are plenty of areas across the U.S. with extreme nursing shortages while the popular locations may be saturated. Inner city areas and rural communities especially in the south and midwest U.S. continue to struggle with shortages of health care workers (predominately nurses and physicians). Search job boards like Monster.com with an open mind about where you want to work and you may find some terrific opportunities.
New grads should look for internships and hospitals that offer long-term orientation programs. Home health agencies may be hiring new grads to work on private duty cases. Many times these agencies are willing to hire newly graduated RNs to work as LPNs. Although the pay is lower, you can acquire a great deal of experience.
Health care recruiters are another resource to consider. If they aren’t able to place you, they may be able to assist you by offering resume tips and improving your interview skills.
Clean Up Your Resume
The resume is sometimes one of the most difficult points for new nurses. Remember to highlight your accomplishments in nursing school. Did you have a terrific GPA? Did you earn honors? What clinicals did you excel in? What kind of volunteer work have you done? What skills do you bring from other job experiences?
Don’t forget your email address. A cutesy address may be just fine for personal correspondence, but nurse managers may not appreciate your humor. Get yourself a professional email address that includes your name at one of the more well-known sites such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail.
Continue Your Education
If all else fails and you cannot find a job right away, consider continuing your education. The nursing shortage is stalled temporarily, but as the economy recovers and the health care reform act begins to be implemented, the need for nurses is expected to boom. Advance practice nurses in particular will be in high demand. Position yourself to meet the new demand and enjoy a long and rewarding career in nursing.