It’s time for the reality check. America is in a recession and nursing jobs are fewer while competition is greater. It takes even more hustle, dedication and tenacity to land a job today than it did for your parents.
Having a degree isn’t always enough and, sorry to break it to you, you aren’t likely to get your dream job right out of nursing school. While that may be disappointing, it also allows you to clarify your expectations and set realistic goals. Here are five things you’ll need to give up – or compromises you’ll have to make – to land your first entry-level nursing job. If you follow our advice and keep on building your professional credentials, you’ll be able to more effectively network, interview, and succeed in the job you are eventually offered.
#1: The Dream Job… –>
It’s called the dream job for a reason. That reason is that while it does exist, you’re going to have a hard time finding it, let alone landing it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have aspirations or that you shouldn’t constantly strive for bigger and better things. It does mean, however, that most of you will not be working at Cedars-Sinai anytime soon. Unless you are going to a top-tier nursing school, acting as student body president, volunteering full-time at a local hospital and coming up with an innovative way to revolutionize patient care, chances of landing your dream job at your dream hospital are slim. Are there exceptions? Sure. But understand that graduating from your college with a 3.0 G.P.A isn’t exactly a ticket into the most competitive nursing jobs in the nation.
The Good News:
Just because you didn’t get a 4.0 doesn’t mean you are damned to an eternity of unemployment. It just means you still need to prove yourself. Instead of lamenting your misfortune, pursue a nursing job that will give you the practical skills and experience you need to will make you a prime candidate for your dream job. Intelligence, creativity, empathy, and exceptional patient care are skills that never go out of style. Work hard and get promoted. Who knows–maybe in five years you’ll have developed just the skill-set that they will be looking for in 2015.
#2: Ditch the Sense of Entitlement –>
You Aren’t Owed Anything.
“But I was in Golden Key. But I was the treasurer of SAE. But I always got As. But I got accepted to every place I applied. But I was voted “most likely to succeed.” But my professors all love me. But my Dad is the mayor…”
That is excellent news. Unfortunately, so were thousands and thousands of other recent grads. If there are only X amount of nursing jobs and there are five, 10 or 200 qualified people applying for each one of them, not everyone is going to be hired. Competition from your classmates isn’t your only concern. You don’t have to be an economist to know that you are up against a national job market with overly qualified nurses applying for entry-level positions because of mass layoffs.
The Good News:
By recognizing this reality, you will be less likely to passively wait fo r