Finding nurse jobs is no easy task, especially as a new grad. Nurses have to contend with a crowded field of applicants, slow and outdated hiring practices, and the struggle to get acute care experience…without already having acute care experience. But the nursing job search isn’t just about your years of experience or the letters after your name. There’s a lot you can do before you even begin searching for a job to determine what you’re looking for and what makes you unique.
Amanda Murillo-Rodriguez, the nurse career expert behind The Résumé RX, provides nurses with resources and strategies to build their dream careers, from résumé templates to job search techniques. Amanda took over our blog to share her tips for nurses who are about to enter the job search. Check out her advice below, and join our online workshop March 26 for more tools to help you get your dream job.
What kind of prep should nurses do before beginning a new job search?
Nurses should research the community in which they plan to work, so that they can get a good idea of what demographic their community serves and what sort of services are available. Nurses should also have a good idea of their personal priorities (hours, commute, family needs, for example) so that they can look for opportunities that align with those priorities.
What’s one thing new grad nurses can do to set themselves apart?
A new grad nurse who has had healthcare related work or volunteer experience will certainly stand out against others without it. I recommend getting a part-time job as a nursing assistant or patient care tech while in school, or participating in a medically-related community service activity. This shows your commitment and interest in the healthcare field.
How can a veteran nurse tell when it’s time to start thinking about their next job?
If a nurse is starting to lose compassion for their patients, or is quick to jump to conclusions or label patients, this can be a sign of compassion fatigue. Also, if a nurse is having a hard time compartmentalizing work and home life, and struggling to “turn off” their work brain when they’re home, this can be a sign of burnout or secondary trauma. Our jobs involve a lot of emotional energy, and sometimes that energy can be depleted to the point that we do not have enough of that energy leftover for ourselves or those we love.
What encouragement do you have for nurses who are feeling frustrated in their career or job search?
Try to take some time to practice positive mindset techniques. It can be easy to spiral out of control with obsession or frustration, but I find that those that stay positive while also being strategic about their job search have the most success.
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