I always tell my nursing students…do what you want to do. Nursing wise that is—they must follow my rules explicitly. Ha! But I digress, what I mean is, if you think that you want to work in a Trauma ICU, then you should do everything you need to do to get hired in one. Maybe you should work as a nurse’s aid in the unit or shadow a nurse there. Get in touch with the manager and ask him or her what qualities or extra classes would make you a good candidate for their unit, ask the nurses in the unit what their credentials are. Get out there and make your presence known! (Not in a stalker, crazy kind of way though…there is a fine line between persistence and annoyance). And never forget that you really only get one chance to make a first impression. Your work ethic can make or break you. Even if you think that you are just a nurse’s aid and no one is watching you, believe me they are! I have had a couple nursing students come through our ED who thought no one was watching and then they wanted a job once they graduated. No way Jose! Always have a good attitude, try to smile and be friendly (even to those who are super grumpy) and, unlike the popular TV show, don’t CURB your enthusiasm… SHOW IT! Let people want to work with you because of your positive attitude and work ethic. That will put you steps and steps and steps above any other new grad that may be fighting you for your position.
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!