How do I deal with getting a nursing job?
While it’s true that nurses, especially new nurses, are having to work harder than ever before to find job, nursing as a profession continues to have an excellent long-term outlook.
At present, nursing jobs seem somewhat scarce, in part because potential retirees and others are hanging on to their jobs in today’s uncertain job market. But the demand for nurses continues to look strong, and many experts believe that nursing openings will rebound after the recession. In the meantime, a recent Washington Post article offered some tips for nurse job hunters:
- Cultivate a “customer service attitude.” Smile. Try to anticipate — and exceed — clients’ expectations. Instead of answering, “I don’t know,” say “I’ll find out” — and then do your best to do so.
- Obtain experience. How do you get experience before you get a job? Accept a job as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), personal care technician or unit clerk. Even a job in dietary can help you get your foot in the door.
- Consider other geographic areas. Finding a job near home and family may not be practical, especially for a new grad. Be willing to extend your search. You never know – you might find some fabulous opportunities!
- Expand your expertise. Instead of pigeon-holing yourself as a “med-surg” or “OB” nurse, consider expanding your horizons. A background in med-surg can prepare you for a career in telemetry, transplant or orthopedics. You might even want to try a job in a surgi-center! If you’re an OB nurse, try women’s health, or consider obtaining additional certification as a lactation consultant. The most successful nurses find ways to build on their past knowledge.
- Keep looking! The perfect job is not going to pop up overnight. It might take you a little longer than usual to find a job, but jobs are out there! Stick to it!
How long did it take you to find your current job?
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN