Many new and experienced nurses are expressing frustration at the current job market. We’ve had the perfect storm of drastic healthcare legislation that affects medical providers’ bottom lines, and personal economic difficulties that have encouraged nurses back into the job market. Nurses who are currently looking for jobs need all the help they get. Do you have what you need? Read on for some suggestions.
5 things job seekers need
1. Plan A
Always have a target goal and a plan to make that goal a reality. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll miss it every time. Focus your job search in reasonable pay ranges, specialties or locations you prefer.
When your plan A fails to land you a job, be willing to reevaluate and make a new plan. Tally your resources and make sure your network knows you’re job hunting (see below). Consider things you might not have considered in plan A, like relocating or trying out a new specialty.
Have you seen the illustration of the frog with his front flippers gripping the neck of the bird trying to eat him? The caption is “Never Give Up.” If you don’t get the first job opening in your desired unit, consider taking a part-time or PRN position first and working up to a full-time slot. If you choose to make follow-up calls to potential employers, a fine line exists between being persistent and annoying. Tread carefully. It’s better to pursue multiple options than to hang hope on only one.
4. Professional network
Getting a nursing job is often dependent on who you know…and what they know about you. A support network can be vital to landing your desired nursing position. It may take some time to build up a support network (and will continue to take time throughout your career), so start as soon as possible. For new grads, take advantage of any job placement resources at your school and any counseling available for recent graduate nursing students. Ask instructors to write letters of reference to stick in your portfolio.
5. Realistic outlook
If you currently have a nursing job and are just looking for better pay, better work environment, less stress or an alternate location, do NOT quit your job before you have another, especially if you are dependent on your income. This seems like common sense, but sometimes desperation to get out of a current work situation leads to bad choices.
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, or have a limited set of nursing skills (e.g. new grad), you may have to look longer and harder before a job gets offered to you. Remember, if you don’t keep looking, a job will not magically appear. Keep networking and submitting resumes, and sooner or later, you WILL end up in a job you love!
Have you found a nursing job recently? What was an important factor in landing a recent job? Tell us in the comments.