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How to nab a job without a BSN


VStock | ThinkStock + Scrubs

VStock | ThinkStock + Scrubs

Looking to nab a new job? Having trouble finding work that you’re qualified for? You may lack a BSN, but Alicia-joy from Transitions in Nursing has some tips for getting by. If job description after job description gets you excited and the only thing holding you back is your degree (or lack of the correct one), read on!

1. Apply anyway. Especially if the description says BSN preferred (i.e. not REQUIRED).

I advise you only to go this route if you truly feel you have the skills, experience and knowledge for that job. If the job is beyond your capability and there will not be training that could allow you to perform well, then degree or no degree, this position is probably not for you.

Nevertheless, if you choose the option of applying anyway, be prepared to be remarkable. You have to come to the table with other skills to enhance yourself.

  • Do you have any certifications?
  • Do you belong to any organizations?
  • Have you led any teams or initiatives?
  • Do you have any awards?
  • Do you participate in any committees?

Do you have outstanding “soft skills”?

  • Resiliency
  • Adaptability/flexiblity
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Team leadership

Figure out how to market yourself powerfully. Whether you like it or not, when you apply for a job you essentially become the “product.”

Potential employers are observing:

  • How this product is packaged
  • How much risk would there be in hiring this product
  • Do I like this product
  • Will this product add value to my team/dept./unit

Other suggestions are to create a stellar resume and sharpen your interview skills so that you stand out…WAY out from the other applicants regardless of your degree. If you choose this option (to apply for the job anyway), I would still suggest you explore options for higher education eventually.

Here’s a little scenario for you to think about:

Two non-BSN nurses apply for the same job. Both make a great impression on the hiring authority. One is in school for her BSN and the other is not. Who do you think has a higher chance of getting the job? Exactly!

2. Go back to school

Before you get huffy about how I am stating the obvious, hear me out. I can almost guess what you are thinking:

  • You are busy
  • You don’t have the funds
  • You hate school
  • You are too old

I totally get it. But get this: The BSN is here to stay, folks. If I haven’t said it enough, it is the new standard of entry for nursing, and for countless reasons.

I want you to explore your options. Many colleges and universities now offer online courses that you can take right from home. Also, remember that you don’t have to go wild and sign up for 14 credits. In fact, I would not recommend anything even close to that.

How about just taking 1 class. Getting your feet wet again. Get your mind back into the school thing. It is definitely wiser to ease into this than to go all out and feel overwhelmed.

Do a search for programs offered locally and nationally online. Gather your information and make a financially and time related smart decision.

To read the full article, head over to Transistions in Nursing. And in the comments below, be sure you leave all of your tips for landing a gig sans BSN!

Transitions in Nursing
Transitions in Nursing is written by Alicia-joy Pierre, RN, who's a writer, speaker and nurse career coach. Alicia-Joy enjoys helping fellow nurses connect with their inner genius and forge career transitions that make their hearts sing and their wallets happy. Alicia-joy is also an avid reader, adventurer and has an insatiable appetite for learning.

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