In today’s economy, finding a job right after college can be challenging. If you’re certified as a registered nurse, the good news is that this field is growing faster than average, with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting 19 percent increase in open positions over the next ten years. If you’re searching for a job as a registered nurse, here are some tips that can help you get hired more quickly.
1. Look for an Internship
The dilemma for many people looking for a job as a registered nurse is that most postings require experience. Doing a practical internship is one way to get some much needed clinical hours under your belt, as well as a great strategy for building a professional network that can help you in your job search.
2. Shelve the Idea of a Dream Job
New RNs who are looking for a job for the first time may have a specific idea of the type of career they want to build. However, your first job will most likely not be in the department you want, the hospital you want, or the shift you want. And that’s OK–gaining positive professional experience is part of proving yourself, so that the next time you’re job searching you can be a little more selective.
3. Specialize in Older Adults
As the baby boomer generation ages, more nurses will be needed to care for the elderly and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, and heart failure. Target your job search to home care agencies, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, who have a large need for new nurses to care for residents.
4. Learn New Skills
According to the BLS, RNs with at least a bachelor’s degree have the best chance of getting hired. If you are able to continue your education while job searching, you may increase your employment prospects. Even if you don’t return to school full time, you can look for opportunities to learn new skills, whether through certificate programs or volunteer work. Employers will be impressed by your initiative.
5. Develop Networking Skills
While you’re in nursing school, make sure to use your clinical rotations as a way not only to learn critical nursing skills, but also to make the connections that can help land you a job. Introduce yourself to the nurse manager and share the wonderful experience you’ve had as a student. When your resume comes across his or her desk, your face will be remembered if you make a great impression.
6. Join Professional Associations
As with #5, this is an excellent way to make the connections that can get you a job. Find out about meetings of your local chapters of the Association of
Nurses Executives (AONE) and the American Nurses Association. By the same token, attend as many job fairs and networking events as you can, and talk to as many people as possible. Make a business card with your contact information and keep it readily available.
While the job market is challenging for new and experienced nurses alike, putting in effort beyond filling out online job applications is the best way to land the career you’ve always wanted. A great resume can also make a difference: use a resume builder like LiveCareer’s to create polished, professional nursing resume that will help you find a nursing job faster.