First, there was graduation, then there was hours and hours of studying for the NCLEX, and finally pulling up your results to realize…you are now a Registered Nurse. Congratulations, you did it! Wait, now you need to find a job. Don’t sweat it. With the right preparation, you will find and enter your nursing specialty ahead of the rest of your graduating class. All it takes is planning, patience, and a little bit of pride. Here’s a conversation I had with a graduate of the University of Delaware Nursing program currently working at Bridgeport Hospital, Yale University affiliate, in Bridgeport, CT.
Speaking to all the new graduates approaching graduation this May, what would be your first words of advice when starting the job search?
Start early, I cannot stress this enough. I know that you are going to be overwhelmed studying for the NCLEX, but I can promise you taking an hour a day to look for jobs in your desired location will help you in the long run. Get a feel for what specialties sound interesting to you. Make a list of the hospitals and clinics in your area and the open roles they have. That way once you find out you passed the test; you can rapid fire your resume to all those roles you have already searched for.
OK, so you landed a job in your dream hospital, now what?
This may be a simple answer, but an important one to pay attention to, ask as many questions as possible. When it comes to having a life depend on you, there is no room for error. Take advantage of the perks orientation presents you. People are actually looking to help you during this time. If your memory is a little fuzzy on something, ask. Ask all the questions that come to mind before orientation is over and you are on your own, because then, it’s game time. However, even when orientation is over, know that it is still okay to ask questions. There will be plenty of resources available to you to find the answer you might need.
Can you share a thing or two that helps your day get off to a good start?
Start by getting a good night sleep. A twelve-hour shift can seem like eternity if you only slept for four. And, you need to be sharp and being well rested is the best way to stay that way. Second, preparation is key. Get to work 30-45 minutes early to research your patients. Take the time to read over orders, notes from the MD/ previous RN, ne lab work, etc. It’s likely you won’t have time later. Last but not least, COFFEE, I personally could not get through my 12-hour shift without it!
Anything else you would like to share?
When it comes time to look for your second job, make sure your resume is up to date and don’t be afraid to reach out to your recruiting friends at The Bachrach Group. You are going to have enough on your plate at this point to spend hours on the job boards again, so why not utilize a professional. Having a simple chat with a recruiter about your goals and ambitions will help narrow down your options. Then, while you continue your normal work schedule, they do all the hunting for you and set everything up, it’s great.
Troy Deering – Associate, Healthcare