Tips and Tricks for Getting Employed as an RN
Becoming a nurse means joining a growing, in-demand field that desperately needs new talent. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to hustle. National demand for nurses is high, but it can vary from region to region. Nurses in one specialty might be more in-demand than others, and employers still need to match qualified candidates to open positions. As a new RN, it’s up to you to build your resume and network — and hit the pavement to find a job. Here are tips on landing a job in nursing.
Related resource: What You Need to Know About Your First Nursing Job
Get your BSN
Getting a good nursing job starts while you’re still in nursing school. Studying up, performing to the best of your ability, and trying to do well academically will help you later on. Getting your BSN can also give you a competitive advantage.
Increasing the number of nurses with BSNs has become a major goal in healthcare. In 2010, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report calling for 80 percent of nurses to have their BSN by 2020. While that number may have been optimistic, it does characterize the direction nursing is going in, with more and more RNs getting their bachelor’s degree in the field. If you go that extra mile with the degree, you’ll be the kind of nurse more employers are looking for.
Related resource: The 7 Highest-Paying Nursing Specialties
Work your nursing school connections
Nursing school isn’t just an opportunity to learn. It’s also where you can gain the connections to get necessary experience for future jobs. You’ll have your clinicals, of course, but your school can also connect you with internship programs. Some of these programs might not pay well (or at all), but they will provide you with the real-world experience you need to get a job.
Also, check to see if your nursing school has a job placement program, and hit up your instructors for possible job leads. Socialize with your classmates. Try to meet people and make yourself known to the professionals around you. Seek out professionals in fields you want to work in, and see if you can connect with them. Introduce yourself at networking events. Email and social media are necessary parts of the job search, but face time is far better. Use it. After all, a big part of getting a job is who you know.
Related resource: Top 5 Skills Every Nurse Should Develop Quickly
Don’t limit yourself
One of the great things about nursing is that it’s such a broad field. You have a whole lot of specialties, ways of working, and kinds of jobs to choose from. When you start nursing school, you might have a picture of what your career is going to look like, but it’s also entirely possible that other opportunities arise. Don’t shut them out! Work the night shift. Do pro re nata work. Look for a job in a specialty you didn’t consider.
Maybe you’ll even get involved in a field you didn’t even know you liked. You’ll also probably find job openings for the night shift, swing shift, or in workplaces you never considered. Those are all opportunities. Take them! You might discover that you enjoy working at night or in a specialty you didn’t know you liked. Nursing is a big field, after all. If you open yourself up to all the possibilities it offers, you are much more likely to find a job you’ll love.
Ameritech can help you with getting a BSN, industry connections, and introducing you to new areas of the field that you might not have considered. Our BSN program is completely online, so it can be structured around your existing nursing shifts or other employment. We also do job placement for all of our students, with over 90 percent placement for graduates from our nursing program.