Job Seeking Tips for Nurses
Job Seeking Tips for Nurses
Healthcare is currently facing a major crisis in our country: a shortage of nurses. More specifically, there is a lack of certified nurses. Nurses are the most vital part of any medical facility, as they tend to not only know more than the physicians about patient care and specific needs, they form relationships with their patients that are meaningful and impactful.
A job shortage may sound like you can just walk right in to whatever facility is hiring and land your dream job, especially since so much of the nursing workforce has been retiring at such a high rate, but it does take a bit more than that. You may want to consider getting your nursing certification before entering the job market. More and more hospitals are requiring their nurses be certified, even as many organizations do not recognize or reward certification in any “formal” way; but certification helps you significantly enhance your practice of nursing. It just makes sense that the more practical experience you have, the better you can care for your patients. This is especially true in caring for elders, who have a unique set of medical and psychosocial needs, and the reason why gerontological nurses are the most in demand (and the hardest to find).
Because the demand for specialized care is so high concurrently with a huge nursing shortage, you may want to consider taking the time to specialize as well as getting certified. It stands to reason that the highest-paid nursing opportunities are in the more specialized fields. For example, a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) can make upwards of $144,000 a year. Certified nurse midwives (CNMs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are also highly-paid positions, so it may make sense to set yourself up for a successful future by using the present to add a little bit more expertise to your resume.
If specializing doesn’t hold interest for you or you’re just burning to get out there with your nursing diploma still warm in your hand, don’t despair. There are also plenty of opportunities for less-specialized nurses as well. RNs and LPNs are as in-demand as the other nursing specialties, especially in emergency departments, where employee burnout and turnover rates are highest. As the old saying goes, you can’t have an army without its infantry, and without RNs and LPNs the entire hospital system would probably collapse entirely (tip: don’t say this at your job interview, though).
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to tackle the process of finding a nursing job, it won’t feel all that different from any other job hunt, which means it won’t be easy. Visualize where you truly want to be, and then ask yourself what it would take to get there. You’ve already made the selfless commitment to be a nurse, so if you think about where you’ll be the happiest, that’s also where you’ll be the most productive. You’ll need to put together a professional resume, obviously, but it can be overwhelming figuring out how to get started. There are professional staffing agencies who work with hospital recruiters to place qualified nurses in open positions. There are also online job boards like Simply Hired that provide information about nursing opportunities not just locally, but nationally as well. Another approach which also might serve you well as you’re starting out is simple word of mouth. Lean on your network of friends, family, even fellow nursing students or your nursing instructors; you never know who somebody might know until you ask. And the advice you’ll glean from the seasoned nurses you speak with will be invaluable as your begin your own job search.
Even if nursing is a job like no other, the hunt for the right nursing position can still be fraught with frustration and disappointment. It’s important to keep in mind that there may be more experienced nurses competing with you for the same position. Don’t give up, stay positive, keep networking, and you’ll land that dream nursing job. Just tell yourself this is why you wear the most comfortable shoes ever made, because you do so much leg work before you ever even hit the floor for your first shift. We here at Greystone Health wish the Nursing Class of 2019 (and all other nurses seeking opportunities) the very best of luck, and of course, the very best of health! To find out more about Greystone Health’s open nursing positions please visit our website at www.greystonehealthcareers.com.