Congratulations, you’ve just graduated from nursing school and have passed your RN licensing exam. You are now in the process of finding your dream job! As simple as it sounds, landing your first job is never easy, especially in healthcare. Beginning your first job search can even become overwhelming. Here are 5 tips to help jumpstart your nursing career.

1. Gain the Experience

Many nursing positions require several years of experience. This may be discouraging as a recent nursing graduate begins to search for their first job. If you aren’t meeting the requirements of experience, begin to use your resources in your school, community, or any other connections you have. Internships or job-shadowing programs are great opportunities to earn your hours.

Temporary nursing positions are another option to help you gain the experience. Due to the national nurse shortage, working as a temporary, on-call nurse may require less experience for a recently licensed nurse.

young woman on a nursing internship showing an elderly patient her notepad while she drinks tea

2. Make sure your resume and cover letter stand out

Before you begin applying to positions, make sure you not only have an updated resume and cover letter, but also having one that stands out. What makes you stand out from the rest? To read more on how you can enhance your nursing resume, read our three details on what to include.

Two women sitting at a table practicing their interview skills

3. Prepare for your interviews

This may sound simple but knowing how to interview well and market yourself as the best candidate takes practice. As you begin searching for positions, take the time to work on your interview skills. It’s important to consider how you will answer questions about yourself and how you would handle certain clinical scenarios. Below are some common questions asked in a nursing interview:

  • What is your why? Why did you decide on a career as a nurse?
  • What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
  • What is your greatest skill as a nurse?
  • How do you handle the stress of the job?
  • How would you handle someone who is not satisfied with their patient care?
  • How do you handle working with other nurses, doctors, staff?
  • How would you handle a disease outbreak?

4. Utilize all your connections

With any job, the connections you have made in past experiences, go a long way in your job search. Whether it’s a past nursing professor, a mentor from an internship, or any other healthcare professional, follow-up with them to see if they know of any opportunities. Doing this can place you one step further in landing your jobs.

5.  Work with a professional recruiter

Landing your first job out of school can be tough. Working with a recruiter can help alleviate some of the stress that comes from trying to find your first job. Recruiters can identify your specific skill set and thus, match your talent to positions in the field.

RNa Partners works hard to place healthcare professionals with the industry’s top healthcare providers nationwide. We strive to find you an employer with which you can thrive and build a career. We provide a high-quality experience throughout your job search; you are never just a resume to us. We’ll help you navigate the healthcare job market, polish up your interviewing skills and direct you toward the best healthcare facilities in your area. Contact us today.

young woman working with a healthcare recruiter on her resume at a desk with coffee and notebooks