If you just graduated from nursing school and you really want to work at a hospital, here are my best tips for how to land that nursing job!
So, you just graduated from nursing school and now you are looking for a job – congratulations! If you are trying to get a job in a hospital, you are going to have to work for it.
Hospital jobs are highly-coveted. They don’t hire a lot of new grads because it costs more money when they do. It costs them more to train the new grads, the orientation is much longer, there is a higher turnover rate with new graduates, and hospitals hemorrhage money if nurses leave.
For this reason, hospitals are very specific about who they hire – and they don’t like to risk that on a new nursing school graduate.
That’s why if it is your goal to land a nursing job in a hospital after nursing school, you must do quite a few things right.
How To Land A Nursing Job At A Hospital
As a nurse with a career that goes back 10 years, and someone who has sat in on job interviews and helped nursing managers hire new nurses, I have some tips I want to share with you.
These are things I have personally learned after talking to hiring managers and doing the interviews myself.
If you want to get a nursing job at a hospital, you need to follow these 4 tips. They will set you apart from the competition and help your resume stand out.
1. Apply Early
If you want to land a nursing job in a hospital – especially one with a residency program – you have got to apply very early.
This doesn’t mean 2-3 months after graduation. This means during your senior year when you are just starting to figure out which hospitals to apply for.
When you know the town and area where you want to work your senior year, that is when you need to read through the local hospital’s website and learn their application deadlines and job requirements.
2. Follow Directions
As you read the requirements for the residency program, follow them to a T. It is extremely important that you are following directions clearly in your application. If they have to hold your hand through the HR process, it makes a terrible impression.
Believe me, there are a lot of papers you have to fill out and they request a lot of information. It takes time, so make sure you pay attention to every single step.
3. Set Up References
If you have an idea of an organization where you want to work, it is valuable to have references from people who work their currently or have worked there in the past.
It makes it easier for them to verify the references – and easier work on them is better for you!
I know this is very difficult. But if you did clinicals at a hospital, try to meet other nurses that work there and ask if they can be references for you.
It is really powerful when someone within their own organization vouches for you.
What if you are applying to a hospital where you don’t know anyone and you didn’t do clinicals? In this case, try to ask someone who works in a clinical capacity at a hospital to be a reference for you.
Amazing references can actually make up for a lackluster interview.
4. Be Confident But Willing To Learn
As a new grad, everyone knows you will have a massive learning curve ahead of you. If you want to work in a hospital, you must walk the fine line between being too timid and intimidated and being overly confident.
Communicate to the hiring manager (and the nursing staff above you), that you know you have a challenge ahead of you, but you are willing to lean in and do the work and learn it.
That attitude speaks so much louder and better than the person that is overly confident and acts like they aren’t worried about a single thing. They aren’t teachable that way.
The people who are interviewing you know there is a big learning curve. They know it is hard no matter how great you are. So if you are completely oblivious to the challenge that lies ahead, you are a high risk for them to hire. This is because you will eventually hit reality and will be more likely to leave.
They would much rather hire someone who is aware of the challenge and desires to lean into it and learn all they can.
How To Land A Nursing Job At A Hospital Video:
Landing A Nursing Job: Final Thoughts
I hope these tips help you when you are looking for your first nursing job at a hospital. Remember, you need to start looking early – even earlier than you might imagine. Follow the application directions clearly, set up references from the hospital (if you can), and have the right attitude that tells them you are ready to learn.
If you do all this, you will be more likely to get that job you want!
Need help landing that first nursing job?
The Resumes & Interviews for Nurses from FreshRN® is a one-stop ultimate resource in landing your first nursing job, written by a nursing administrator who hires new graduate nurses. This self-paced online course is complete with downloads, text, advice, and video examples of a cringe-worthy interview, a forgettable interview, and a let’s offer them the job before they walk out of the room kind of interview.