March 2, 2015

Tips for Landing the Nursing Job You Want

Some nurses are finding it more challenging than ever before to land the job they want. Until recently, opportunities were plentiful in almost every nursing specialty and even nurse graduates were virtually guaranteed a job wherever they pleased, straight out of nursing school.

But that was before the recent economic downturn.

Faced with dwindling incomes, shrinking retirement plans or unemployed spouses, some nurses have been forced out of retirement, while others have delayed their retirement, picked up extra shifts or switched from full-time to part-time work to make extra money. Although the demand for nurses has not gone away, these recent changes have resulted in fiercer competition for the jobs that are available.

The good news, however, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is that the current hiring trends are only temporary. The bureau’s latest projections include nursing in its list of the fastest-growing jobs.

In the meantime, what should nurses do to boost their chance of finding the job they want?

“Create a professional rsum that is tailored to the job,” advised Cara Heilmann, recruitment director at health care staffing agency, AMN Healthcare. Heilmann and her team work with a variety of hospitals and other health care providers to handle the entire recruitment process on their behalf. “Your rsum is your most important marketing piece and should highlight your talents and skills in the best possible light. Tailor the rsum to the job and remove all references to items that do not highlight a skill as it relates to the job.”

After your rsum has been noticed, health care recruiters point out that nurses should pay careful attention to how they present themselves during the interview process.

Maria-Jean Caterinicchio, RN, MS, director of workforce development for Orange County Memorial Care University and board member of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL), said that she concentrates on personality, attitude and talent when hiring nurses.

“We expect our new nurses to have the basic fundamental nursing knowledge and we are also looking for compassion, a sense of teamwork, accountability, and communication,” Caterinicchio explained. “We look for an attitude of collaboration and communication.”

Thorough preparation is also key to success.

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