"A foot in the door"
- every single person when asked about how to get into the system
Here are some tips for when you start applying to nursing jobs:
Know where you're applying!
➖ Do your research & understand what you're signing up for.
✻ Teaching: Some units bring on students, & even as a new nurse, there's a good chance you could end up with one.
✻ Even as a float, you could end up with students.
➤Do NOT apply to teaching units if you aren't receptive to the possibility of having a student.
Remember that external hiring freeze I mentioned? The goal is to just get into the internal system. As soon as you do that, you can access the internal job board - & from there, your options expand tremendously.
Don't limit yourself
➖ Applying to only full-time/permanent positions are hard to get when applying externally & as a new grad? OOF. Tall order.
➖ Casual/float is your best bet, & it's precisely the foot in the door that everyone talks about.
➤nights, evenings, weekends, & holidays
➤not necessarily a set schedule
➤employee benefits are usually limited to part-time/full-time
➤build your own schedule (a lot of casuals/floats end up working full-time hours & more)
➤taste-test different units/nursing styles
➤so many new connections
➤access to the internal job board
It's a fine line you have to walk between setting goals & not pushing off the opportunities available.
But if you have a goal - keep it in mind
If (like me) your passion is in acute care, things get a bit complicated.
➖ Medical/surgical hiring managers (even floats) want to know you:
✻ Can keep up with the pace
✻ Handle the acuity
✻ Manage the patient load
✻ Think critically
So They Look to Hire
➖Fresh grads, mouldable to fit what they need
➖Nurses with the most recent acute care experience
What that means is that (while definitely not impossible), transitioning from a long-term/home care/clinic nurse to acute care is significantly more difficult.
Making the jump from LTC/HC/Clinics to acute care
➖Utilize your contacts - ask around for leads.
➖Have someone review your resume - maybe some tweaks need to be made.
➖Look for urgent care/small hospital positions more rurally.
➖Keep applying to float pools & temporary positions.
➖Get additional certifications to help stand out.
➖Practice answering interview questions - it raises confidence & helps you work through answers.
➖ask nurses currently employed where you're employed about their interview experience.