Are Jobs Eluding You?
Searching for a job is never easy. Just because you have a great career like nursing does not make it any easier.
A big misconception for many nursing students is that as soon as they graduate they will have jobs lined up waiting for them. Very few people experience such a boon right out of school. Nursing students have to put in a lot of effort to land a job just as any other graduate, if not more.
Here is why.
You are sick on a hospital bed and a young inexperience nurse is assigned to your room. She comes in looking nervous and little flustered. (S)he puts on your blood pressure cuff with shaking hands and looks at you with an apprehensions smile, probably hoping you do not ask her/him any questions (s)he does not know the answers to. She leaves your room after taking you vital signs relieved, only to return some 15 minute later than her already 45 minutes late because she had trouble finding your medication in the cart. A feeling of skepticism creeps into your mind as you consider yourself lucky that you are alert enough to recognize your own medications. Looking into the medication cup you notice one pill that is unfamiliar to you and ask him/or her what that strange pill is. Your nurse reluctantly tells you to give her/him a minute while (s)he double checks with your MAR. While she is gone you feel more apprehension because your suspicions of her being inexperience turns out to be true. Now you are only hoping that this mistake is the only one she will make, if it is a mistake at all. She returns to assure you that the pill is the one you are use to taking but in a different color. She brings in the blister pack to assure you because she saw how unconvinced you are.
After reading this little synapse you can understand just how nursing is a career heavy with responsibilities, and why nursing homes and hospitals are weary of hiring newly grads. They are all asking that you have prior experience before they bring you on board.
So what do you do?
If you are just starting out you are in a great position. Here are some steps you can take while you are thinking about becoming a nurse or still in nursing school.
1. Consider a program that has connections with a particular medical facility:
You will be considered more favorably for hire before and after graduation if your school is already known in the area, especially if other students in your school have had clinical in that facility.
2. Look to get ANY JOB in the facility you dream of working.
All you need is a foot in the door. Job openings are first available to those who are working in the facility. Only when they are not taken are they presented to those without for consideration. It does not matter what your job position is: clerk, porter, tech, housekeeper etc. You simply want to be on the pay role of whatever facility you dream of working in. Of course if you get a position closest to your calling as possible that will be ideal.
3. You should volunteer at the facility you desire to work in.
This is another way you will become aware of job opportunities short of being hired. Many times they still give those who have a hired position first pick, but you will see the opportunity the moment it is posted and available to the public. You might hear about it before it even gets posted, depending on how involved and enthusiastic you are about becoming hired. Some people ask for how many hours should you volunteer. That, I must leave to your discretion. The amount of hours you put in depends on how much time you have available together with how badly do you want the job.
A word on volunteering in the hospital:
Many people believe that when they are volunteering at the hospital they may receive some true hands-on experience. This is a miss conception. Of course you get out what you put in, but there is a limit because after all you have no certification, no license, and moreover no experience with sick patients. The most you will do at as a hospital volunteer is answer the call bell, offer patients water and ice, help patients ambulate, converse with patients to make them feel better, empty urinals, run to the pharmacy for medications, fax, file and copy papers, answer unimportant phone calls and a few more.
So why volunteer after all, so that you get exposure of course . There is no better way to know how much you like or dislike a thing until you have some hands on.
4. Stay connected with those who are already established in a facility.
Many people are lucky they have a relative working in a facility and they can get them in the door. But if you are not so lucky, anytime you meet a fellow nurse, doesn’t be shy. Ask them about their career, the ups the downs, the ins the outs, and most of all, ask them if their facility is hiring. Most people love to talk about themselves, but nurses in particular are a group of people who like to vent. They vent about their workload, their patients, their bosses, their facility and the job force in general. But remember it is not enough to just asked the right questions you must truly listen. Before you put in any time into this career you must know whether or not you are up to the challenges as well as all the perks because one does not usually come without the other.
Okay well you are already graduated, and you had no idea that you needed to do so much work in order to get your self a simple nursing job. So what now?
THE YELLOW PAGES!
Get the yellow pages or your computer and find every single nursing home/ hospital that exists in your area. You do not want to miss not one because that might be an opportunity lost. Of course chose a location within a reasonable distance from where you live that you will be comfortable getting to. Then make the calls. You should not make these calls haphazardly.