There’s a Catch 22 in the nursing industry. While hospitals and other healthcare facilities are short-handed due to high retirement rates of Baby Boomers, nursing grads struggle to find work because they are inexperienced. Even with the high demand for nurses, recent nursing graduates struggle to land good opportunities.
What can recent nursing grads do to bridge this gap and find employment in the early stages of their career?
Network. Networking is a huge career booster for anyone, regardless of their field of work. Talk to your professors, join nursing associations, attend job fairs and conferences and seek out alumni who can help you find career opportunities. Build relationships everywhere you can. This could even be through nursing-specific in LinkedIn or Facebook groups. You never know where your next Connection or Messenger conversation could take you.
Create a stellar resume. Be sure to include all of your major nursing school accomplishments on your resume, and mention them in all of your conversations when you network and talk about your job search. Hiring managers or those helping you find a job will need to know that you are qualified. This is one of the only times it’s acceptable in society to shamelessly boast about yourself – so do it!
Go back to school. Getting the next higher degree, a specialized certificate or other training could be the difference between you and your competition. It makes your resume stand out, gives you more career paths to look into and could bring more networking opportunities!
Find the employers who are looking for you. Some facilities are interested in hiring new graduates, and even have programs and goals in place to ensure they hire so many per year. Do some research to find these places, because they are certainly looking for workers like you.
Take the path less traveled. While not as appealing or sustainable, volunteering can open doors by giving you the experience employers are looking for. You could also look into non-traditional career paths that most recent grads opt out of. These roles might be less desirable, but you’ll be gaining skills while staying relevant in the workforce.