I'm specifically reaching out to nursing graduates. I'm currently working in healthcare recruiting (a new field for me) and I'm approached by new RN's that cannot find a job. The market is glutted, and hospitals are currently only looking for experienced nurses. So I finally had a chance to talk to one of our nurse recruiters and here are some tips,
-ANY direct patient care is valuable on your resumes. Volunteer work, clinicals, internships. All of it is helpful.
-The question of alternate career titles has been bandied around like CNA, Nurse Technician, Technologist, LPN as paying jobs. Is this a viable career move? The short answer is "yes", considering a position that is less money and responsibility but gets you direct patient care experience is an option. It depends on how badly you need to work and where you are looking.
-Traveling nurse positions are picking up and this can give you very valuable experience and a nice nest egg.
-You seriously need to consider relocation, and maybe on your own dime. If you live an area with extremely high unemployment, like MI, you are competing for entry level salaries against seasoned nurses with years of experience. Look at areas where there are large medical centers/teaching hospitals or, alternatively, rural settings where there is less interest in moving as a young professional.
-This isn't for everyone, but seriously consider doing something like the Peace Corps, Doctors Without Borders, or the military (including the Reserves). Not only will you gain extremely valuable experience, but you will open doors you never thought of.
-One thing to keep in mind. If you have your heart set on a hospital career, taking a "short term" stint in a private practice, school or long-term care facility will greatly lessen your chances for attaining that hospital position. These are different skill sets and the further you get from acute care, the more difficult it is to convince a potential hospital/employer that you can transfer those skills.
Remember your resume is your sales tool. The more experience you can put on it that maps to direct patient care, the better your chances of landing an acute care position.
Laborer? Contractor? Retail Associate? Yes, You *DO* Need A Resume!
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