Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Resources
You Have a Nursing Degree, Now What?
With your education complete, the next step in your career is finding a position you are well-suited for. Your first job will offer you crucial experience and connections that will establish you in the nursing profession. Finding a position that makes use of your skills is easy when you leverage networking opportunities. Here are a few groups that can aid you in your job search.
Contact Your Network
If you met any professional nurses during your time in school, reach out to them and reintroduce yourself. Let them know what you are looking for, the area where you’d like to work, and how excited you are about the opportunities in health care. According to an ABC News report, more than 80% of jobs are obtained through networking, which means the people you meet on the first day of school could hire you someday.
Don’t be hesitant to reach out to people or ask for introductions. While some will not think to offer their help without your request, most people are genuinely happy to offer any assistance they can when asked directly.
Be professional in your requests. Keep in mind building a career network is more about establishing a relationship of mutual respect than begging for a job. Sometimes the advice a veteran nurse can provide is more important in your long-term career development than a job lead.
Review Niche Websites and Forums
As you start your job search, look beyond Monster and CareerBuilder listings to industry-specific websites and forums. Nursing-specific sites such as nurse.com and nursing/healthcare job boards will provide more leads with less effort plus employers have a more favorable view on resumes that come through these sites.
If you want to work in a specific hospital, check its website and subscribe to an RSS feed that provide you updates every time a new job is posted. Signing up for alerts will save you time and eliminate the need to return to the site to check for new jobs.
It’s also important to utilize tools such as LinkedIn to let hospitals, private practices, etc. know you are looking for a position. LinkedIn can be an essential tool for recruiters to search for potential candidates. If you’re actively pursuing a new job, rewrite your LinkedIn headline to state your intentions clearly. Mention your degree, your goal, and your connections with a clear picture of what you’re looking for.
Join a Professional Association
A professional association is another great way to network. There are many different nursing associations, ranging from the general American Nurses Associations to more specialized groups like the Emergency Nurses Association. Associations can provide excellent networking and leadership opportunities, as well as mentoring programs and job placement advice. Most require membership dues, but some may have a student/recent graduate rate. If you aren’t interested in paying fees, look into and ask about volunteer opportunities.
Reach Out to Alumni
Joining you school’s alumni networking group allows you to expand your network. If your school does not have a group, they may have a list of alumni in your area they would be willing to share. When you contact alumni, do so with the idea of networking, building your contacts list, and learning more about nursing, rather than asking for a job. People want to help but don’t want to be solicited by strangers. Take the time to build a relationship or forge a common interest.
Cast a Wider Geographical Net
If you’re having difficulty finding a job in your town, the answer may lie in broadening your geographical search area. Travel nursing allows you to select an area of the country and duration of time that you’re willing to live there, and then provides you with a nursing job. This is the perfect way to audition a new part of the country as you figure out if it’s somewhere you would like to live permanently.
Sending out a resume in answer to a job board posting makes you part of a large pile, and you’re likely competing against people with similar levels of experience. Networking is a smart way to set yourself apart.
Having recently completed your nurse practitioner degree, you’re on a path to advance in your nursing career but it may take some effort to get where you’d like. Take your time, network, and make connections with people who can help you find your ideal path.