Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Resources
How to Land Your Nursing Dream Job
Completing a nursing degree is a major step toward finding your dream job, as it can help you to apply for nursing jobs at hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and doctors’ offices. However, although that initial degree may be enough to land your first and second job, you may need to do more to get the position you’ve always wanted. Take a look at these strategies for landing your nursing dream job:
Find Opportunities to Network Face-to-Face
Image via Flickr by janeyhenning
If you want to land your dream job, you need to make plans to meet and mingle with other nurses. To get started, the American Nurses Association recommends joining a local nursing organization. When searching for associations, you may find a state nurse’s association or a group for your area of specialty. It doesn’t matter which one you join as long as you choose a group that regularly holds gatherings.
When you attend a nurses’ meeting, bring business cards. Even if your employer doesn’t provide them, you can get cards printed for yourself. It’s also important to resist the urge to only hang out with the nurses you already know. Remember that the point of networking is to meet new people; you never know when meeting another nurse could lead to an exciting career opportunity in the future.
Join an Online Networking Group
If you struggle with in-person networking, you can join an online group that’s dedicated to networking. The American Nursing Association has several online communities, including the New RNs Community. Targeted to nurses who received their RN license within the last five years, this online group is a place where nurses can discuss difficulties of the job and get advice from other new nurses.
The community moderator is Elizabeth Davis, a highly respected lead nurse for an obstetrical unit and a faculty member at a nursing college. Even if no one in the group offers you a job, you may glean insights that will prepare you for your dream job. Whether you join an online or in-person association, be sure to add it to your resume.
Take Networking to the Next Level
Beyond simply joining a nurses’ association and attending social events, you can take on a leadership role in the organization. In addition to getting to know the nurses in your group, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other nurses who hold leadership positions in their local or regional associations. Not only will you broaden your opportunity to network, but you can beef up your resume with a leadership position. Taking on a leadership role in a nursing association shows commitment to your profession and a desire to grow.
Attend Nursing Conferences
In addition to joining local and online groups, the American Nurses Association recommends attending nursing conferences. Events like the National Nurses in Business Association Annual Conference and the American Nurses Association’s yearly gathering provide a place and time for you to meet your peers and nurse leaders from across the United States. Attend mixers, happy hours, and other events where you can chat with attendees.
If you attend a presentation during a conference, make a point of introducing yourself to the speaker afterward. You never know when you’ll meet someone who could help you connect with an exciting job in the future.
Achieve Additional Certification, Training, and Education
Once you become a registered nurse, you may want to continue your education and complete certifications that complement your RN status. Working through a university with online nursing programs, you can earn certifications or even an advanced degree. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, you can claim certification credentials after you meet all eligibility requirements and pass the exam or portfolio review. You can also retain your credentials by successfully renewing your certification as needed.
If your dream job involves being in management or nurse leadership, the American Nurses Association advises obtaining an advanced degree. Though it won’t guarantee a specific job, an advanced degree may open more doors for your career. For example, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is tailored for nurses who are interested in administration and leadership positions.
Keep Your Resume Current
In the midst of all your planning and networking, don’t forget to keep your resume current. It should include details about your involvement with nursing associations, certifications, and any other continuing education programs you complete. When you attend a conference, it’s a good idea to have paper copies of your resume in hand in case someone wants to share it with a hiring manager. You can also post your resume online and include the link on your business cards. By posting your resume online, you can easily update it, and you won’t have to worry about printed copies being outdated.
Practice Your Interviewing Skills
To prepare for the day when you’ll interview for your dream job, All Nurses, an online nursing community, recommends that you practice being interviewed. If you’re involved in a nursing association, you can set up mock interviews to allow nurses to practice interviewing each other. You need to prepare a response to questions about your past mistakes, your strengths and weaknesses, and your career goals. By practicing for an interview, you’ll make sure you’re ready if you ever get the chance to interview for your dream job.
You can ask the nurses in your group to share the interview questions they’ve encountered. It can be useful to see what kinds of questions nurse leaders asked job candidates as it gives you insights into the qualities you need if you apply for certain types of jobs.
If you are considering or are already enrolled in a BSN to DNP online program, you may be on your way to your dream job in nursing. These strategies can help you move even closer to that position. To learn more about your educational options, visit the online advanced nursing degree programs at Maryville University.