The first few years of nursing are no picnic. Nursing is a challenging and emotionally taxing profession that can be overwhelming for a new nurse. From day one, you must hold the lives of others in your hands. It is an enormous undertaking, and it is easy to beat yourself up for not being perfect. Thankfully, some things can help you out as a new nurse.
Tips for Those New to Nursing
Build a Strong Support Network Early in Your Career
While in nursing school, it is simple to vent your frustrations to your classmates and peers about the challenges you are enduring. However, after graduation, it is easy to lose contact. It is wise to keep in touch with classmates, professors, and mentors. It is crucial that you maintain relationships and build new ones for your career.
Try to get your classmates’ and professors’ email addresses. There is no awkwardness in asking for help. There is probably someone who will jump at the chance to help you. Not on LinkedIn? Create a profile right now.
Use a Strategic Approach to Get Your First Nursing Job
Even if your first job is not what you envision for yourself, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. You will learn much as you lay a foundation for years to come. Although it is not uncommon for nursing graduates to graduate without knowing what to specialize in, you should only apply for jobs that mesh with your personality and lifestyle. Do not settle for a job because you receive an offer.
If you do not know what to specialize in, consider the float pool and get the chance to feel out different specialties. New graduates do get hired in specialties. Hook up with your network and build new networks.
Target Your Resume and Prepare for Your Interviews
Never submit the same old resume and cover letter to every job. Try to target resumes for the exact positions for which you are applying. Take your time and try to make yourself stand out. You can use this resume guide to help you create the best nursing resume.
Interviews are tough, but preparation does help. Avoid Googling nursing interview questions and memorizing generic responses. There is much more that goes into a nursing interview, including:
- What to do before your interview
- Practicing sample interview questions and answers
- Dressing appropriately for your interview
- Following up after the interview
- Handling rejection gracefully
- What you should do once you get an offer
- Salary negotiation
- Nursing Orientation Is Not a Race
As you begin work with other new graduates, remember that you are not competing in a race to determine the best new grad nurse. Do not worry about who can take care of more patients or get off orientation the fastest. Do not let your work culture perpetuate this fact, either. Remember to focus on your journey and the gaps you need to fill.
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