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Tips for Landing Your First Nursing Job

Landing your first job in any field can be daunting, and nursing is no exception. In fact, this profession can be more intimidating than most because of all the skills and responsibilities that come with it. The good news for new graduates is that there is such a huge demand for nurses that you’re almost certain to find a job no matter where you live. Finding the right job for you, however, may take a bit more legwork. Following these tips will help you with your search.

Decide on the type of job you want

The type of job you’re able to get will depend  a lot on the level of education you received. Some facilities require you to have an RN (registered nurse licensure), while others are fine with LVNs (licensed vocational nurses). Some positions may even prefer someone who attended an RN-BSN program. Whatever the case for you, pay careful attention to the specific education requirements posted in the job listing. 

Aside from just choosing a job based on your credentials, it’s also a good idea to decide what type of facility you’d most like to work in. Assessing your skills, personality, and preferences will help you out in this process. As a nurse, so many different jobs are available that it’s usually easy to find one closely matched to you. If you enjoy working with elderly patients, a nursing or retirement home may be the best choice for you. Or if you prefer a fast-paced working environment, consider looking for a job in a hospital emergency room or medical flight service. Other facilities that employ nurses include schools, factories, insurance agencies, legal consulting firms, and clinics.


Networking is an intimidating term to some people, drumming up images of a business meetings and stuffy socials. But networking is simply “the exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest.” In other words, you can be networking even when you’re chatting up the person next to you in the dentist’s waiting room. As a new graduate, it’s important to get the word out that you’re ready to go to work. Tell everybody you come in contact with that you’re looking for a job and what type of job you want. You never know when someone you meet might know of the perfect opportunity for you.

Be prepared

Interviewing for jobs can also be intimidating for many people, but it’s helpful to remind yourself that you’ve already made a good impression once you reach this step. And if you arm yourself with some information beforehand, you’ll feel a lot more prepared and a little less nervous. First of all, do a little online research on the company you’re interviewing with. They’ll likely want to know why you want to work there, so it’s good to know a little about them. Secondly, rehearse some answers for common interview questions. They might want to know things like where you see yourself in five years, your strengths and weaknesses, and why you decided to become a nurse. 

Get help from a placement firm

A retained search firm can often help you find a job that meets your exact specifications. You can let them know where you’d like to work and how much you’d like to make. They’re retained by many types of companies and work constantly to fill open positions. So, it’s a good idea to to register with them as soon as you’re eligible to work. You might even find that they have a position you’d be perfect for already available. 

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