In a previous article I discussed how “older” (more mature) nurses can compete against younger nurses. To be fair, I want to tell you—the new nursing grad—how you can come to the interview more experienced than you are now or more than you think you are now!
When I was fresh out of nursing school, I looked into working in many different places. Almost all nurse jobs said “prefer 1 to 2 years of experience in field.” Was that discouraging? Yes and no, because I was focused on what I wanted to do and found a way to do it.
Follow these tips to gain experience or “appear” more experienced than your peers at a nursing interview:
- Get a nursing tech/nursing assistant job.When I was in nursing school, I knew early on that I wanted to work with children. Although very busy with school and my family, I attained a nurse tech position at the local hospital on the pediatric ward every Friday and Saturday night. What did this do for me? First, it gave me experience to put on my nursing resume. Secondly, it gave me a foot in the door.
- Volunteer.Unfortunately, when I graduated from nursing school, we moved to another town. So much for the foot in the door, but I was not discouraged! I still had the experience to put on my resume.
When I got to the new town, it was difficult at first to find a job. But the school my children went to needed a nurse, and knowing I wanted to work with children as my career, I became a volunteer nurse! More experience for my resume. At the same time, I earned a part-time nursing position as a school nurse. It was a field that I knew I did not want to work in for the long term, but gave me more experience for my resume.
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