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As a nurse with less than six months of experience, what else, other than volunteering, home care and nursing homes — can I do to get a job?

Monday October 29, 2012
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I understand the benefits of volunteering and working outside the hospital. However, the majority of places I apply to are asking for experience. This is difficult for me, for financial reasons. As a nurse with less than six months of experience, what else, other than volunteering, home care and nursing homes — can I do to get a job?

Frustrated RN

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Frustrated RN,

Something else you can do is attend local chapter meetings of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (www.aone.org) and the National Association for Health Care Recruitment (www.nahcr.org). Wear a business suit, have business cards and updated copies of your resume with you. Mix and mingle, shake hands and ask attendees about themselves. Ask for the business cards of those you spend time with and send them a follow-up note after the event. In other words, network with the people who actually hire new nurses. Read “Put Your Best Foot Forward for Maximum Impact” (Nurse.com/Cardillo/BestFootForward).

You also should be actively networking with anyone in your circle. Many people think they are doing everything they can and networking well. Yet, most folks don't understand the power of person-to-person networking or how it works. The book “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career” (www.Nurse.com/CE/7250) goes into great detail about how to make this work for you. This type of networking is important because meeting people in person is the best possible way to market yourself, be memorable and make a positive impression. When all is said and done, people want to hire those who have a personality, a winning attitude and are enthusiastic and professional. Even in a tight job market, there are people who will take a chance on someone who impresses them and shows potential.

Join and participate in your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org) or other nursing organization. This is another powerful networking tool. The more active and visible you are, the more members get to know you, and you them. Everything happens through networking.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.