Ensure You Love Your First Nursing Job — Choose Wisely!

Your nursing program was a journey with many steps along the way — receiving your degree, passing the NCLEX and earning your RN license.

Congratulations! But the real journey — your first nursing job — is still ahead.

If you’re like most new graduate nurses, you worry about surviving the school-to-work transition you have heard so much about, and you have a lot of questions.

  • Will I be good at my job?
  • Will I fit in, do well, feel valued and be successful?
  • What if I make a mistake?

There’s no doubt getting your first nursing job is a big and important step that can set you on a great career path. Finding a job, however, is only the first of two big things you need to think about as you move through this once-in-a-career period between nursing school and work.

The second thing is making sure the first nursing job you get is the right one.

You’ve worked hard, earned good grades and became an RN. It’s time to get out into the job market and land that first job.

Narrow Your Job Search for Your First Nursing Job

The marketplace is waiting for you and, if you haven’t already gotten out there, it’s time.

An important question to answer is whether you really know what you need to know. If this is your first career and first job hunt, the answer is you need to know a lot.

Begin your first nursing job hunt by doing some research.

  • Bring yourself up to date on the nursing job market.
  • Network with nurses you know from school.
  • Talk with your past professors.
  • Visit some online chat rooms with other new nurse grads.
  • Study what’s trending with jobs in your area and ones in areas you would consider relocating to for your first nursing job.
  • Take a look at local professional nursing organizations and think about joining one.
  • Make some decisions on where you want to work, what kind of role you want, and the salary and benefits you require.

After you’ve accomplished some of these preliminaries, get your thoughts together and make a who, what and where list of your questions, such as:

  • Who was your best resource for information and advice?
  • What kind of family and lifestyle needs fit best with your choice of specialty, shift, role or facility?
  • Where are the best places for you to work and live, and have you narrowed your search down enough?

Each of you will have a different list because finding the right job is not a cookie-cutter exercise. Each one is personal and unique.

Think Outside the Hospital Setting

Don’t forget there are some great roles and interesting positions in areas outside the hospital setting. Some examples are nursing homes, community medical clinics, academic nurse writers and case managers.

This Nurse Journal article shares more ideas for alternative nursing jobs you might want to consider.

Plus, the Cleveland Clinic refers to today’s new graduate nurse recruitment and hiring market as “competitive,” which means you can be selective about which jobs you decide to apply for and accept.

There’s no …read more

Read full article here: nurse.com