How to Get a Job as a Registered Nurse
“Even though there’s great growth potential, the market is still competitive,” says Donna Cardillo, RN, a speaker known as the “career guru” for nurses. She recommends nurses use both traditional and virtual tricks of the interviewing trade, including printing business cards for the interview process (many nurses don’t) and keeping up-to-date profiles on social-media sites like LinkedIn. The most effective job leads, however, come from one-on-one contacts that can be found by joining professional organizations such as state chapters of the American Nurses Association or other specialized professional groups. For older job seekers looking to enter the field, Cardillo recommends they play up their experience in non-nursing fields, as those experiences can show a diverse set of skills. Another tip: Look beyond the hospital. Nurses are fanning out into a host of jobs, ranging from rehab and long-term care facilities to nurse-run community clinics, schools, or corporations where preventative care and wellness are becoming a bigger focus—and a bigger source of jobs. “The whole job market is shifting,” Cardillo says.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Registered Nurses
"Name a time that you had to make a difficult decision in your work environment." - Aetna Registered Nurse Case Manager Candidate (Location Unknown)
"Would you take another position on med surgery floor?" - Jackson Hospital Registered Nurse Candidate (Alabama)
"What mistakes have you made when caring for patients?" - Emory Healthcare/Emory University Hospital Registered Nurse Candidate (Atlanta, GA)
What is the Job Like?
Nursing can be physically, emotionally and mentally demanding. Expect to spend plenty of time on your feet, dealing with both mundane tasks and the intense interpersonal experience of helping patients through their most vulnerable moments. Day-to-day, the hours can be long and unpredictable. However, the variety of career options open to nurses today makes tailoring your work life to your own desired schedule much easier.
Real Reviews From Registered Nurses
+"Good pay. Experience is valuable to other employers. Work life and family life are blended well. Association with other professionals." - Kaiser Permanente RN Clinical Nurse (Silver Spring, MD)
+"The learning framework for nurses cannot be beat. You are exposed to complex cases with lots of autonomy." - Vanderbilt University Medical Center Registered Nurse (Nashville, TN)
- "At my clinic the RN duties and the pt scheduling is such that there is no time to use the many resources offered to learn more and improve your practice unless you do it on your on time. I would do that more except that my hours have often been so long I just couldn't devote more time to work." - DaVita Staff Nurse (RN), Renal Dialysis (Location Unknown)
- "There are less people for each shift, more call, to cover the more frequent bare spots created by having less people to do the cases. Call isn't just for the "off hours" anymore, either. Now, there are TWO people on call for most of the 24 hour cycle." - Banner Health RN, OR (Phoenix, AZ)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.