Tips for Gaining Experience as a Nurse

If you are searching for your first nursing position, you may feel exasperated by the job boards. Every posting requires experience, but you are right out of nursing school. How can get experience if you can’t get a job?

Fortunately, a lack of experience doesn’t have to stand between you and employment. Here are five practical solutions to overcome this problem.

  1. Visit Your Career Placement Office

    If you haven’t already, explore everything your program’s career center has to offer. Many schools partner with local hospitals and clinics to place entry-level candidates. Even if this isn’t an option, most career offices provide a variety of other helpful services including job search advice, resume reviews and interview coaching. Take advantage.

  2. Look for Internships

    Internships are an excellent way to gain experience without having experience. Although paid internships are preferable, unpaid positions look just as impressive on your resume. Also, internships allow you to meet new people, expand your network and get your foot in the door. An internship that goes well often leads to a job offer.

  3. Volunteer

    If you are struggling to find either a job or an internship, fill up your spare hours with volunteer work. Be creative. Nursing homes, clinics, research facilities and nonprofits, like the Red Cross, love volunteers. Not only will you get hands-on experience, you’ll feel good about your generous spirit. And by keeping busy, you are showing potential employers how dedicated and motivated you are.

  4. Consider Part-Time and Temporary Placements

    Although many permanent and full-time positions require experience, part-time, temporary and contract placements frequently do not. Since these openings can be due to staff shortages, employers usually are thrilled to have an enthusiastic entry-level candidate on the job. Temporary placements combine the benefits of both paid internships and volunteer work. In addition to adding real-life work experience to your resume, you can try out different short-term assignments, build your skill set, make connections and earn a paycheck.

  5. Find a Mentor

    Knowing someone within the industry can improve your odds of landing a job and help you grow your career. Your mentor may be a professor, a friend, your family doctor or someone you meet along the way. This individual can provide advice as well as introduce you to other professionals within your field.

Finally, especially early in your job-search journey, don’t be too picky. You may have had your heart set on working at the shiny new state-of-the-art research hospital, but this could take time. Internships, volunteer work and temporary positions are short term. If you don’t love them, move on. Meanwhile, embrace the unexpected. You may find yourself on a wonderful career path you would never have discovered if things had gone exactly as planned.

Are You Looking for Your First Nursing Job?

Aventure Staffing places full-time, part-time and temporary CNA, CMA, LPN and RNs in Sioux City, Iowa and beyond. We welcome all entry-level candidates to apply! Search our available openings and launch your nursing career today.

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