Clinical + Networking

September 5, 2015

Hey friends,

I am sure you have heard that finding a job as a new graduate can be difficult (and it is true). So what are some things you can do now to prepare yourself? well, it is actually quite simple and begins with your clinical rotations.

Make sure you network at clinical!

That is your biggest advice. This means presenting yourself in a professional manner regardless if you like the unit or the nurse you are with. Some great things to start with are showing up on time (if not early and ready to begin the day) and being willing to help other nurses and aides as well. Additionally show confidence without arrogance. 

Take some time to talk with the nurse manager of the floor or the charge nurse. Get a business card or set up a meeting. Ask what type of things they look for on a new grad's resume. Or maybe ask what experiences and leadership experiences they require of a new nurse. If that is somewhere you would like to work, then ask about the hiring process. Some hospitals may have a nurse residency that will give you extra training on the unit as a new grad. Get all your facts, tips, and dates in order and make a checklist for yourself.

Most nursing programs have a preceptorship or leadership component to them in their senior year. This is one on one experience with a nurse. Sometimes you are lucky enough to get one on a floor that interests you, other times you are not so lucky. Regardless you should treat your time there the same. Making a good impression on your preceptor can lead to an amazing letter of recommendation based on your clinical skills. Sometimes your professors in theory may not be able to comment on your clinical skills for a letter of recommendation.

The more open minded you are about clinical experiences and how you use your time for skills and networking the better. Appreciate the time you have on that unit and the effort your nurse goes through with teaching a student. 

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