Steps to Finding a Job In Nursing
One of the most in-demand jobs in healthcare today is nursing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of registered nurses will grow by 16% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Now is a great time to enter the nursing field, especially after the historic shortage of nurses throughout the pandemic. Here are some steps you can follow to find a job as a nurse:
Figure Out the Type of Nursing You Want to Do
There are many different types of nurses, from registered nurses (RNs) to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Each type of nurse has different responsibilities and requires different levels of education. For example, RNs typically provide direct patient care while APRNs often serve more in a consultative role. Once you know what type of nursing you want to do, you can start researching specific job openings.
Get the Necessary Education and Training
Although some nursing careers may be satisfied by an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), others may require you to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you want to have a highly-specialized career in nursing, you will probably need a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Here is a list of different nursing programs and training and what kind of jobs they will prepare you for:
- Registered Nurse (RN): Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse/ Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN): Practical Nursing Diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
- Traveling Nurse: Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Getting Licensed and Certified
Once you have the necessary education, you will need to get licensed in the state where you want to work. To do this, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. You may also need to get certified in a specialty area, depending on the type of nursing you want to do. For example, many APRNs will need to get certified in their area of practice, such as family nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse practitioner.
Apply for Jobs
Now that you have the necessary education and credentials, you can start looking for specific job openings. Start by visiting the websites of hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities in your area. Job board sites like nurse jobs by Lensa are also very helpful for finding nursing jobs.
You should also reach out to your personal network, including family and friends, to see if they know of any open positions. If you are attending college or a vocational school, the administration there may also be able to help you find a job after graduation or in parallel with your curriculum.
Prepare for Your Interviews
After you’ve applied for a few jobs, it’s likely that you will start getting interview requests. To prepare for your interviews, research common nursing interview questions and practice your answers.
You should also take the time to learn more about the specific healthcare facility with which you are interviewing. This will show your interviewer that you are truly interested in the position and not just any job.
Most of all, be yourself; the interviewer wants to get to know you and see if you would be a good fit for the team, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
Finding a job as a nurse can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to starting your dream career. With so many different types of nursing jobs available, there is sure to be one that is the perfect fit for you.