Not Getting Hired? A Simple 3 Step Process to Landing A Job.

by: Elizabeth Scala

So you’ve graduated nursing school – extremely excited and are ready to begin your career. BUT…you just can’t seem to find or get a job. What’s going on here? Isn’t there a “nursing shortage”? Shouldn’t there be a plethora of nursing jobs around?

Is there a Nursing Shortage?

While the focus of this post isn’t the fact if there’s a nursing shortage or not – many new graduates and nursing students are hearing it over and over again, so I thought it was important to touch on this first.

  • The average age of a working nurse has increased; large numbers of RNs are reaching retirement age; and nurses are entering nursing at older ages which gives them shorter career span (Facts About the Nursing Shortage, Sigma Theta Tau)
  • The American public is not only aging and experiencing an increased amount of chronic illness, the healthcare demand has increased. With healthcare reform and economic upturn, more and more people need and access medical care (Nursing Shortage, American Nurses Association)

However, there are others that argue against the storage. Instead of not enough nurses, they claim there aren’t enough nurses who want to stay in nursing.

  • This nurse blogger in the UK points out that nursing schools are unable to fill the nursing jobs fast enough to keep up. She states there isn’t a nursing shortage, rather nurses leaving nursing due to low pay, feelings of resentment, and being unsupported in their jobs.
  • While another post points out that even two states, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, have also concurred that there is no nursing shortage. This blogger goes on to write about how it’s not about a nursing shortage, it’s about safe and fair work conditions for nurses.

Confused Yet?

As I said above, this post isn’t about whether or not there is a nursing shortage… though, it seems the jury’s still out on that. If you’re a newly graduated nurse, I’m sure you’ve experienced this confusion.

On one hand you’ve just passed the NCLEX, your family is so proud, and everyone’s asking you where you’re headed off to work. On the other – you’re out there pounding the pavement, sending out resumes, and asking for referrals from nurses you know… only to turn up – crickets.

How come you can’t get a job?? Argh! The frustration. I hear you.

Getting Hired as a Nurse

A few months ago I saw a post on social media that I thought I’d seen before. While it wasn’t actually a repeat, it was something that comes up often in the social space. Maybe you’ve seen something similar…

“I am a new grad and I am looking for a position in a local hospital. I have applied to numerous positions, however, I have only had 1 interview in 3 months. I am not sure if my resume is stopping me from getting an interview or if it is my lack of medical experience. I was in the banking industry at the front desk for over 11 years and nursing is a second career.”

Sound familiar?

So to respond to this nurse online, I wrote a blog post of my own that shared three tips for nurses who were looking for work. Today – I’d like to not only add to that post, but shake things up a bit with the very thing that might be blocking you…ready?

The human brain is set up to default to the negative. It’s the ‘what’s wrong’ that is more easily answered as this helps us to protect ourselves

 

We’ll do anything for work. Even take a role that doesn’t suit us – just to get the experience. [icon name=”twitter” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]

 

Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

Sometimes the thing we do to try and land a nursing career is the very thing that keeps us from it. When we don’t have success in something, like getting a job, we become desperate. We’ll do anything for work. Even take a role that doesn’t suit us – just to get the experience.

I don’t want this for you! And I know (from personal experience) that you’ll be miserable when you settle. So I want to share a simple three step process that will help you find, access, and land the nursing job of your dreams (in less time, with much less effort).

 

3 Steps to Landing Your Dream Job

 

Step 1: Create Your “Don’t Want” List

OK – what do I mean by this? A few years ago I was blessed with a wonderful opportunity to sit in on nurse focus groups that asked about ideal work environments. When we asked the nurses about the working conditions they would want to see, there was a quiet confusion in the room. No one really answered. Or could clearly articulate what they wanted. You see, the human brain is set up to default to the negative. It’s the ‘what’s wrong’ that is more easily answered as this helps us to protect ourselves. When we look for danger, we are much more equipped to fight or flee. OK – enough science for you. Let’s move on. So the reason these nurses in the focus group could not answer is because we were asking the wrong question. When we flipped the switch and asked ‘what’s wrong’ with your current workplace, they were able to answer. The flood gates open and all that ‘crap’ about work came pouring out! So – you want to do this with respect to your own nursing career. To get at the ideal job for you, you may have to take a step backwards and start off by listing everything you don’t want to be, do, see, have, feel, or experience in a nursing job. Literally take out pencil and paper and do this now.

Step 2: Create Your “Do Want” List

Nice job. Now this is the fun part. You take everything that you wrote down in your ‘don’t want’ list and reverse it.[icon name=”twitter” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  (This is why it’s so important that you do the first step above…so if you don’t have to go back and do that now.) To do this, you’ll complete this sentence: “If I don’t want X (something listed in your ‘don’t want’ list), then what I do want is Y.” So what’s ‘Y’? Well, ‘Y’ is the very first thing that pops into your mind! Even if it sounds crazy, unattainable, or nonsensical. Write it down. The exercise is important. You must go with your gut. Try not to censor yourself. Let yourself state the very opposite of what it is that you don’t want. This will help you get closer to your ideal nursing role.

Step 3: Create Your Intentional Affirmation List

When you have your lists of “wants,” you take these and create intentional affirmations. Now, don’t freak out and think that I’m getting all woo-woo on you here. For a long time, I didn’t even believe in affirmations or that they worked. Yet after I learned to use them properly, I realized that I had a secret weapon at my disposal. So what you do now is take that “do want” list and create intentional statements from it. But here’s the secret sauce: you have to gently invite these affirmative thoughts in – because often, our conscious mind does not really believe in them and our ability to bring them to us. Bear with me here…So, what you do is use the word “choose.” You look at your “do want” list and create an intentional statement around it (I’ll share an example below). Then, when you have that, you repeat them aloud, looking at yourself in the mirror on a routine basis (I recommend daily, if possible). Do this and continue taking action each day towards getting a job – and I promise you – things will show up quickly and more smoothly. You’ll find the nursing career of your dreams!

Example:

If I don’t want ‘X’, then what I do want is ‘Y’.

If I don’t want a nursing career where I am constantly bossed around, then what I do want is to have autonomy in my job.

I choose to believe/trust/have/experience ‘Y’.

I choose to believe I can experience autonomy in my nursing role.

 

Do you currently have a process for getting hired as a nurse? What steps do you take to find and land your ideal job? Be sure to tweet me @ElizabethScala on Twitter to tell me how you’re doing with your nursing career.

 

Author

Author

Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within’, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.

Elizabeth Scala

Elizabeth Scala

StaffGarden Contributor

Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within’, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.

 

More From StaffGarden