11 Points to Keep in Mind Before Applying for a Job as a Registered Nurse

A career in nursing is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever do—for anyone, no matter their age—but it does not come without its challenges.

With all the job-related talk you’ll be getting from your friends and family, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the nitty-gritty details. While this article is not directly about applying for jobs as a nurse, it will provide you with a list of points to keep in mind as you start your career search (or even if you’re already a nurse and are looking take a different direction within nursing).

Points to Keep in Mind

Keep these tips in mind and make sure that no other obstacles stand between you and success!

Know What You Want to Do With Your Career

When you graduate from nursing school, be sure to have a clear idea of what your career path will look like. This will help you ensure that you are making the right decisions for your future.

Do not get so caught up in day-to-day minutiae that it becomes difficult for you to see the big picture—be sure to take the time to think about this detail before making decisions during the application process.

Get Your Education in Order

The hospitals you are applying to work for will want to know all about your qualifications and where you achieved them. Whether you happened to study online or take your degree in a brick-and-mortar university, it’s important to make sure that you have all of your qualifications in order.

If you are lacking the required credentials, there are ways to fix this without having to start your education from scratch—but make sure you do it before you start applying for jobs as a nurse.

There is no better way for someone to learn how to work in the field of nursing than by actually doing it. Take on some real-world work experience by working with a doctor or visiting a local hospital or clinic.

This will prepare you to take the next step in your career and will give you an opportunity to network with some actual nurses in your area.

Once you have all of your education credentials in place, it’s time to get started on getting yourself some professional credentials

Read: Advanced Practice Career Options for Nurses

Do Not Fall into the Trap of Believing it is a Transient Profession

Once you become a nurse, there’ll be a good chance you’ll stick with the job until retirement. In fact, nurses have one of the longest average careers in the country! What this means for you is that once you become a nurse, it’s unlikely that you will ever want to change jobs or leave your career path.

Even though this does not technically factor into nursing applications, it’s important to remember that becoming a registered nurse is more than simply applying for jobs as a nurse—this choice can alter your life trajectory forever.

Be Prepared for Mistakes

The application process is not easy, even with college admissions advice in place. In fact, most applicants make many mistakes on their applications, from basic grammatical errors to poorly worded statements. It is always worth asking someone to cast their eye over your application as they are more likely to spot any mistakes.

Have a Basic Understanding of How the Application Process Works

There is a specific process that must be followed when applying for jobs as a nurse, and it does not always follow the rules. It can be a difficult to navigate, so be sure to understand how it works and what you need to do in order to get into a proper nursing school.

Nursing is a highly demanding profession that requires a great deal of self-management and self-motivation, even at the application stage.

Read: Benefits to pursue a career in Nursing

Know Your Employer

It’s important to be aware of the qualities and characteristics that employers will be looking for, and to highlight these on your resumé and nursing application materials. Secondary school transcripts are accepted in most cases.

If your background does not include attendance at a high school or college, you must have a guaranteed minimum of two semesters of nursing coursework completed before applying; otherwise most applicants will recommend that you complete the coursework after you become a nurse.

Be Prepared for Scrutiny

When it comes to your personal profile, there are many areas that are scrutinized by potential employers.

In most cases, it is a good idea to limit the amount of personal information on your nursing resumé or application, as employers are most concerned with issues like national background checks, your social media footprint, and any communication you have with patients.

It’s also a good idea to cover up any distracting tattoos or piercings that may be visible on your profile picture.

Read: Returning to Nursing

Be Presentable At All Times

Have a friendly and open attitude during the interview process.  While you must be professional at all times, it’s important not to seem aloof.

Sending a potential employer a thank-you email after the interview can help you make a lasting positive impression. Even if you feel that your resumé or application is perfect, keep in mind that the process is highly subjective.

Tailor Your Resumé

Be sure to tailor your resumé and covering letter to employers and positions that interest you: do not send out the same applications and materials to all positions on your list—this will ensure that you do not waste time sending out unoriginal materials!

Understand the Application Process

Make sure you understand the basic application process when applying for jobs as a nurse. Once you become a nurse, you will not only be responsible for your own applications, but those of other nurses as well, so make sure you understand this aspect before starting the application process.

Get Your Professional References in Order

Have an array of professional references in place, particularly from schools where you may have studied or have been placed in clinical settings.

When writing your cover letter or completing your application materials, be sure to utilize your professional references wisely. The fact that they are already established in this line of work and are aware of your educational history means that they can help you complete your application effectively.

Remember: it is usually best to discuss applications with nurses who have been practicing for at least five years.

Recommended Articles:

How to Become a Scrub Nurse

How to Look Good in Scrubs

Health and Wellness Guide for Studying Nurses

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