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Hunting for your next nursing job can be one of the most frustrating and stressful endeavors anyone can undertake. You’ve graduated with your nursing degree and you feel like a shiny new penny. You’re positive about your career choice, hopeful about your job prospects, and you’re looking forward to beginning a long and lucrative career. Heck, you know nurses are in short supply-employers will probably come knocking on your door, right?

Well, as you may already realize, this isn’t necessarily the case. Good nurses will always be in demand at any hospital, nursing facility, or healthcare clinic, but you must seek out the job you want. And sometimes your education, training and licensing don’t really speak loudly enough for you. You have to get out there and seek out your next nursing job.

The job hunt can be a lot less frustrating when you understand the right approach to take. You are in control of finding your next nursing job. Here are 5 tips to help you find and get hired for the job you want:

Know What You Want

You may know the type of nursing position you want, but there are so many more items attached to your next nursing job. For instance, you need to know the pay, obviously, and what type of benefits are offered, but you should also delve into your desires as far as the culture of the healthcare facility, their values, attitudes and behaviors toward staff, patients, and their families. Is there a specific schedule you would like to work? Are you looking to advance your career? What are the options?

Before you begin the actual search for your next nursing job, make a detailed list of all that you want in a nursing job. This will help you narrow down specifics so you don’t end up spinning your wheels.

Understand Your Audience

Of course your resume, phone, and face to face interview will all exhibit the utmost in professionalism, but beyond good manners, you should make sure your cover letter isn’t too curt, but neither should it be informal. Find a way to convey that you’ve done your homework and you know a bit about the hospital or facility to which you’re applying. Mention something about the location or the history. Don’t get personal (“My Aunt Mary had her tonsils out at your hospital”), but do sound excited about working for the facility. Recruiters zero in on those applicants who appear engaged and sincerely interested.

Fully Understand the Job Description

Make absolutely sure that the position for which you’re applying is on for which you are qualified from the get-go. Don’t assume to apply for a position for which you’re under-qualified, with an idea that your new employer will train you. Don’t accept a position that’s strictly nights, then pester your supervisor to be assigned day shifts. Know the position, apply for that position, and accept that position. There may be opportunities to advance as soon as you exhibit that you’re one of the team.

Persistance Pays

Ask anyone who’s ever sought out a new job and they will tell you that following up can mean the difference between being hired and being overlooked. It’s important to follow up on your resume. Perhaps via email, or by placing a phone call. After that, wait to be contacted by the facility’s recruiter. Once you’ve had an interview a follow up thank you note is the utmost in professionalism. Beyond that, you may call to find out if the position has been filled, and request the recruiter keep your resume on file, but anything more than that equates to hounding, bothering and borderline stalking the person in charge of hiring. A pest is seen as just that and will quickly be placed at the bottom of the list.

Enthusiasm Counts!

It’s been noted by many recruiters, in all fields, that attitude is what gets the job; training will provide the skills. That being said, you need to show genuine enthusiasm for the position. Beginning with the excitement in your cover letter, and continuing throughout the interview process. If this next nursing job is truly your dream job, let that enthusiasm shine through. Those in charge will see you as a positive addition to the staff and an asset to their facility.

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