You’re ready to take on your first nursing job. Congratulations! So, how do you choose the right position? Use these tips to make the best decision.
What to Consider Before Accepting Your First Nursing Job
- Working Environment
Nursing jobs can be quite diverse. You may work as a school nurse in a small town or as an emergency room nurse in an urban hospital. Think about where you would be happiest. This should include the type of facility, size of the facility, types of patients, location, and available shifts.
- Skill Set
You don’t want to discover you’re in over your head. Nor do you want to end up bored. Look for a job that’s challenging but not overwhelming.
- Opportunities for Growth
If you’re hoping to advance your nursing career, some facilities provide on-the-job training, tuition assistance, and/or promotions from within. And even if you’re happy in your current position, an employer who supports ongoing professional development is a plus. The medical field is constantly changing, and you need to stay up to date.
- Support System
Nursing is a tough job. Thus, a robust support system is essential especially when you’re starting out. Search for roles offering mentorship programs or work buddies, so you won’t be on your own.
- Workplace Culture
Finally, ask yourself, “Will this be a positive place to work?” Be on the lookout for telltale signs. These may include an overall sense of purpose, high-quality patient care, a healthy work/life balance, and camaraderie among staff members.
How to Evaluate Different Possibilities
- Define Your Ideal Job
To find what you want, it’s helpful to know what you want. Before beginning your employment search, take the time to define your ideal position. Also, keep in mind, most people never uncover the PERFECT job. Therefore, rank your priorities. For instance, maybe you would prefer to work in a doctor’s office. However, you would accept a hospital placement if the role provided more opportunities for long-term growth.
- Learn as Much as You Can About Each Position
The job description is a wonderful starting point but plan to dig a little deeper. Visit the facility’s website and social media pages. If you know someone connected to the organization (either a patient or employee) ask for their input. Some places may be willing to give you a tour or allow you to shadow for a day too.
- Ask Questions
Your interview is another chance for you to learn more. By asking strategic questions, you can better decide if this is the right first nursing job for you. Some examples are: “What’s your favorite part of working here?”, “What training programs are available?” and “Can you walk me through a typical day on the job?” If you need more ideas, check out 51 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview.
Are You Ready to Find Your First Nursing Job?
BOS Medical Staffing places RNs, LVNs/LPNs, and CNAs throughout the state of Georgia. Our recruiters would be happy to help you find your first nursing job. Browse our available openings today!