It’s one of the oldest catch-22s in the world. In order to get a good job, you need experience, but in order to get experience, you have to get a job. What is a newly graduated nurse to do in order to break into the field?
While you might not be able to jump right into your desired specialty, there are ways to get paying nursing jobs even when you don’t have years of experience. You simply have to know where and what to look for and be prepared to accept a position that might not be exactly what you had in mind.
Search for New Graduate Positions
Many hospitals and clinics have a limited number of new graduate positions available at various times throughout the year. While these openings often have stiff competition, they will allow those who are hired to gain that valuable experience that will help them to land a position in their desired field.
Look for Temp Work
Some new nurses shy away from temp work because they believe that it won’t help them to advance their career. Nothing could be further from the truth. In some cases, temp jobs can be made permanent, other openings in the facility may be offered, or the experience you get can be appealing to potential employers. Also, taking on temp jobs can allow you to get a taste of a variety of different concentrations in nursing.
Check with Your Nursing Program
Your nursing program’s advisors may be able to help you find employers that will hire you without actual work experience. Many schools have partnerships with healthcare facilities that hire local graduate students. Instructors may also have recommendations for employers or can put a word in for you.
Think Outside the Box
Look outside the traditional hospital or private practice setting for job openings. Prisons, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and public health services might have positions for which you are qualified. Though these might not be your dream jobs, they will help pay bills and allow you to gain experience.
If you feel like you have exhausted all avenues, there are other ways to begin to gain experience within the nursing field. Consider an internship or shadowing program that will help you get needed experience with direct patient care. There are also plenty of organizations on the lookout for volunteer nurses to help with various programs. Though these are typically unpaid, the experience gained will help you on your way to the nursing career of your dreams.
Don’t let your lack of experience in certain specialties stop you from searching for your dream job. You have nothing to lose by searching, so why not start today! Check out our newest nursing opportunities here.