Many nursing students dream of getting their first job in the ICU or Emergency Room. These places are action-packed, full of excitement and considered “cool”. Some students know they want to advance their degree and become Nurse Anesthetists and truly need at least one year experience in a critical care unit – cool or not. However, the job market today isn’t as open to hiring new graduate nurses into critical care environments.
In my experience, I’ve seen student nurses who tell recruiters that they only want critical care or the emergency room; that they’d prefer NOT to work on a medsurg unit. Hmmm. Be careful, some recruiters may consider this as arrogant and inflexible.
Consider the recruiter’s perspective: The environment nurses work in today is incredibly complex. Flexibility is a highly sought after skill. If you can demonstrate to the recruiters that you are flexible, you might be the type of nurse they want working in their organization.
Be like Gumby
In all of your correspondences with the recruiters or managers, convey your flexibility by telling them that you’ll accept a position anywhere you can learn and add value. I’m not suggesting that you lie. What I am suggesting is that you consider your entry into nursing as an open forum – full of learning possibilities no matter where you start. Seriously, even the most perceived “boring” unit can offer a plethora of learning opportunities for you to develop your nursing skills if you are open to it. If asked, you can say that one day you aspire to work in a critical care environment but that you realize you need to gain experience and are willing to accept any open.
Flexibility = Job!
Bottom line: If you want a job, be flexible like Gumby. Tell the recruiter that your goal is to work in a rich learning environment wherever that may be. Even though you want to work as a critical care nurse, it’s more important that you land your first job.
I hope these tips help you to secure your first job as a professional nurse!
Take care and stay connected. I'm cheering for your success!
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