Monday, January 6, 2014


nurse resumes, professional nursing organization, renee thompson, rtconnections, nursing success

When you’re swimming with a sea of other nurses in the quest to find a job/promotion, who all “look” alike, you need to give yourself the added edge. One way of doing this is by making sure your resume includes one critical element.

I’ve reviewed and continue to review hundreds of student/new and experienced nurse resumes. I review them as part of my coaching packages (I offer career/success coaching a limited number of nurses), when I’m hiring for a position/internship, or when I’m looking to give an opportunity to someone. Like many recruiters, when faced with a hundred resumes for only 20 positions, I go through a weeding process.
What is the first thing I look for?
Is it experience?  Nope
Is it a high GPA (for students)? Nope
Is it how many letters of recommendation or references they provide?  Nope

The first look for is to see if they belong to a professional nursing organization. This can be their student organization if they are still in school, their state association or any national organization.
When I see that they belong – they go into my “maybe” pile. And then I review for other things.
When I don’t see any evidence that they belong to an organization – they go immediately into my “no” pile.

Because it tells me and everyone else who might be in the position to hire you that you are serious about your role as a nurse. Nursing isn’t a job – it’s a professional career. Getting involved in a professional nursing organization is one way to demonstrate this.
What are the benefits?
·      Continuous learning – most organizations include a journal, newsletter or some other content to help their members learn and grow. As a member, you also may get access to their archives of previous journal articles, convention presentations, videos, etc. Your success depends on your ability to commit to continuous learning.
·      Networking – the networking opportunities at the local, regional and national level are limitless! If you haven’t realized this, networking is the key to everything!!! Your success depends on your ability to network with other successful nurses.
·      Endless opportunities – organizations are always looking to get their members involved. Whether it’s as simple as providing feedback on their nursing experience to getting involved on a committee – belonging to an organization gives you more options to develop your skills. Your success depends on your ability to get involved.

ACTION STEP:  Find an organization that fits with your career goals and JOIN! Click here to access a list of professional nursing organization.  If you’re overwhelmed and not sure, here are a few suggestions:
·      If you are a medsurg nurse, join AMSN
·      If you are a critical care nurse, join AACN
·      If you are a student nurse, join your university organization and NSNA
·      If you’re still not sure, just join your state organization.

If you still need guidance, feel free to comment below. I’d love to help you swim in the right direction!

Thanks so much for choosing to become a nurse! I’m cheering for your success.

To get a copy of my eBook titled, "Survive and Thrive: A guide helping new nurses succeed", click here!

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