Thanks to Katy for a great post!
One of the toughest challenges recent nursing school graduates often face is competing for jobs with the experienced labor market. The good news is that there are employers looking for not-so-seasoned nurses. In fact, we found 284,576* job postings over the past 12 months seeking registered nurses with two years or less experience.
One way you can be sure to set yourself apart from other green nurses is to come armed with inside information on what employers are looking for. If you know the keywords they are using in their job descriptions, you can get one step ahead of your competition by using those same words in your resume and job application.
We used BurningGlass.com—a program that delivers real-time market intelligence—to scrape online job postings from the last year and identify the top 10 skills employers are looking for in new nurses.
1. Patient care
No matter how many years of professional experience you have under your belt, patient care is always going to be a skill at the top of the list. An exceptional bedside manner is imperative to your job as a nurse.
2. Treatment planning
You need to be able to adapt treatment plans to a patient’s needs from your first day on the job.
3. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
ACLS is a clinical procedure that can only be applied by qualified healthcare professional. This unique set of skills is the third most important quality that employers seek and would be a useful way to differentiate your resume.
4. Acute care
There were 42.8 emergency visits for every 100 persons in the U.S. in 2010. Acute care is a major portion of the healthcare industry and it will be valuable to highlight any emergency care experience included in your resume.
5. Patient direction
Part of your job as a nurse will be to give patients instructions on how to take medications and continue their treatment plan. This takes strong communication skills both in-person and over the phone.
6. Patient/family education & instruction
Even new nurses that have just finished their education will need to educate their patients on health issues, preventative measures and treatment options. This is an area that new nurses have an advantage in because they have just finished learning the most cutting-edge information in school.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for a nurse to be able to work well with a team. A registered nurse needs to be able to communicate with the doctor, the nursing assistants and other healthcare professionals in their unit for the facility to function properly.
8. Home health
Home health and ambulatory care are becoming increasingly important to the healthcare industry. This is largely due to the aging baby boomer population. As hospitals continue to invest more on elderly procedures, they will be looking for nurses with expertise in geriatric care.
9. Patient evaluation
It may seem like common sense that a nurse is capable of standard procedures like measuring vital signs and updating medical information in patient charts, but listing it as one of your qualifications showcases your understanding of its importance.
10. Case management
This final skill has to do with the nurse’s ability to manage all aspects of a patient’s care plan from start to finish. This quality requires nurses to combine the other skills fluidly.
In the end, making sure your resume is the one chosen is about your ability to showcase your qualities in the way that will be most attractive to employers. You have already demonstrated you are a hard worker – how else would you have survived nursing school? Now you need to prove to employers that you are the best person for the job. If they have 100 resumes that cross their desk, an impeccable resume that highlights the keywords they are looking for could be just what you need to stand out.
Thanks so much for reading. Remember, the key to getting your first job as a nurse is taking action on the things you learn about the job market - like the tips Katy provided in this blog post!
Thanks for choosing to become a nurse. I'm cheering for your success!
*Source: BurningGlass.com (analysis of 284,576 vacant registered nurse positions requiring “0-2 years experience”, Apr. 1,2013 - Mar. 31, 2014)