Completing a nursing degree program is a major accomplishment that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. As graduation approaches, many nursing students are busy finalizing their course work, finishing clinical experiences and preparing for the real world.
Among the many items on a soon-to-be nursing grad’s to-do list should be the three following items that can assist in finding success following graduation.
1. Organize Job Search Materials
Just about every nursing student is attending a degree program to better prepare themselves for a career as a nurse. As graduation approaches, organizing and finalizing job search materials is vital. A strong representation of accomplishments, experiences and education is of benefit for anyone looking for a job.
Resume and Cover Letter
Throughout a nursing program, students should meet with the career services staff at their college to share their careers goals and receive assistance in creating and updating resumes and cover letters. The career services staff at a college can also help students prepare for specific job interviews through mock interview sessions.
College students should include their volunteer and service learning experience on their resume, as the experiences can be relevant to their career.
Letters of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation could be the deciding factor for a hiring manager who is torn between two candidates. Nursing students should consider asking an instructor, who they have a good relationship with, to provide a letter of recommendation. Internship supervisors or volunteer organization leaders are also great options when seeking an individual to provide a recommendation.
Social media is everywhere and is used by just about everyone – including hiring managers. Nursing students looking for a job should do a thorough clean-up of their social networks to ensure there is no content that they wouldn’t want a hiring manger to see.
2. Connect with Networks
As they get closer to graduation, nursing degree students should plan to call on those they have met throughout their college experiences. In some cases, who you know is as important as what you know and that goes for nursing students seeking employment as well.
Share Goals with Network
In the months leading up to graduation, nursing students should connect with instructors, fellow students and those they have worked with as part of clinical or volunteer projects. This is a good time to share career goals with them and ask if they are aware of employment opportunities they could recommend.
If members of a nursing student’s network are involved in on-going networking groups or associations, joining them in attending these organization’s events could offer great opportunities to meet new professionals.
Continue Growing Network
It is important that nursing students also understand that college is only the beginning of professional networking and that it should be something that remains a constant in their careers. Attending local industry events and meeting nursing professionals can help nurses stay up to date on industry trends.
3. Set New Goals
Throughout their college experience, nursing students have likely made several short- and long-term goals that are professional and personal in nature. Graduation is only the start of what can be a successful, fulfilling career. Prior to walking across the stage at graduation, nursing students should take time to reflect on what goals have been accomplished already and what they want to accomplish next.
Nursing students should consider where they want their career to be in five or 10 years. If they have plans to continue their education, they should set a timeline. If they want to volunteer regularly, they should make goals for how often they will volunteer each month. Sharing goals with family and friends can help keep nursing graduates motivated and accountable.