Strike gold when interviewing for your first nursing job
L. Jane Rosati EdD, MSN, RN

May 2014 
Volume 44  Number 5
Pages 49 - 52
  PDF Version Available!

SOME NURSING STUDENTS call it the light at the end of the tunnel; others consider it the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Whatever the name, every nursing student is after it: A graduate's first nursing job! This much sought-after prize is talked about from the first day of nursing school. The burning question is how to acquire it.Students may believe they know how to land their first job, but how they prepare before, respond during, and act after a job interview may be the difference between success and failure. Practicing for the interview and following the pointers presented in this article will help.Employers are looking for people who have a well-rounded knowledge base, are team players, and embrace the values of the organization.1 Human resource personnel encourage students to research the healthcare organization before the interview. This preparation helps the student understand the organization, including how it's structured.Nursing has many roles, and at times, employees may be called on to wear several hats, such as clinical caregiver, patient educator, and advocate. Applicants who stand out in this area are more likely to be hired and put themselves on the promotion track at a quicker pace. (For more ways to stand out, see Extra touches that polish the interview.)Rehearsing for a job interview can give students one up on the competition. Although students may think they know the answers to questions the job interviewer will ask, practicing the answers and being prepared for a wide array of questions may be the difference between a good interview and a bad one.2,3Students should gather their thoughts and be prepared to express clearly why they chose the nursing profession, what their educational and professional goals are, and how they might handle change in the work environment, such as different working hours, a new organizational structure for leadership, or increased patient-care demands. Being prepared for these key points may help the student stand

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