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When should a student nurse who is graduating in 10 months start to look for a job?


Dear Donna,

I am a student nurse who will be graduating in December 2015. When should I start looking for
a job?

Student Looking For A Job

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Student Looking For A Job,

It’s never too soon to begin making contacts, building your network and planting seeds. Now is the perfect time to start all of that which will facilitate the process of your finding a job around the time you graduate.

Start by making contacts with anyone in healthcare you already know, regardless of their position. Let them know you will be graduating in December and mention the ideal position you want. For example, if you hope to land a job in a hospital on a medical-surgical unit, let them know. If you’re particularly interested in working in outpatient hemodialysis, make that known. Ask them to keep you in mind if they know anyone who works in those types of facilities or specialties and ask them to make an introduction.

Start doing some informational interviewing with nurse managers or clinical nurses working in any specialty you’re interested in or would like to learn more about. When you contact each, let them know you are just exploring your options right now and would love to meet them and hear more about their jobs. This is a good way to make a professional connection, gain valuable insights about a specialty and practice your networking skills.

Attend local chapter meetings of the America Nurses Association ( and specialty associations you’re interested in such as the Emergency Nurses Association ( Wear a business suit, shake hands and bring simple business cards along. Don’t indiscriminately hand out your resume but do have them available in case anyone asks for yours. You can attend these meetings as a guest. The nurses you meet there will admire your initiative and professionalism. And it is much easier to make a favorable and memorable impression on someone when you meet them face to face rather than relying on online forms to get their attention.

You can join most specialty associations e.g. the ENA as student member, with lower dues, too. You also can become a Student Nurse Subscriber through the ANA for $10 or free if a member of the National Student Nurses Association ( This action will give you access to more members, increase your learning curve and look good on your resume. When you network with nurses who belong to those associations, they will be impressed you are student member. It demonstrates your commitment to the profession and also makes the bond between you and them stronger because you have that
in common.

Stay in touch with the people you meet and already know. Keep them posted on your progress. Connect with them on LinkedIn.

Then, in September or October, you can start to make serious job inquiries. Go through each employer’s process for application (online submissions, etc.) but also let those you have connected with know you’ve submitted your application and are very interested in working there. Ask for their help and support.

I know all of this may seem like a lot of time and energy for a busy and overwhelmed student nurse. If you do even a few of the things I suggest, you’ll be ahead of the game when December rolls around.

Best wishes,

By | 2021-05-28T17:22:54-04:00 February 25th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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