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What Can I Do to Improve My Chance of Getting a Job at a Hospital?

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Dear Donna,

How can I get a job in a hospital? I graduated two years ago with my BSN and am working at a nursing home. For the past two years when applying for hospital positions, all I hear is that I do not have experience. What can I do to improve my chance of getting a job at a hospital?

Frustrated Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Frustrated Nurse,

While hospital nursing has always been the standard for gaining experience, the delivery of healthcare, along with the job market for nurses, is rapidly changing. Because less and less care is being delivered in the hospital setting, there are fewer jobs there for nurses so hospitals are hiring only those nurses who have current hospital experience. I know it is frustrating for you and many others in similar positions, but you may need to look in new directions for employment. Even though you are not a new nurses, read ?New nurse, new job strategies? (

Keep in mind, there are other inpatient facilities where you can gain excellent experience (and have a better chance of being hired) such as sub-acute care, long-term acute care, ventilator management facilities, rehabilitation (acute- and long-term), head injury facilities and many others. In the outpatient setting, consider hemodialysis, chemotherapy and cancer care centers. There is more than one way and place to build a successful nursing career.

In the meantime, be sure to join and attend meetings/events of your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( Networking is known to be a very effective way to find a job regardless of where you want to work. Since staff nurses, nursing managers and administrators from all types of settings/specialties belong to ANA, you need to spend time in their company. When there's something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

Sometimes when you set your gaze on only one door, you miss the other doors open to you. Shed your preconceived notions of what your nursing career should be and create something original that works for you.

Best wishes,