Career Resources

Male Nurse child exam

Through the Office of Student and Career Advancement Services (OSCAS), the School of Nursing provides students with resources and guidance to find their next position. OSCAS career coaches can review your resume, CV, or cover letter.  Additionally, you can request a mock interview or schedule time to discuss the job search process. OSCAS also coordinates Career Fairs for nursing students in Rochester and the Twin Cities. Employers from around the region attend to promote open positions for current students and new RNs.

Finding a job

Finding a job

“Where do I even begin looking for a job?” is one of the most common questions future graduates ask when considering their next step after graduating. Conducting a job search takes time and energy.

Here are some steps to begin your job search:

  1. Determine what type of position, nursing area, organization, and geographic areas fit your values and lifestyle. Make sure you have multiple options that you could envision, but also determine those things which are “deal breakers” for your next position.

  2. Begin looking at postings to understand the type of positions available and what they seek in qualifications. By learning more about the postings, it will help you begin (or continue) creating your application materials.

  3. Get your resume, CV and cover letter ready. Schedule an appointment with a staff member in OSCAS to have your materials reviewed. They are happy to provide you guidance and recommendations to put your best foot forward when submitting your materials.

Job Search Tips

Networking

Networking

Networking is a great way to make personal connections and build relationships with nurses or nurse managers where you would like to be employed.  In addition to preparing you for success in your future nursing career, your practicum experiences help you build a network of nurses to help you find your next position. Outside of your clinicals, ask nurses on your assigned floors if they would do an informational interview with you.  This is an opportunity to hear first-hand what working for a particular organization is like. At the end of your meeting, ask if there is anyone else they would recommend you meet. Finally, get involved in professional nursing associations. On the right-hand side of this webpage, you will find a sampling of professional nursing associations.  Before you know it - you’ve built a network of people who can help guide and encourage you during job searches and in your career.

Preparing for the NCLEX

Preparing for the NCLEX

Beyond just studying, students preparing for the NCLEX can utilize resources available free of charge through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). These resources include:

BoardVitals.com offers helpful advice on how to prepare for the NCLEX while also maintaining a study-life balance and taking care of yourself.  Check out their list of tips below!

How to have a life while preparing for the NCLEX-RN exam

Cover Letters

Cover Letters

A cover letter, often required or requested when submitting a resume, entices an employer to review your resume further.  Cover letters give applicants the ability to showcase their writing skills and describe how their experience will benefit the company or organization.  When writing a cover letter, your goal should be to convince the employer that you are the ideal candidate for their position. For more details on how to write a cover letter and to view nursing cover letter examples click on the links below:

Cover Letter Writing and Examples

Resumes or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Resumes or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A resume, likely one of the most important documents used in the job search, is a short, one to two page summary of experiences within the last 10 years. Unlike the CV, the resume should be concise.  Most employers will use a resume to determine how well an applicant can benefit their company or organization. It is important to customize your resume by specifically tailoring it to each position you apply for.  Finally, your resume is your best chance at standing out to an employer so ensure it is well-organized and easy to read

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that lists accomplishments in great detail and can span over two or more pages.  The important difference between a CV and a resume is that while both can be organized in chronological order, only the CV lists achievements from your whole career.  In other words, the CV details education and accomplishments, such as awards, publications, honors, over the course of your full working career while the resume may only list relevant accomplishments that would prepare an applicant for working in that position.  It is more common now for candidates to follow the resume style page format for creating a CV.

Resume Components and Formatting Tips

References

References

Almost all positions will require a minimum of three professional references.  Typically, you will want to include a current and/or previous supervisor and a colleague.  College professors are another great reference option. Click on the link below to learn more about creating and formatting your reference list.

Professional Reference List

Interviews

Interviews

You created a stunning resume,  meticulous cover letter, and successfully submitted your job application.

What is next?  A 30 minute to 1 hour meeting in which you must convey that your skills, abilities, and experiences make you the ideal candidate for the position.  Before you begin rehearsing answers to typical questions such as “Tell me about your interest in a nursing career,” do some research! You will want to learn about the mission and values espoused by the healthcare facility as they provide care to patients. See the resources below prepare for a successful interview.  Additionally, schedule a mock interview appointment with OSCAS.

Interview Preparation and Potential Questions, Tips, and Follow Up

Negotiation

Negotiation

Will you be accepting a job offer in the near future?  Are you currently considering a job offer? Is the salary the employer offered you lower than you expected or wanted?  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, the University of Minnesota’s Career Services department offers a quick 10 - minute webinar on salary negotiation. 

Salary Negotiation