Through the Office of Student and Career Advancement Services (OSCAS), the School of Nursing provides students resources and guidance to find their next position. Students have the opportunity to have their resume, curriculum vitae or cover letters reviewed; participate in a mock interview; or generally discuss the job search process. OSCAS also coordinates Career Fairs on both the Twin Cities and Rochester locations for the BSN and MN students. Employers from around the region attend to promote openings within their organization, both for current students and as new RNs.
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, energy and discernment on what positions, organizations and locations are good fits.
Here are some steps to begin your job search:
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.
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.
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.
Networking is a great way to make personal connections and build relationships with nurses or nurse managers where you would like to be employed. Your practicum experiences are not only a fundamental core to preparing your future nursing success, but they can help you build that network of nurses to help you find your next position. Outside of the practicum experiences, set up meetings with nurses on the floor you’re assigned and learn about what it’s like to work with that organization. Ask them if there’s anyone else who they might find as a good person to know or meet. Before you know it - you’ve built a network of people who can help guide and encourage you to apply for positions in their organization.
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!
A cover letter, which is often included when submitting a resume, is used to entice the employer to review your resume further. Cover letters give applicants the ability to showcase their writing skills and describe how their experiences will benefit the company or organization. In 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 link below:
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 the job you apply for. The resume is what will make you standout from all other applicants. It is important that the presentation of the resume is clean 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 most 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.
OSCAS has put together a wonderful compilation of resume writing tips and examples for you to follow:
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 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 healthcare facility’s mission and the values they espouse in caring for patients. To help prepare you for a successful interview, OSCAS has compiled a list of great resources, tools, and sample interview questions.
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.
Job Boards and Resources
Nursing Associations and Organizations
- Minnesota Nurses Association
- State Nursing Associations
- American Nurses Association
- National Student Nurses' Association
- GLMA: Nurses Advancing LGBTQ Health Equality
- National Black Nurses' Association
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association
- National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association
- American Association for Men in Nursing