FAQs About How to Get Hired as a Nurse After College
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Giebien Na in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- What Can I Do During College to Increase My Chances of Being Hired as a Nurse?
- What Are the Different Kinds of Nursing Degrees, and How Do They Impact Potential Job Opportunities?
- Do Nursing Programs Help You with Licensing?
Are you considering attending nursing school and wondering about your potential career opportunities? In this post, we answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about getting hired as a nurse after college.
What Can I Do During College to Increase My Chances of Being Hired as a Nurse?
Fortunately, nursing is a profession that’s always going to be hiring, but you should still maximize your hireability so you can choose the work environment that will suit you best. You can do this by thinking early on about the specifics of your career—whether you want to work with children or adults or in geriatric care, for example. Whichever area of nursing you choose will affect where you’ll be able to work and live, what you’ll be paid, and your overall quality of life. Once you’ve chosen an area of interest, learn as much as you can about the places where you could work.
Another way to increase your hireability is to get as much in-the-field work experience as you can outside of your degree requirements, such as through internships, volunteer work, or a part-time job. While your academic performance will be a vital factor for your hireability, your professional competence and dependability will be even more important. Instead of saying to potential employers, “I’m theoretically competent because I completed all my classes,” you can demonstrate that you’ve succeeded in a real work environment.
Networking is also important because people know each other in the nursing industry. Keeping in touch and maintaining positive relationships with professors and supervisors will be a major factor in the work opportunities that you’ll receive.
What Are the Different Kinds of Nursing Degrees, and How Do They Impact Potential Job Opportunities?
There are several different nursing degrees that students can pursue. One benefit of the nursing profession is that there are so many ways to become a nurse, from two-year colleges to doctoral programs. There’s plenty of flexibility for every kind of student and their long-term goals.
Most bachelor’s degree programs are geared toward becoming a registered nurse (RN). Some RNs continue their studies to become nurse practitioners. The minimum degree required to become a nurse practitioner is a master of science in nursing (MSN). Like with many other fields, further study in nursing can yield better job opportunities in more desirable units and locations, as well as higher pay. A more advanced degree option is a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). You can also link an MSN with a Ph.D. in a related field.
Do Nursing Programs Help You With Licensing?
All nurses, including nurse practitioners and RNs, need to be certified. Certification can come from various professional organizations depending on your area of specialization. Most registered nurse programs will help students prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam, which you have to pass to become a registered nurse. Before taking it, you need to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to receive an authorization to test.
After passing the exam, you’ll have to obtain a license in the state where you want to work, and licensing requirements vary from state to state.