I Can't Find a Job! 3 Tips to Getting Hired as a Nurse #YourNextShiftI recently saw a post in an online forum that caught my attention. I’ve changed some of the details, to protect this person’s privacy. However, I wanted to share this here on the blog, as I hear from many nurses that they find it challenging to get a job. And I find this fascinating, as I read all about how we are still experiencing a nursing shortage. It went a little something like this…

“I am a new grad and I am looking for a position in a local hospital. I have applied to numerous positions, however, I have only had 1 interview in 3 months. I am not sure if my resume is stopping me from getting an interview or if it is my lack of medical experience. I was in the banking industry at the front desk for over 11 years and nursing is a second career.”

Following the nursing career conversations online and being an active participant in many nurse forums, I read about this a lot. A nurse graduates, with or without medical experience, and cannot seem to find work. How can this be when we simultaneously discuss  a nursing shortage?

Well, nursing shortage or not- you want to find a job. And quickly, no doubt!

  1. Stop Trying So Hard. I know this tip will be difficult to take. Yet sometimes we simply have to back off. A great colleague of mine, Nat Couropmitree, once shared with me how trying too hard actually creates a backfire effect. What happens is we begin to get so frustrated and desperate that we spread that energy into everything we do. So if we are trying (and I mean TRYING with clenched fists, tight jaws, and gripped teeth) too hard to get a job… we are probably propelling them away from us. If this is the case, if you feel as though you are attempting to force a new nursing career to happen… you may want to take a break. Yes, I can imagine that you want to work and need the money. And at the same time, give yourself a short break. Step away from the job search and go do something else. Take your mind off of your nursing career- you may be surprised by what happens next!
  2. Get Crystal Clear. Another one that can create some discomfort. Many times we are unable to secure what we want because we are all over the place. Kinda like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping one strand will stick. If you ‘just want a job’ you may be out there interviewing for everything under the sun. Even jobs you would never consider or enjoy doing. And guess what? The universe is going to deliver you mixed results. Now, when you get crystal clear on the exact role you want to be doing- really envision yourself in this ideal job- you’ll have much more success. When you do what’s suggested in tip one (take a break), you can use this time to practice a visualization exercise that will attract your nursing role to you.
  3. Open Up to Opportunity. OK- so you’ve taken a break and used that time wisely visualizing the dream nursing job. Now it’s time to stay still. What?? More stillness? No really, sometimes in our constant movement of doing (looking for that nursing job) we miss subtle cues. If you’ve done the steps above, then you’ve increased your chances for support. Sure, you’ve taken the action steps (resumes, letters, phone calls, and interviews). Now it’s time for some non-doing to allow your nursing career to come to you. Again, I know this sounds tough. And somewhat counterproductive. However, trust me. It works! When I stopped looking for a new job… the one at the gym just came to me like that! It was so super simple. I just had to open up to the opportunities that were presenting themselves to me. So while you might be sending out resumes to hospitals- can you find a nursing role in a non-traditional setting that has everything you want and need?

I’d love to hear what I missed. What would you add to the list above? How do you think you might use some creativity and innovation to land a nursing career? Share a comment below and thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RNAbout the Author: As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within‘, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.


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Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

“I’m a Nurse, but I’m Not Sure I LOVE Nursing Anymore! Can You Help Me?”


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