Experiences for a First
Nicole K. Sanders
As a new graduate interviewing for my first position as an RN, I thought I was well prepared. After all, there was an extreme nursing shortage, one that was projected to worsen. I had graduated from one of the top nursing programs and had many life experiences, both within nursing and prior to entering nursing.
I quickly discovered that there was more to learn. In talking with colleagues I also learned that new graduates often find that they do not have the skills needed to interview for their first nursing position. Here are some words of wisdom gained from my first experiences. Some of these I learned in school, and then they were reinforced in the interview process. Some 1 learned by the experience itself.
When you interview, wear a suit. Remember health care is a business. Always have extra copies of resumes, transcripts, and letters of reference. Bring a pen so when you are given specific information about salary and benefits you can write it down.
Be prepared to answer questions about your most acute patient, your most interesting patient, and other aspects of clinical patient care. I actually was asked very detailed questions about my clinical experiences. In my opinion, this is silly because in school we all have the same clinical rotations as students, but then, in the interview process no one asked for my opinion of the questions! It is also a good idea to remember what you learned about nursing diagnosis. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Someone will want to know this. Be prepared for the