If you are in your last few months of nursing school, you may have already started to look for your first nursing job. Here are four things to consider before deciding which job to take after graduation.
1. How has your future employer treated you?
What was your interview like? Did you wait for a long period of time? Were the people interviewing respectful of you? Did they seem happy? What did the questions they asked you tell you about what is important in their organization or the job you applied for? Did they call you back when they said they would? Have they answered all of your questions satisfactorily? Have they been honest with you so far? Are there any red flags that would make you hesitate to take a job with this organization?
2. What kind of orientation do they have for new graduates?
What is included? How long is it? Will you have a preceptor? Will they extend your orientation if needed?
3. What do nurses who work there say about the organization?
Are there other new graduate nurses working there? If so, ask to talk to one about her experience with the organization and her satisfaction level. Did the facility keep their promises after they were hired? Were they happy with the support from administration and other nurses? What is their retention rate? Do their values match your own?
4. Has the hospital earned magnet status?
This award is given to hospitals that satisfy criteria set by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association. The hospital must show their nurses have excellent patient outcomes and a high level of job satisfaction. Their staff nurse turnover rate for staff nurses must be low. The hospital must have an appropriate grievance resolution system in place. Theoretically, hospitals that have been awarded magnet status should have better work environments than hospitals who have not earned this status.
Find out as much information as you can about the organization you are considering working for. If the employer or hours is not exactly what you are looking for, but you can gain valuable experience in the specialty you want, you might want to take the job. Once you have some experience, you have more leverage in getting exactly the specialty and hours you want.