Young nurses who’ve just graduated and obtained an RN license often worry about getting that first nursing job. The problem is that employers – particularly the top hospitals and medical offices that pay the best – want to see real experience on a resume in addition to the nursing degree.
A good way to help break down the barrier to your first entry level nursing job is to put some time into hourly work. It probably won’t be the best paying work you ever do, but it can quickly give you hands-on experience that will make you more attractive to an employer.
Here are some jobs where new RNs can often find work on an hourly basis:
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Home Health Aide
- Resident counselor (group home)
- Medical receptionist
- Camp counselor
- Nurse’s Aid
While a nurse’s aid job may seem like the choice that offers the most directly transferrable experience, all of these kind of jobs can offer some benefit. Being a medical receptionist, for example, can give you experience who record keeping, insurance codes and other administrative work you will need to know about as a nurse. Depending on the size of the facility you work in, being a counselor either in a camp or a group home may give you organizational experience that can be seen as valuable. And working with kids in a summer camp environment could give you knowledge of particular conditions and treatments that would be frequently seen in a pediatrics ward or pediatrician’s office.
College students often do unpaid internships to add some real world experience to their resumes. Hourly nursing work can help you accomplish the same goal while allowing you to earn at least some money. Some nurses who work on several different hourly jobs in the months after they finish nursing school look to employer more like experienced professionals than “newbies” straight out of nursing school. A good place to start looking for hourly work is often the career center at the nursing school you attend.