Nursing is hands-down one of the hardest, yet one of the most rewarding professions there is. Ask any group of nurses and they’ll tell you it’s not just a job to them, it’s a life. It’s a calling. And it takes someone very special to answer that call.
Nurses are so important, in fact,the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for nurses between 2012 and 2022 will increase 19%. The Baby Boomer population will be in full force with increased health care needs that will need to be met. This increase in demand presents a great opportunity for nurses. Employers are getting increasingly desperate to find good nurses to fill positions in all fields of nursing.
What Does this Mean for Nurses?
It means nurses can be a lot more selective about what employer they choose to work for and in what field. I think we’ve all been in a job that we didn’t like, or didn’t feel passionate about – whether it was the company, the people we worked with, or the actual job itself. I worked 8 years for a company that I was less than enthusiastic about. Why would someone do that, you may ask? Because at the time I didn’t feel like there were many options in my field. This is the opposite case for nurses right now. Nurses not only have options, they have the upper hand.
Because of the opportunities available, it may just be the time to examine where you are and what you are doing to determine if there is something better out there for you. After all, it’s not just a job, right? Nursing is one of the hardest jobs out there; you want to make sure you’re in the right environment with a top-notch employer who recognizes that.
So here are a few tips from a former recruiter (and daughter of one amazing nurse) on finding the right employer with the right culture for you.
Examine Your Nursing Practice
Whether you are a seasoned nurse who has spent years caring for patients or a new graduate looking to find your niche, now is the time to examine exactly what it is you really want to do. Look inward.
During your studies and career, you’ve already discovered many of your strengths and weaknesses as a nurse. Ask yourself:
What do I excel at? What do I enjoy doing the most? What do I enjoy doing the least? Do I prefer working in a technical critical care setting or in a more autonomous field such as home health? Am I considering a change because I am seeking more challenges? Or would I prefer a more laid back environment to concentrate on patient care?
Then examine your work environment. If not yet employed in nursing, look at what environment you would like to have:
Is this a good employer and a good setting for me? What is the atmosphere like? Is there positive synergy among the employees? Does the management set the tone for good morale? Is there room for advancement? What are the pay and benefits like? Do I generally enjoy going to work every day?
The more questions you ask and answer the better prepared you will be to take the next steps. This may be the time to make a switch. Or if you’re just starting out, this is the time to make sure your first job is the very best one for you.
Do Your Research
Nurses are in demand! You don’t have to apply to just any opening because it fits your specialty or background. Do your research and find the right employer for you. Poke around on their website and social media pages. Google is your friend here! Find out what people are saying about that particular clinic, doctor, or facility you are considering. If you are targeting hospitals, you could research the individual departments and perhaps the specific doctors you would be in contact with. Look up the ratings of facilities and doctors that are available on several reputable websites such as Healthcare.gov and Health Grades, as well as official state sites that also provide valuable information. and ratings. These ratings include all types of health care settings.
You may find that a lot of the research that you would do on your own may have already been done by a staffing agency for nurses.
Talk To Someone Who Has Worked There
Talk to a current or former employee – preferably more than one since everyone’s experiences and perspectives are different. Ask them what their daily work-life is like. Ask them about the culture, the management, the expectations of their nurses and other staff. People usually love talking about their work. You can find out a lot this way.
Enlist a Healthcare Recruiting Agency
Whether you are seeking employment locally or across the country, utilizing experts in the job-finding field is very helpful in finding that ideal position. You may find that a lot of the research that you would do on your own may have already been done.
Partnering with a national recruiting agency like De Vore Recruiting can help you not only find nursing openings, but find the employers that have the culture you’re looking for. Nationwide recruiting agencies have relationships with employers all over the U.S. — their sole responsibility being to place the right person with the right company. They spend their time building relationships with both the company looking to hire as well as the candidate who is looking. Recruiting agencies also have a wide range of positions available in a variety of settings. There are jobs and niches that you may not even have been aware of.
Your dream job is out there. There is no better time to seek it. Take advantage of every option you have. This is your time, nurses! Enjoy it.