Nurses are in high demand, which means graduate nurses usually find employment quickly. That said, there is still competition for the top entry-level positions and nurses must find ways to stand out from the competition and impress hiring managers.

Here are some tips to help you land your first nursing job.

Find the perfect nursing job

There are many nursing jobs available in a wide variety of settings. You must take the time to explore different avenues and find the perfect position for you.

Hopefully, by the time you graduate, you will have a good idea of the type of healthcare setting you want to work in, whether it be a hospital, a school, or a private clinic. Read job descriptions in detail and gain experience in different nursing fields to help you decide which nursing jobs you want to apply for.

Once you have an idea of the type of nursing role you want, you can start looking for job openings. Carry out targeted job searches on job boards and look for roles that are specific to your area of expertise.

According to, “the best job boards for nurses are,, Nurse Recruiter, and Healthecareers.” If there is a particular hospital or healthcare organization that you want to work at, then look for openings on their website or contact them to enquire about upcoming job vacancies.

Never rush into applying for a role and take the time to find the perfect nursing job based on your skills, work preferences, and lifestyle. 

Gain hands-on experience

Gaining hands-on experience is essential in the nursing profession. Prospective employers will expect you to have some nursing experience when you apply for entry-level positions. B

uilding experience can be difficult when you have not worked as a nurse, but there are several ways to gain pre-nursing experience. You could volunteer in a healthcare setting, apply for a part-time job or summer internship in a hospital, or shadow a registered nurse. Check out this article by Chron for more guidance on how to gain nursing experience.

Graduates with nursing experience are much more desirable than graduates without experience, so it pays to gain as much experience as possible while you are still studying for your nursing degree.

Having nursing experience will show hiring managers that you are passionate about the nursing profession and want a long-term career in the industry. Work placements will also give you the chance to network and make connections with people in the nursing profession.

Network on social media

Networking plays a crucial part in modern job searching and 85% of jobs are filled through networking according to HubSpot.

Nurses can use social media platforms to grow their professional networks, share ideas, and build connections with professionals in the nursing and healthcare industries. Nurses can connect with other healthcare professionals across the world and gain nursing perspectives in other parts of the country and world.

LinkedIn is the most popular social media channel for professionals with more than 100 million users worldwide. However, there is a good selection of social platforms that have been developed specifically for nurses.

Some of the best social media sites for nurses are AllNurses, Mighty Nurses, EverydayNurses, and Most of these platforms are free to use and offer fantastic networking opportunities. Leverage professional connections to help you find job opportunities and land your dream nursing role.

Check the job requirements

Make sure that you check the job requirements carefully before you apply. Keep in mind that some nursing positions will require a minimum amount of experience or education e.g. one year of nursing experience or a master’s of science in nursing.

There may be some room for negotiation, but you don’t want to waste time applying for roles that you aren’t qualified for.

Send applications early

If you want to land a top nursing role, then you must start applying early. The best entry-level nursing positions get filled quickly, so don’t leave your applications to the last minute. Ideally, you should start contacting prospective employers and apply for positions in your final year, not after you graduate.

Write an impressive resume

Your resume is your most valuable tool when you are searching for a job. Statistics show that 40% of hiring managers spend less than a minute looking at a resume, so you don’t have long to impress. You must write an impressive resume that highlights your skills and best attributes.

Make sure that your nursing qualifications and experience are clearly visible. For instance, qualifications like those obtained via accelerated nursing programs should be highlighted along with any nursing placements or internships.

Always check your resume thoroughly for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors before you send it to prospective employers. Taking the time to proofread your resume could make the difference between you being offered an interview and your resume ending up in the trash.

Always prepare for interviews

If you get invited to an interview, then it means that a prospective employer is interested in you and thinks that you might be a good fit for the role. An interview is your time to shine and win employers over, so don’t fail at the last hurdle.

You must take the time to prepare for interviews and plan answers to standard interview questions like, what are your goals? Why do you want this role? Why did you become a nurse?

Make sure that you prepare a few questions to ask your interviewer to show your interest in the position and always follow up with prospective employers after an interview.


Searching for your first nursing role can be overwhelming when there are so many different options to explore. The good thing is, demand for healthcare professionals is high, and registered nurses have plenty of career opportunities.

You should take the time to research different job roles and find the perfect position for you based on factors like location, salary, work environment, career advancement, and so on. Hopefully, these tips will help you find suitable roles to apply for and land your dream job in the nursing profession.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

Get the Missing Manual to LinkedIn Success

Enter your email address below to start... it's 100% FREE!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

The Missing Manual to LinkedIn Success

This 6-day email course will completely change the way you think about your job search. Give it a try at no cost.

Please Check Your Email to Get Started.