For nurses interested in new opportunities, the fall is an excellent time to get back into the market. Not only are job and wage prospects for nurses looking up, but the cooler weather also brings about a new wave of seasonal hiring needs.
“September marks the start of a new school year as well as the beginning of flu season,” says Amanda Cruse, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services division. “As a result, we’re currently seeing the strongest demand for school and immunization nurses. This is a trend that we have seen grow stronger every year as communities expand and place a greater emphasis on preventative care and early intervention.”
With per diem, part-time, and full-time opportunities available, both of these positions offer the flexibility to work as little or as often as you would like. They can also help you gain experience with new patient populations and within different settings, diversify your skills, and get your foot in the door with a new employer such as a hospital.
The key to landing one? Proactivity.
“While these positions are available throughout the fall and winter, the strongest hiring surge takes place in September,” explains Amanda. “There is typically a more diverse range of available opportunities during this time, so being proactive gives you the ability to identify a role that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.”
Since employers are looking for nurses to start as soon as possible, the hiring process moves quickly for these positions. To ensure you are prepared for this hiring surge, here is Amanda’s checklist for success:
Update your resume: Employers want to see that your clinical skills are up-to-date. Make sure the beginning of your resume highlights all your renewed certifications and any continuing education classes you have taken. If you are applying to be a flu shot nurse, you’ll want to highlight any prior immunization experience to show you are qualified for this role.
Ensure you have all your credentials: When applying to jobs, you must be prepared with copies of your nursing registration, your license, diploma, and CPR certification. This will show any prospective employers that all your bases are covered.
Get medical clearance: It’s also important to see your physician for a physical (with blood work), get a PPD test, tetanus shot and flu shot, and go for a chest x ray. All healthcare employers require their employees to be clear in all these areas, so make sure that you are proactive about scheduling your appointments. You will not be able to start your assignment without being cleared.
Be flexible + responsive: If you are truly serious about taking advantage of this hot hiring period, it’s important that you remain flexible with your ability to interview. Since employers are often on a tight timetable to fill these positions, a delayed response or lack of availability could mean a missed opportunity. In a similar vein, you should be prepared with at least two references. To ensure they can speak to your most current skills, you should have worked with these references within the last two years.