27 January 2017
Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has experienced an increased need for more highly skilled nursing care as a result of the Affordable Care Act and technological advances. According to the BLS, one thing is clear, the employment outlook remains positive for health professionals, especially for nurses. While a positive employment outlook might point to an increase in job opportunities available, as a recent nursing grad, it can be tricky to determine which opportunity is the right fit for your needs. Amanda Cruse, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services division, regularly educates nursing grads on the different types of opportunities available as well as the factors they should be taking into account throughout their job search. “Too often, nursing grads feel the pressures of being unemployed, and as a result, typically will accept the offer they receive first,” says Amanda. “I encourage nursing grads to take their time and explore the market to learn about the type of opportunities that will be best for their career goals before accepting a job offer.” To ensure you are focused on the big picture when evaluating your next offer, nursing grads should consider the following factors: Your long-term goals and the experience you’ll gain When contemplating your decision to accept an offer, it’s important to think about how this opportunity will allow you to learn in-demand skills while laying the foundation for achieving your long-term goals. “One of your top priorities as a recent nursing grad should be gaining new skills and experience to build on your area of specialization,” advises Amanda. “Many nursing grads make the unfortunate mistake of limiting their opportunities by only considering one type of setting or working with a specific employer.” Focus on the big picture and think about which role will enable you to enhance your skillset and marketability for future opportunities. For example, while a hospital might be your ideal setting to work in, consider working in a nursing home that may ease you into a lighter case load, which may prepare you better for making the transition to a hospital down the line. Both permanent AND temporary roles There is a common misconception amongst nursing grads that permanent roles are the only employment options available to them. While full-time employment can be a great option for many nursing professionals, temporary roles are rising throughout the healthcare industry and can provide a number of benefits towards career growth. “Instead of holding out for the right permanent opportunity, it’s important to consider what you can gain from certain temporary assignments,” says Amanda. “Although most temporary assignments have a set period of how long you will work with that employer, a company’s needs can change over time. What once started as a temporary position at a school or hospital could evolve into a longer-term role based on your performance.” Therefore, before you focus all of your efforts on securing a permanent role, be sure to consider how a temporary assignment or two can help you reach your long-term goals. The ENTIRE package As a recent nursing grad, it’s important to remember that there are a variety of different components to consider in a job offer that go beyond compensation. “While salary should be an important part of the decision, many nurses don’t dive deeper into the offer to understand the big picture,” states Amanda. For example, other areas to consider learning more about include: professional development programs, tuition reimbursement, schedule flexibility, or parental leave, just to name a few. “As the economy continues to improve and more opportunities arise, it’s important to take the time to evaluate every aspect of your job offers before making a final decision,” stresses Amanda.