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Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Jobs

Research the job role, duties, and application tips for working as a nurse.

If you’re looking for a meaningful job that helps others, look no further than nursing. You’ll get to work with patients from different experiences and backgrounds and use your knowledge to help their lives. It’s a great role to aspire to or apply to while you figure out where exactly you want your career in health to go.

There are few prerequisites for applying to a nursing job; an applicable degree, knowledge of specific procedures, and a great resume listing all your other experience.  

What is a nurse?

Nurses are an integral part of the world of healthcare. There are many different specialties of nurses, but in general they provide care to patients of their specialization. Nurses keep track of the detailed history of a patient’s medical records and needs.

Some duties of general nursing roles include:

  • Conduct physicals and assess patient’s needs
  • Administering treatments
  • Communicating with doctors and patients alike
  • Check and take vitals

What is the job outlook for nurses?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the role of a Registered Nurse is supposed to grow about 12% from 2018 to 2028, while the role of a Nurse Practitioner is supposed to grow about 26%.

How much do nurses get paid?

Depending on what type of nurse you are and the degree you hold, the amount that you’re paid differs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a Registered Nurse was $35.24 as of May 2019, which is about $73,300 per year. As for Nurse Practitioners, the average hourly wage was $55.67 as of May 2019, which is about $115,800 per year.

Where can I work as a nurse?

On the list of employers hiring on Handshake, there are many places looking for their future nurses:

  • Maxim Healthcare Services
  • Cigna
  • Anthem, Inc.
  • Encompass Health
  • Lovelace Biomedical Research Institute

Other places to apply for “nursing jobs near me” in your city include:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • K-12 schools
  • Outpatient care establishments

What should I put on my resume?

Many places hiring nurses are looking for similar skill sets in resumes, but what makes the right candidate is listing things that go above and beyond the normal nursing student resume.

List your past experiences 

Even if you’ve never held a nursing position before, you definitely have skills from past experiences you can offer alongside your certifications. From volunteer work, to clinical experiences that you did–there are always skills you can pull from your life that apply.

Consider listing some of these skills that might make you a better candidate:

  • Knowledge on procedures and standards
  • Organization
  • Accountability for yourself and your patients
  • Punctuality
  • Good communication skills
  • Attention to detail

Technical skills

If this won’t be your first role in nursing, then you may have some technical skills from previous hospitals or clinics to add to your resume. It’s always a good idea to mention that you have strong communication skills, know how to work with patients effectively, or have had experience collaborating with a cohort.

What should I write in my cover letter?

Though you might be applying for an entry level nursing position, that doesn’t mean that aren’t others trying to secure the same job as you. It’s important in your cover letter to stand out and really show what you can offer. Not only is it recommended that you list skills and experiences you’ve had, but also the willingness to learn and adapt to the role. By letting the hiring manager know that you’re motivated to get started, they might be more inclined to meet you in person and see if you’re the right fit. 

Check out this article with proper formatting techniques and more in depth information about the perfect cover letter.

What is it like to work in nursing?

Like many other jobs that work with the public, nurses spend a majority of their time speaking with patients and conducting physicals and other treatments. Working in healthcare in a patient facing role is all about helping others and using all your knowledge and skills to assist their journey to being healthy.

What are some jobs for nurses?

If you’re interested in specialized nursing roles, consider these:

  • Academic Nurse Writer
  • Hospice Nurse
  • Dialysis Nurse
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Case Manager

What are some essential nursing skills?

Some essential skills to have as a nurse:

  • Patience
  • Great communication skills
  • Knowledge of policies and procedures
  • Reliability 
  • Attention to detail
  • Training for your specialty  

What is travel nursing and what are the benefits of a travel nursing career?

Travel nurses are healthcare professionals that take short roles in hospitals, usually due to understaffing in said hospital.  As a traveling nurse, you’ll be able to see and work in different places with many different people. Not only will you be able to grow in your practice and knowledge, but also in your social understandings of other clinics or hospitals.

Is it hard to get your first nursing job right after graduation?

The span of time from graduation to when you land your first nursing job can differ for everyone. A few steps can make the transition from school to full-time work a bit easier:

  • Organize your calendar around when you want to take the NCLEX and map out your study sessions accordingly
  • Start early and map out the places that you want to apply to
  • Write your cover letters out early and send to professors or mentors for edits
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes longer than you wanted

Is becoming a registered nurse worth it?

Like many other career paths, the road to becoming a registered nurse won’t always be linear. However, once all those long hours studying and memorizing kick in, being a registered nurse will yield an abundance of benefits. With your certification you can apply to higher up jobs that you want, set yourself up for a successful career, and do it all while answering the call to save and help others.