Registered nurses make up the largest segment in healthcare occupations, with some 2.6 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that many jobs and a current shortage in nursing personnel, you may assume that armed with your nursing degree, you can walk into a healthcare facility and quickly snag a job. Unfortunately, that's not the case. There are appropriate ways to reach out to a nurse recruiter and make a good and effective impression on her. Contacting a nurse recruiter in the right way will increase your chances of getting the job you seek.
Find out who the nurse recruiter is at the organization for which you want to work by calling and asking to speak with the human resources department. Generally, HR will give you the nurse recruiter’s name and contact information. You can also check the company’s website, where this information may be available along with the jobs that are currently open. If you call and/or email and get no response, stop by the healthcare facility, as asking in person may tender better results. Or you can attend a job fair where the nurse recruiter and her staff may be available. Remember that if you call and ask for the recruiter’s name, there is always the chance you will be connected on through to that person. Thus, be prepared with your questions and inquiry.
Make yourself visible by joining any professional nursing organizations and serving on committees they sponsor. Also look at creating your own profile on LinkedIn, which professes to be “the world’s largest professional network with over 100 million members and growing rapidly.” LinkedIn helps you to contact others in your professional arena and is also a tool that many recruiters use when looking to fill vacancies. In a highly competitive market, standing out among other nurses is critical in making an impression with the recruiter. Visibility helps you to stand out.
Locate the specific job for which you want to apply, once you’ve found out the nurse recruiter’s name and contact information. Check the organization's website to see how long you should wait for a response. If you don't hear back within that amount of time, follow up with the recruiter. List other positions you’re interested in on your application, should she deem you are not a good fit for the one to which you applied. Upon completing your interview, follow up with a written thank you note to the nurse recruiter.
Stay in touch with the nurse recruiter even after you've landed the job. She can help you in your future endeavors, both at the organization and at other places where she may have contacts. Be proactive and show her your value not only as a nurse, but as someone whom she can rely on for recommendations, to know what’s going on in the nursing industry, or even to keep her abreast of your current job.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.