A Nurse’s Guide to Getting the Right Job – DRC Locums

Andrea Pardoe is an On-Call Manager for DRC Locums, providing out-of-hours coverage to supply medical Locums to NHS trusts, as well as maintaining her passion for clinical nursing as Bank Nurse for the NHS.

One of the key questions she posed to DMU students was, ‘Which specialty do you want to go into?’ Some students had blank faces; others knew exactly where. Although no one knew if there were any vacancies in their area!

So Andrea has suggested looking at the points below in order to guide you on the right careers path:

1.     Which specialty do you want to go into?

At this stage it is important to explore your interests and why that area.

2.     What are your ambitions?

What were your ambitions when you started out on the course? Are they still the same?

3.     What is the current nursing situation?

There is no such thing as job security but what is the current situation of the opportunities available in the NHS? Have you considered independent organizations?

4.     Consider all options

Have you looked at all of your options, including commitments to family or whether you can re-locate?

You may have a specialty you want to consider but there are no roles available? Why not consider other areas of interest as a platform for you to get on your career ladder and to keep track of opportunities arising in your area of interest? This way you’re staying in the loop and gaining experience.

Current opportunities?

As an experienced Nurse and Recruitment Consultant, Andrea advised that the last NHS role advertised received 70 applications and only 10 were selected to interview!

Start early! Contact your mentor around June/July for advice and tips on your CV/application and job opportunities.

Places to look for nursing roles

First impressions count

Make yourself seen, which means going on an informal visit to the hospital where you want to work.

When doing so:

  • Mention your name when being introduced to someone.
  • Don’t be afraid to give ideas. Having ideas shows you’re keen!
  • Thank people for their time.
  • Check that your email address and voicemail settings are of a professional manner for when contacted after!

At the end of the day, it’s about imprinting your name on your future manager’s mind!

Nursing CVs and applications!

  • Present the CV clearly – check grammar, spelling and find a mentor to proof-read
  • ALWAYS tailor your application to the person specification.
  • Mention all placements you worked on and what you specialised in.
  • Do not text-type in a CV! – Yes, Andrea has seen it all!
  • Always include a cover letter or email with your CV.
  • Mention your driving license if you have one.

The Dreaded Interview -Prepare, prepare and prepare!

  • Give yourself plenty of time to read through the person specification to digest the information a week before.
  • Do a test run to the location to get there on time. Don’t sweat it on the day when you can’t find it!
  • It’s a question, not a race! Just take your time answering the questions.
  • For scenario questions always refer back to your own experience and mention the policies that go with it.
  • Don’t apologies for your answers! ‘I’m sorry, I’m not too sure about that!’ Have confidence in your answers!

Left in the lurch?

If you’re successful, be mindful that it doesn’t end there! Find out what preceptorship, mentorship and support they are going to provide.

Research the Wards and whether they are going through financial crisis. When Andrea worked as a Ward Manager, she had to let go of her placement students as her Ward was going to get closed down!

Nurses on social media

Being on social media can be messy if you use it for the wrong reasons and nurses have been disciplined in the past due to not adhering to confidentiality over social media networks.

However, Andrea was shocked to see how many students were not using social media, especially Twitter or LinkedIn to get involved in online nurse chats and keep up-to-date with developments in the area.  Some of this can become part of your NMC. Use your networks to learn!

If you are on Twitter, follow:

@NurChat and include #NurChat to get involved.

@WeNurses is also a great to follow for useful information. They also have a blog.

@DRCLocumsUK Leading providers of medical staffing solutions across the UK to both public and private sectors.

@HLS_DMU Follow your Faculty for the latest updates and news.

@DMU_Nurs_Mid DMU School of Nursing & Midwifery. Sharing news and views.

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