Getting Hired for Your First Full-Time Healthcare Job

Nancy Anderson
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When you’re new to hunting for a gig in the medical or nursing field, there are some career strategies you should use to make yourself an ideal candidate. These are especially helpful for those looking for nursing and physician assistant positions.

When you’re a newly certified health professional, flexibility is the key to employability. Show a willingness to work any shift—the more availability you have, the more desirable you are to a hiring manager. However, if family concerns or other issues limit your availability, you can offset that disadvantage in other ways.

For starters, be willing to take a less-than-ideal opening position and work yourself into a better job after proving yourself. Are you looking for a job as a clinical research nurse or something similar? Find a gig that will let you get close to those positions to learn the facility’s needs, and start positioning yourself once your probationary or introductory hiring period is over.

When it comes to teaching positions like nurse educators, there’s no replacement for on-the-job experience to make you a more ideal candidate. Take all the opportunities you can to become a well-rounded healthcare professional.

If you’re after home healthcare jobs in the early stages of your career, don’t overlook the importance of being exposed to a wide range of treatment situations. Getting some initial experience in a hospital or nursing home; it may give you perspective you can’t get doing home healthcare.

Consider your career goals and ask yourself what gives you the best advantage. Nursing positions, for example, can be specialized in a number of ways. Do you want to be a critical care nurse, or specialize in ambulatory care?

Knowing what direction you want to head in is a big help when trying to narrow down your job search. It’s important to be flexible, but you should always try to move towards your career goals even if just in a general way.

Ask yourself, what are the possible outcomes if you take a particular job? Think through that question when filling out your job applications. The answers can help you make a more informed decision about your first job.
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