At a recent Career Services event at West Coast University-Ontario, three healthcare recruiters took the time to share tips and advice they give to new nursing graduates.
Christopher Jacuinde, Casa Colina
"We offer a lot of opportunities for new grads," Casa Colina's Christopher Jacuinde said. "We actually have a new grad program at our hospital and rehabilitation center in Pomona, California. Our next one is starting in February. We typically have our new grad program every six months."
1. Start Networking Now
"Advice that I give to the students is once you do approach your graduation date is to definitely reach out to us. Ask where we're at with the program, so that you can get a head start in the application process."
Jacuinde encouraged students to list all their medical experience in their resume, including awards, clinical experience and hours. He also recommended applicants show activities in and out of school that would help set them apart from other candidates.
"Reach out to the career center at your school to go over your resume. We do look at spelling errors so definitely work on it. Take some time before submitting it and mention anything that will make you unique, that makes you stand out from any other student at your campus."
April Centeno; Senior Helpers
Senior Helpers provides one-on-one, in-home care for the elderly.
2. Be ‘bubbly’
"We need someone in this field who is bubbly, who can be motivating and encouraging to our clients. We have clients that have Alzheimer's, dementia. Most of them are elderly. They're depressed and just need someone that's going to take them to the Senior Center and engage people. Take them out for walks, play games, board games and card games with them."
Hours are flexible but depend mainly on the requests of the clients. Centeno said work is usually needed in the morning hours.
"Occasionally we get 8-hour, 12-hour night shifts. It really just depends. We ask that you be a little open to working on the weekends," she said. "We get a lot of people who have evening jobs, looking for part time work during the week, just a few hours — which works perfectly — because we do not offer guaranteed full-time work."
Experience is required, but Centeno recommends reaching out and letting Senior Helpers know what kind of work you're looking for.
Michelle Barta; Victor Valley Global Medical Center
Victor Valley Global Medical Center is looking for new grads "who want experience, who want to learn and who are eager to try different departments," according to HR coordinator Michelle Barta.
Located in Victorville, Victory Valley offers a six- to 12-week preceptorship for new grad hires at its 101-bed acute care facility. After six months in one department, new grads can transfer and try out multiple areas of the hospital including emergency, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, and the labor and delivery unit.
3. Craft Unique Resumes For Each Location
"Anything that you can elaborate on in your resume — that is going be the first thing that the director looks at. That's going to tell the director, 'This is the kind of person I would like to interview. This is the kind of person I would like to hire at our facility.'"
Barta recommended that nursing students interested in working at Valley Victor first check out the center at a job fair.
"Come in, talk to our directors. We always hold recruiting events at our facility," Barta said. "Be prepared, dress professionally, have your resume all outlined, know exactly what you are looking for. That will give you the opportunity to talk to each and every director that's in all of our departments there at our facility. Make a list of questions that you have. They're there to answer all your questions."
An easy way to impress a recruiter, Barta said, is ask knowledgeable questions and already have a good sense of your skillset and interests.
"The best thing to do is do your research before you come, really find out what your core of learning is for each department, what you would like to go into," she said. "The more detailed that you can be on your resume, the better."