Nurses are a hot commodity these days, so why is it sometimes a challenge to find the perfect job immediately upon graduating? Many hospitals and other medical facilities require nursing experience prior to hiring. Most new graduates only have the training they receive during nursing school which often isn’t enough to beat out highly skilled candidates with years of nursing experience. There is hope, however, as there are several ways to help new graduates land their dream nursing job.

1. Gather experience outside of the hospital setting.

Although landing a hospital nursing job may be the ultimate goal, getting there can take some time. Starting off in a clinic, nursing home, or other medical setting can help new nurses gain the experience many hospitals are looking for while also paying the bills. Even six months of real-life work experience can give new nurses an edge up on the competition.

2. Take any available hospital job.

It doesn’t really matter where a new nurse starts out, getting a foot in the door is the main priority. After six months most hospitals allow employees to apply for internal postings which are filled from a much smaller selection of candidates. Nurses that have experience in several different areas makes them more desirable, so every nursing job is worthwhile as the knowledge that is gained ultimately makes for a more favorable candidate down the road.

3. Put networking to good use.

Oftentimes, a new graduate needs some help from a friend or family member to score a job. Making use of any available connections is a great way to get a lead on a potential position and hospitals appreciate reliable references, especially when it comes to new nurses who have little experience. Networking can also be done through social media, volunteer organizations, and local community groups.

4. Check into local and federal hiring programs.

Many hospitals partner with local and federal organizations to hire recent graduates. They may not offer the perfect job right off the bat, but the experience gained and connections made can often lead to more lucrative nursing positions in the future.

5. Work with a staffing agency.

Staffing agencies like Therapia Staffing help match candidates with desirable positions while also offering benefit packages and travel allowances. They work with new graduates to assist them in finding not just a job, but a suitable career path.