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Learning Center Experience
By Jessica Gordon, MSN, RN, CHSE
from nursing school is an exciting time in a nurse’s career. Choosing the next
step to begin nursing practice can be a daunting and challenging experience. It
is a common belief that hospital based nursing is the only route for practice
for newly graduated and newly licensed registered nurses (RN’s) (Spector,
Blegen, Silvestri, Barnsteiner, Lynn, & Ulrich, 2015).
nursing is not the only option; there are many other opportunities for new
graduates to grow and learn in the nursing arena. Additionally, those that are
not newly licensed but have chosen to graduate with degree enhancements (RN to
BSN, MSN, etc.), have many open doors to opportunities in the community for
health care, from community health nursing; public health nursing; nursing home
practice; assisted living care; and more.
of these nursing employment opportunities are available for new graduates with
little to no experience in the field. On the job training and certification
courses are available to help mold new graduates into the type of practice
employers are looking for in regards to the specific nursing environment
(Spector, et.al, 2015). There are a number of activities a new graduate from
any degree level can do in order to increase their community participation and
knowledge about available opportunities, including researching state
legislature that peaks interest and contacting the supporting organizations for
opportunities; contacting local nursing programs for nurse intern opportunities
or simulation technician employment availability; and reviewing state, city, and
hospital websites for potential activities that help introduce the new graduate
to the specialty practice he/she is interested in the community.
is important for new graduates to look at all available opportunities and not
feel pigeonholed into entering into hospital/medical/surgical bedside work.
First, some graduates may not be interested in direct bedside care. Second, a
number of nurses are returning to work after a long absence or career change
due to the economic climate, which sometimes can limit the physical abilities
of the practitioner, or the availability due to the long hours and strict
scheduling of the hospital environment (Feeg & Mancino, 2015).
those that are second degree nursing graduates, it might be intriguing to utilize
their previous knowledge to enhance their nursing careers. When searching for
employment opportunities, it is important to harness the already present
strengths from previous experience along with the knowledge gained from nursing
education. Additionally, highlighting previous leadership, autonomy, and awards
received during previous work experiences or in nursing school on one’s resume
and curriculum vitae will help the employer envision the growth opportunities
for the new graduate.
nursing degree, whether it is an associate’s degree in nursing or bachelor’s
degree in nursing introduces the graduate to the concepts of critical thinking,
leadership, and safe nursing practice. Understanding the breadth and depth of
knowledge gained will help when applying for positions in dialysis centers,
rehabilitation centers, private practices, and birthing centers. All of the
abovementioned opportunities can help the new graduate expand their knowledge
base and reach the community from a different angle other than direct bedside
nursing care in the hospital setting.
Finding Your Passion
Opportunities for Nurses Expand in New Era of Health Care
Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!
And if you are considering pursuing a nursing degree, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's School of Nursing and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
Feeg, V., Mancino, D.J. (2015). Shifting employment and education trends for new graduates. DEAN’S Notes, 36(3), 1-4.
Spector, N., Blegen, M., Silvestri, J., Barnsteiner, J., Lynn, M., & Ulrich, B. (2015). Transition to practice in non-hospital settings. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 6(1), 4-13.
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. National long-term BLS projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
* Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields, and the University makes no representations or warranties as to whether programs meet the specific requirements for any individual state. Check with your state or local licensing agency for more details
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