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‘I feel like everyone has already found their first nursing job, except me’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I’m in third year, finishing this summer. At the start of the year I felt like we were all in the same boat, we didn’t know how we were going to get our first nursing jobs – we even joked about how we just couldn’t imagine someone wanted to hire us!

“But all of a sudden, my classmates are being offered interviews and one or two of them have even been offered posts already. I didn’t realise anyone was seriously applying.

“There’s months until we qualify so I thought we had loads of time but now I’m suddenly feeling like I’ve left it too late. I worry that we’ll finish the course and everyone will go off and start their careers except me.

“Suddenly it feels like we’re no longer in the same boat, but competing for jobs.

“I know the obvious answer is to just start applying but I’m completely stumped on what to say in my application. I just don’t have anything to make me stand out!

“So, maybe this is a stupid question, but how on earth do you get your first nursing job?

- Anonymous

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (3)

  • I am also a third year student nurse finishing in the summer and I was one of the first few students to obtain their first nursing post. However I am only one of about 7 of us out of 50/60 others in the cohort.
    So don't panic, have a look what is out there, look at what the posts asks for in the person specification and try and include that in a personal statement. Things that I wrote in my personal statement was all the usual statements such as being enthusiastic, motivated to do well, able to work in a team but also as an undividual, able to prioritise workload and also mentioned what skills I had gained from my placements.
    When you feel ready and find a post you're interested in, apply. Dont feel disheartened if you don't hear back or don't get the job, at the end of the day it will be good experience. You will get a job! Best wishes in your future.

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  • Don't worry- you've got ages yet! I'm also a third year and while it feels like the end is approaching fast, there is a way to go yet. I've seen my classmates take jobs they're not passionate about just because they are panicking they won't get anything else, and I can't help but think they won't be happy in them....
    Get yourself signed up to nhs jobs and look regularly at jobs in your field- when something comes up that excites you, you'll probably find it easier to know what to put in your supported info because it will all be things you know you are good at and want to work on. Have faith- you've put all the work in and learnt so much, there will be a job for you and it will come up eventually. Best of luck!

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  • There'll be plenty you can say! Everyone has the feeling that "I'm just not special enough" but have there been things your mentors have praised you on? Anything you loved? Or maybe something that your friends couldn't do that you could, quite easily? Then just find a way to dress it all up in the proper language! So rather than "I got a difficult line in a patient" or "I managed to calm an escalating situation" try something like "you tackle challenges head on and are keen to learn, or, you take great pride in working through difficult problems" etc. There's always a way to spin even the most boring sounding task to make you sound like someone they want working for them!

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