How to Land a Nursing Gig Without the Experience in the Job Description


There it is. The nursing job you’ve been waiting for!

The problem is, you don’t have any relevant experience or the qualifications listed in the job description.

Finding the right job for nurses and healthcare professionals whose resumes don’t quite tick off all of the boxes can seem like pushing a boulder up a steep hill. But contrary to popular belief, there are ways to break into nursing – or move up – if you know what to do.

The fact is everyone starts without much if any, working experience. So to kickstart your career, you simply have to be motivated and know where and what to look for. And be prepared to accept a position that might not be exactly what you had in mind. Remember: The goal for a new graduate or an inexperienced nurse is to get your foot in the door. Here are some examples of how to do that – and set your nursing career in motion:

Keep Your Options Open

Being open to different types of nursing jobs means you’ll have more options to choose from. Here are some examples of where employment opportunities could be available:

  • Area hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes, residential care providers, or rehabilitation centers
  • Health insurance providers
  • Travel nursing agencies
  • Home health care agencies
  • Local government agencies

Search for New Graduate Positions

Many hospitals and clinics have a limited number of new graduate positions available at various times throughout the year. While these openings often have stiff competition, they’ll enable those who are hired to gain some great experience – and start on the road to a satisfying nursing career.

Check with Your Nursing Program

It’s great to have professional connections, and your nursing program’s advisors may be able to help find employers that will hire you without actual work experience. Many schools have partnerships with healthcare facilities that hire local graduate students. Instructors may also have recommendations for employers or can put a word in for you.

Don’t Forget Temp Work

If you think temp work is a nowhere road toward advancing your nursing career, think again. Remember that getting your foot in the door should be the goal, and any experience related to your field is important. In some cases, temp jobs can be made permanent, or other openings in the facility may crop up. Also, taking on temp jobs can allow you to get a taste of the variety of different aspects of nursing – helping to build your resume. Contacting a seasoned healthcare recruiter can help to uncover opportunities that you might never hear about.

Keep at It

If you feel like you’ve hit the job search wall, there are other ways to gain experience within the nursing field. You could look into an internship or shadowing program that will help you get the needed experience with direct patient care. There are also plenty of organizations on the lookout for volunteer nurses to help with a variety of programs. Though these are typically unpaid, the experience you’ll receive will help you on your way to the nursing career of your dreams.

At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities locally or around the country. To learn more, contact us today.

Would you like to be alerted when new jobs are posted?