New Graduate FAQ’s

1. When do I tell my managers/interviewers I am an observant Jew? (including Shabbat)

There is a difference of opinion, but most agree to make that point as soon as possible (preferably in interview). Say it respectfully and offer to make it up by taking Sunday, holidays, etc. and offering to cover any additional shifts needed. Spin it in a positive way (don’t say “I can’t”) Delaying this information has not worked for people in the past. Plus, you don’t want to be in a facility or unit that doesn’t respect your religious/cultural views. Please also see the article from Jack Newhouse on the Ask the Lawyer page. 

2. Should I obtain extra certifications before starting a new job to make myself more palatable to a hiring manager?

Again, this is preference, but most agree  that it is beneficial. Do as much as you can before getting hired. It shows you are always eager to learn and willing to learn new things. Also managers look at what organizations you are part of; ex. NSO, OJNA, so look into joining organizations and getting involved.

3. Should I add my GPA to my resume when applying for my first job?

It is not necessary to put your GPA on your resume, however, if you have an amazing GPA or have any awards, such as Dean’s List, etc, it is encouraged to showcase that on your resume to help you stand out.

4. When should I start applying for jobs? Should I wait until I pass my NCLEX?

You can start applying around your graduation time, however you resume may not be considered until after you take your NCLEX. Don’t be discouraged if you do not have an interview until after you pass. It is good to get your name out there and to apply to as many places as possible.

5. What are the pros and cons of night shift vs. day shift?

This is a very personal choice. However, in many large hospitals, most open positions are night positions. It is usually a position that will afford you the opportunity to move to days within a 2 year time span, if not sooner. Many nurses choose to stay on nights to have a better work-life balance and be around for their children.

6. What should I wear and bring to my interview?

The saying goes that you should dress for the position above what you are applying for. In other words dress like your manager would dress. This means wear professional business attire. A suit is encouraged but not mandatory. Be sure not to wear too much perfume/cologne.  Bring your license, registration, BLS card, ACLS card if you have one, and any other certifications you already have. Also make sure that your BLS certificate is through the AHA as this is the only one accepted by any medical facility.

7. Should I work before going back for my masters or should I go straight through?

Again, this is a very personal decision. However, the majority of nurses will say that it is always better to have experience before going back to school. Alternatively, you can work while obtaining your master’s degree.

8. Some tips and tricks for new nurses taken off of our forum

  • Ask questions
  • Don’t start a shift sleep deprived
  • Meal prep – make sure you are well fed!
  • Drink (although bathroom breaks may be limited, dehydration is never good for your state of mind during work)
  • Schedule “me time” during the week to help decompress
  • Schedule your personal chores so that you are more likely to complete them
  • Schedule time for family and friends as they can sometimes feel neglected
  • Keep a good stash of feminine hygiene products, tylenol/motrin, and deodorant with you at work
  • It is always okay to cry. It helps let off steam and decompress from our emotionally taxing jobs
  • Smile and stay calm! You got this!