Online RN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

First Job: Finding the Right Fit

When you complete your nursing degree, you are likely excited to jump right into your first workplace after school. After all, you have worked hard to get there. However, if you are looking for a job where you can really put down roots and invest in the organization, you may want to choose carefully. A 2014 study published in Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice revealed that in their first year working in nursing, an estimated 17.5 percent of newly-registered nurses leave their job. That percentage increases to 33.5 percent by the second year.

So how can you make sure that you are in a job that you will not want to leave in the next 12 to 24 months? Whether you are a newly certified RN or have just completed your master’s degree in nursing after years working in the field, use these tips to find a position that will be the right fit for your career.

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Start with your goals

If you are trying to find a workplace that you can advance your career in for many years to come, start by giving thought to your own goals for your future. Where do you want to be five years from today? What about 10 years down the road? It can be tempting to accept the first job offer that comes your way, but if you only think short term, you may find yourself doing the job searching process all over again in a couple of years.

Do you think that you will want to go back to school part time in the future? Take that into consideration when you are looking at the work hours and flexibility of the organization. Want to rise through the ranks to become a nurse manager? Make sure that you choose a company that promotes from within. Even if you are not entirely sure what you want your career to look like, giving some thought to the future will improve your likelihood of being happy at your workplace long term. If you do not see a future there, give some thought to whether or not it is the right place for you.

Think about culture
While opportunities for professional growth and advancement are important, do not underestimate the qualities of the workplace that will influence your day to day life. The culture of the establishment is an important consideration for ensuring that you are happy in the position for more than year. A 2015 survey by employee engagement firm TINYnews showed that those who gave their company culture a low rating were 15 percent more likely to think about finding a new job than their counterparts in companies with culture that ranked well. Check resources like Glassdoor for reviews of the company’s culture, and talk to any connections you may have that are already employed there.

Are you a team player who would be stressed out by a highly competitive environment? Or a social butterfly who would be disappointed working in a place where no one spends time together outside work hours? Take the values and environment of the organization into consideration to make sure that it will be a good fit both professionally and culturally.

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Ask the right questions
Job interviews are opportunities for employers to learn more about you, but they are also your best chance to learn more about the company itself. Asking the right questions before you take the job will help to ensure that it is a place where you will be happy for more than a year or two.

Examples of questions that will reveal a lot about the organization recommended by U.S. News & World Report include:
● “What type of staff member fits in well with the company’s culture?”
● “What time do employees usually arrive and leave each day?”
● “Why is this position open?”
● “What do you wish you knew before you started working here?”

Create a list of your own questions based on the values that are important to you in a workplace. In addition to revealing important information about whether the position will be a good fit for your career, it will also demonstrate your interest to your interviewee, leaving a good impression.



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